2What is a Phrase?A PHRASE is a group of related words that act as a single part of speech.Unlike Clauses, a phrase does not display a subject/verb relationship.Luis climbed onto a bench.He reached for a box that he could barely see.A good way to identify phrases in a sentence is to look for words that form natural clusters or groups. Those clusters that do not have subjects and predicates are phrases.
3How are Phrases Important? By using phrases effectively and placing them properly, you can make your writing clearer and more descriptive.There are three common errors when using phrases in writing:Letting a phrase stand alone as a sentence fragment.Plunging into the lake. (Wrong)Plunging into the lake, Luis shrieked. (Correct)Misplacing a phrase used as a modifier.Searchers spotted Luis’s shoes with keen eyes. (Wrong)Searchers with keen eyes spotted Luis’s shoes. (Correct)Leaving out the word that the phrase modifies, resulting in a dangling modifier.- To stay afloat, the wings had to be detached. (Wrong)- To stay afloat, Luis had to detach the wings. (Correct)
4There are several types of phrases: Prepositional PhrasesAdjective phrasesAdverb phrasesAppositives and appositive phrasesVerbalsParticiplesGerundsInfinitives
5Prepositional Phrases A Prepositional Phrase consists of a preposition, its object, and any modifiers of the object.There are many kinds of sports.Some people take a sport to its extreme.Like an adverb, an adverb prepositional phrase modifies a verb, an adjective or another adverb.An adjective prepositional phrase modifies a noun or pronoun.
6Why It Matters in Writing Inexperienced writers sometimes confuse readers by putting prepositional in the wrong places in their sentences.Brockton Kennels sells retriever puppies to loving families with vaccinations. (who had the vaccinations?)Golden retrievers are valued for their eagerness to work by hunters. (will they only work in close proximity to hunters?)
7Prepositional Phrase Practice Underline each prepositional phrase and circle the word it modifies.Orienteering is a popular type of outdoor competition.People who participate in this sport are called orienteers.Orienteers follow a course that leads through a forest or another natural area.Finishing the course in the fastest time is the goal.Using maps and compasses, orienteers find marked points along the course.
8Appositives and Appositive Phrases An Appositive is a noun or pronoun that identifies or renames another noun or pronoun.An Appositive Phrase is made up of an appositive and its modifiers.Gail Devers, a champion sprinter, was born in Seattle in 1966.Barcelona, a large city in Spain, hosted the Olympics in 1992.
9Essential and Nonessential appositives An Essential Appositive is an appositive that provides information that is needed to identify the preceding noun or pronoun.The American sprinter Gail Devers won an Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter dash in 1992.Notice that no commas are used with an essential appositive.A Nonessential Appositive adds information about a noun or pronoun in a sentence in which the meaning is already clear.Devers, a survivor of Graves’ disease, overcame many obstacles to achieve athletic success.Nonessential appositives are set off with commas.
10Appositives Cont. Appositive Practice Why it Matters in Writing: Using appositives and appositive phrases offers a concise way of explaining how a person or thing is special or unique.Appositive PracticeIdentify the appositive and appositive phrase in these sentences along with the words they modify.Wilma Rudolph, another champion sprinter, also overcame a disability.As a child, Rudolph contracted the disease polio.Her mother, Blanche Rudolph, helped her recover.Rudolph, a determined child, ignored doctors’ predictions about never being able to walk again.A basketball star at age 13, she was known for her speed.
11Verbals: ParticiplesA Verbal is a verb form that acts as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb.A Participle is a verb form that acts as an adjective. It modifies a noun or a pronoun.A Participle Phrase consists of a participle plus its modifiers and complements.There are two kinds of participles: past participles and present participles.Played for more than 100 years, high school football has a rich tradition. (past)Large crowds attend games featuring rival schools. (present)
12Problems with Participles A Misplaced Participle Phrase is closer to some other noun than it is to the noun it actually modifies.Beginning in the 1890s, Thanksgiving Day was when top high school football teams from different regions paired off in major games. (Wrong)Beginning in the 1890s, top high school football teams from different regions paired off in major games on Thanksgiving Day. (Correct)A Dangling Participle Phrase is one that does not logically modify any of the words in the sentence in which it appears.Responding to changes in the rules of football, the forward pass was used more often in high school games in the 1920s. (Wrong)Responding to changes in the rules of football, high school coaches began using the forward pass more often in the 1920s. (Correct)
13Participle PracticeIdentify the participle phrase in each sentence then identify the noun it modifies.In many parts of the country, steadily declining interest has damaged high school football.Preferring soccer or basketball, many students do not sign up for football.Parents concerned about football injuries suggest other sports.Reacting to a lack of interest, school officials have cut football funds.Remaining popular in urban areas, however, high school football won’t be dying out any time soon.
14Verbals: Gerunds and Infinitives A Gerund is a verb form that ends in ing and acts as a noun.He loves swimming.A Gerund Phrase consists of a gerund plus its modifiers and complements.He loves swimming in the ocean.Gerunds and Gerund Phrases can be used anywhere a noun can be used (subject, object of preposition, direct object, indirect object predicate nominative)An Infinitive is a verb form, usually beginning with the word to, that can act as a noun, and adjective, or an adverb.More and more women are learning to golf.An Infinitive Phrase consists of an infinitive plus its modifiers and complements.To make a living as a golfer is no easy task.
15Why it Matters in Writing Gerund and Infinitive Phrases can make your writing more concise. Both allow you to combine words and sharpen relationships between ideas.A person who swims across (Swimming) the English Channel makes (is) an awesome accomplishment. (replacing with a gerund)Golfers use many different types of clubs during a tournament. Different clubs are needed to hit good shots.Golfers use many different types of clubs to hit good shots during a tournament. (replace with an infinitive)
16Gerund PracticeIdentify the gerund phrase in each sentence, then identify which part of speech it functions as.Pablo Morales became known as the comeback kid of Olympic swimming,One of the goals of Morales’s mother was having her children learn to swim at an early age.Morales learned quickly, and soon he started winning junior championships.As a student at Stanford University, he attracted attention by winning 11 NCAA championships.Competing in the 1984 Olympics brought him one gold medal and two silver medals.
17Infinitive PracticeIdentify each infinitive or infinitive phrase indicating whether it acts as an adjective, an adverb, or a noun.It is a shame that so few sports stars are willing to help people in need.To give something back to society is important to Tiger Woods.Woods was the first person of African-American descent to win a major tournament in men’s professional golf.To overcome golf’s history of discrimination was no easy task.Woods is determined to help other persons of color become golf stars.