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Grammar for Grade 9 Episode III Phrases
What’s a Phrase? A phrase is a group of words that make sense together, but which doesn’t have a subject and verb. Because they lack a subject, a verb, or both, they cannot be full sentences. Phrases can be as short as two words long
Prepositional Phrases A group of words that begins with a preposition and ends with a noun or pronoun. The noun or pronoun that follows the preposition is called the object of the preposition. (You saw this idea in Episode I: Parts of Speech) Prepositional phrases can act as adjectives or as adverbs.
Sample Prepositional Phrases They began the project with good intentions. – “With” is a preposition. – “Intentions” is a noun, so it is the object of the preposition “with”. – This phrase describes HOW they began the project, so it is acting as an adverb. Do you have a room with a view? – “With” is a preposition, “view” is its object. – This phrase describes WHAT KIND of room, so it is acting as an adjective.
Appositives Appositives are nouns placed next to other nouns (or pronouns) and give extra or identifying information about them. They are not necessary for the sentence to make sense. If the appositive is more than one word, it is called an appositive phrase. – My dog, Ariel, is a poodle. (Ariel is an appositive) – Jake’s cousin, a civil engineer, is visiting. (a civil engineer is an appositive phrase)
Using Appositives Always set an appositive off with commas, unless it is necessary to the sentence. – Tony Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye is great. Because Morrison has written several novels, we need this appositive, so there are no commas. – I just met my birth mother, who lives in Greece. Because the appositive is at the end of the sentence, we only need a comma before it. – Robbie, an angry young man, punched a teacher. Because the appositive interrupts the sentence, we need a comma before it and another after it.
Participles Participles are verb forms (verbals) that can work as adjectives. – Present participles end in –ing. The suspect told a confusing story. – Past participles usually end in –ed, but may take other forms He ordered fried haddock, but the waiter brought him broiled scrod.
Participial Phrases Participial phrases contain a participle and include all complements and modifiers. – The students sitting in the back of the auditorium could not hear the lecturer. A participial phrase that begins a sentence is usually followed by a comma. – Frightened by the horror movie, Mike and Leroy turned on all the lights in the house.
Gerunds Gerunds are verbals that end in –ing (like participles); however, while participles act as adjectives, gerunds act as nouns. – Thinking hard, he discovered the answer. Thinking is a participle that modifies the pronoun he. – Thinking gives him a headache. Thinking is a gerund that functions as the subject of the sentence.
Gerund Phrases A gerund phrase includes a gerund and any complements and modifiers. – Thinking like a criminal is part of every detective’s job. – Every modern criminal must try thinking as a crime-scene analyst does, if he wants to stay out of jail.
Infinitives Infinitives are base forms of verbs, with the word “to” in front of them. This construction is the name of the verb. – To run – To jump – To have – To be Infinitives may be used as nouns, adjectives or adverbs.
Infinitive Examples To smoke is prohibited. – The infinitive “to smoke” is used as a subject. Since only nouns and pronouns can be subjects, it is functioning as a noun. Raphael loves to cook. – The infinitive “to cook” is being used as a direct object. He had a longing to escape. – The infinitive “to escape” is being used as an adjective. He was too angry to talk. – The infinitive “to talk” is being used as an adverb.
Infinitive Phrases Infinitive phrases include an infinitive plus all modifiers and complements. – It is easiest to get there by plane. “To get” is an infinitive. The rest of the phrase answers the questions “To get where?” and “To get there how?” – To drive while texting is very dangerous. This infinitive phrase is functioning as a subject.
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