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Sentences 3 - Phrases
"My sons love to sail on the ocean." Is this a sentence or a phrase?

Sentences 3 - Phrases

We have learnt that sentences consist of words put together in a structured manner to help communicate thoughts. The sentence is normally divided into a subject and a predicate. Obviously, this means that both the subject and predicate comprise words drawn from different parts of speech. These words are strung together based on the rules of grammar so that everyone who is aware of the rules is able to follow.

By themselves the groups of words representing subject and predicate are known as a phrase. Thus, phrases are groups of words that fall short of being called sentences because they communicate thoughts partially. While the sentence has a subject and a predicate the phrase has only one of them.

Typically, there are noun phrases and verb phrases representing subject and predicate respectively. For instance:

A BLUE and NEW CAR by themselves are noun phrases.

PLAYING A MATCH is a verb phrase.

A single word, such as a noun or a verb, is also termed a phrase. For example, ‘I go’ is a complete sentence and here ‘I’ and ‘go’ are single words which by themselves represent phrases.

Of course, phrases can comprise more than one word and most sentences comprise phrases which are two or more words. As mentioned earlier, phrases are a group of words drawn from different parts of speech. Any single word in a completed sentence by itself can form a phrase and this word can be from any of the different parts of speech that constitute the English language. Likewise, any group of words which are drawn from the sentence in sequence is also a phrase, provided that group of words does not form a complete sentence. This is because (as we learned in the quiz on punctuations and conjunctions) two independent sentences can be combined into a single sentence by the use of an appropriate conjunction or punctuation mark.

The English language affords flexibility for the writer to use phrases imaginatively and combine the phrases to form a sentence, which may be different for different writers. By playing the following quiz you will learn to identify phrases and see how they are different from sentences.

1.
Pick out the phrase from the following four options.
Blue car.
I have a blue car.
He has a blue car.
Blue car is fast.
'Blue car' is a noun phrase as it has only a subject and by itself does not mean much. The other options are sentences as there are both a subject and a predicate
2.
Pick out the phrase from the following four options.
Children are playing a game.
Playing a game.
Playing a game is good for the body.
Are you playing a game?
'Playing a game' is only a predicate and is a verb phrase which by itself does not mean much. The others three options are sentences with both a subject and predicate. Answer 4 is an interrogative sentence
3.
Pick out the sentence from the following four options.
Going to play.
Play cricket.
I am going to play cricket at the ground.
I.
Answer 1 is a verb phrase, Answer 2 is also a verb phrase and Answer 4 is a noun phrase. "I am going to play cricket at the ground" is an assertive sentence
4.
Pick out the phrase from the following four options.
Tigers found in the zoo are tame.
Are tigers found in the zoo?
Tigers are found in the zoo.
Are found in the zoo.
'Are found in the zoo' is only a predicate and hence a verb phrase. The others three options are all different kinds of sentences
5.
Pick out the sentence from the following four options.
What an amazing choice of books!
An amazing.
Choice of books.
What an.
"What an amazing choice of books!" is an exclamatory sentence. Answer 2 is a verb phrase and Answers 3 and 4 are noun phrases
6.
"Bangladesh and India", "Tigers are", "Found in" - Choose the correct sentence formed from these three phrases.
Tigers are found in Bangladesh and India.
Bangladesh and India tigers are found in.
Bangladesh and India found in tigers are.
Tigers are Bangladesh and India found in.
The sentence is an assertive sentence. "Tigers" and "Bangladesh and India" are subjects and hence noun phrases. "Found in" is a verb phrase. The complete sentence has now both a subject and predicate
7.
"Bangladesh and India", "Are tigers", "Found in" - Choose the correct sentence formed from these three phrases.
Bangladesh and India tigers are found in
Are tigers Bangladesh and India found in
Bangladesh and India found in are tigers
Are tigers found in Bangladesh and India?
The sentence is an interrogative sentence as by reversing the order of "tigers are" to "are tigers" the phrase becomes a question. Note that the sentence ends in a question mark
8.
"Delivers the mail" and "Large gray elephant" - Which of the following four options describes these?
Both are noun phrases
Both are verb phrases
Verb phrase, Noun phrase
Noun phrase, Verb phrase
'Deliver' is the verb and hence "Delivers the mail" is a verb phrase. 'Elephant' is the noun and so "Large grey elephant" is a noun phrase
9.
"The Indian Ocean" and "My sons love to sail on the ocean." - Which of the following four options describes these?
Both are sentences
Both are phrases
Sentence, Phrase
Phrase, Sentence
"The Indian Ocean" is a subject and hence a noun phrase. "My sons love to sail on the ocean" is an assertive sentence with a subject and a predicate
10.
"Please come with me to the temple" and "Oh God!" - Which of the following four options describes these?
Noun phrase, Verb phrase
Verb phrase, Noun phrase
Sentence, Noun phrase
Sentence, Sentence
Both are sentences. The first one is an imperative sentence making a request. The second one is an exclamatory sentence. Note that the second sentence ends in an exclamation mark
Author:  V T Narendra

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