What is phrase and All types of phrases with examples

Everyone today’s lesson is all about Phrase, What is Phrase?, and how can we identify a Phrase easily in a sentence? And after that, we will also learn all types of phrases in English language.

What is Phrase?

A Phrase is a combination of two or more words that makes sense, but not complete sense. And also remember, it doesn’t have a subject, verb, agreement. Often a phrase is used to describe a person, think, animal and event, Etc.

For example:

  1. Of white color.
  2. This wedding ring is made of gold.
  3. I’m learning to Phrase at that moment.
  4. We paint a advertisement on the wall.
  5. We are laughing.
  6. This table is made of iron.
  7. entering the room.
  8. being a teacher.

Let’s look at some more examples to understand a phrase even more better.

  1. He bought an expensive car last Sunday.

Here an expensive car is a phrase because it is made up of group of words. And is there any subject here completing an action? No.

Remember, a Phrase does not contain a subject doing an action.The girl in the room is my sister.

2. The girl in the room is my sister.
3. She stayed at school for few hours.

Here in the room and for few hours are called phrases. In the second example, the phrase in the room describes the noun girl. And in third example for few hours describes or gives more information about the verb stay.Now I’m sure that you are clear about a phrase.

What type of phrases are they?

Generally there are 10 types of phrases in English Grammar.

types of phrases
  1. Noun Phrase
  2. Verb Phrase
  3. Adjective Phrase
  4. Adverb Phrase
  5. Prepositional Phrase
  6. Participle Phrase
  7. Gerund Phrase
  8. Infinitive Phrase
  9. Appositive Phrase
  10. Absolute Phrase

Let me explain each and every type with examples.

1. Noun Phrase:

A Phrase that acts like a noun in the sentence is called a noun phrase. A noun phrase consists of noun and other related words which modify the noun. A noun phrase works maybe as a subject and object, or a compliment.

For examples-

Early to bed early to rise is good habit

Early to bed is called a noun phrase. And it works as a subject in this example.

Here bed is a noun and early to other related words which modify or give specific information about the noun bed. These words are called tree modifiers because they go before the head word bed. Remember verbs that go after the head word are all post modifiers.


  1. People inside.
  2. The girl at the door.

Inside and at the door are called post modifiers.

3. He is wearing a nice blue shirt.

An a nice blue shirt is a noun phrase, and it works like an object here. Shirt is a noun, and a nice blue gives us more information about the noun Shirt.

2. Verb Phrase:

A Verb Phrase is a combination of main verb and it’s auxiliaries within a sentence.

For example:

  1. She is waiting for Rakesh

She is waiting is a verb phrase. As it contains a main verb waiting and a helping verb is. So it is simply called a verb phrase.

2. Shamik are trying very hard.

The main verb try combined with the helping verb are and form of verb phrase.

3. Adjective phrase:

An adjective phrase is a group of words that acts like an objective in a sentence. It describes or Arts to meaning of the noun or pronoun.

For example:

The boy Neeraj Chopra from our country won a gold medal.

From our country is an adjective phrase, and it modifies the noun boy.

Observe the next two examples-

  1. My teacher is angry on me.
  2. The teacher that seems very angry on me.

What is the difference between these two sentences? The meaning is same in these two examples but the first sentence has an adjective angry. And the second sentence has an adjective phrase that seems very angry, and it modifies the noun teacher.

4. Adverb Phrase:

An adverb phrase is a group of words that functions like an adverb in a sentence. It modify or adds to meaning of a verb and adjectives, or another adverb. An adverb phrase is used to show, or give information about how, why, Where and when something happens.


  1. She was crying very loudly.

Here the adverb phrase very loudly modifies the verb crying, means it adds to meaning of the verb crying. The adverb phrase very loudly emphasizes how she was crying? very loudly

2. The boy play on the playground.

The adverb phrase on the playground modifies the verb play. Where the boy play? On the playground.

5. Prepositional Phrase:

A prepositional phrase mostly begins with a preposition and ends with an object of a preposition. That is a noun, Pronoun, gerund or clause.


  1. We drove to the store.

To the store is a prepositional phrase. It begins with a preposition to and ends with an object of the preposition store.

2. The dog is sitting under the table.

The phrase under the table started with a preposition under and ends with an object of the preposition table.

6. Gerund Phrase:

Gerund phrase consisting of Gerund ‘ing’ form of the verb, modifiers and other related words associated with the Gerund. In a sentence a Gerund phrase functions like a noun and can act as a subject and object, or it can act like a predicate nominative.


Smoking cigarettes is not permitted in the public area.

Smoking cigarettes is a Gerund phrase and it works as a subject here. It includes a gerund smoking ing form of the verb smoke.

7. Infinitive Phrase:

An infinitive phrase is made up of an infinitive to + base form of the verb, modifiers or other related words associated to the infinitive. It always functions like a noun, an adjective or an adverb within a sentence.

For Examples:

  1. Shamik loves to play football.

Here an infinitive phrase to play football, preceded by an infinitive to, and it functions like a noun. if an infinitive phrase functions like a noun, it answers the question, ‘what’. What does Shamik love? He loves to play football.

2. I wish I had a friend to play with me.

An infinitive phrase to play with me functions like an objective here, and it modifies or describes the noun friend.

3. To see clearly, he moved closer to the stage.

The infinitive phrase to see clearly functions like an adverb here, and it modifies the verb move.

8. Appositive Phrase:

A group of words that contains an Appositive and it’s modifiers which adds more information about a noun or pronoun is called an Appositive phrase.


  1. A dog, named tommy, is the internet’s latest sensation.

Here named tommy is an Appositive phrase, because it for the identifies the noun dog or you can say it gives us more information about dog.

2. Raaj, my school mate doesn’t like to play football.

The appositive phrase my school mate describes or gives us more information about the noun of Raaj.

9. Participle Phrase:

A participle phrase begins with a present participle (verb+ing) or past participle, including modifiers and other linking words.


Present participle phrase- The boy standing by the road where quarrelling.

Standing by the road is a participle phrase, as it started with standing the present participle form of the verb stand. And the phrase modifies the word boy.

Past participle phrase- Raaj is interested to buy a table made of wood.

Made is the past participle form of the verb make. And made of wood is a participial phrase which modifies table.

10. Absolute Phrase:

An absolute phrase is a group of words, that includes a noun or pronoun, a participle and linked modifiers. Absolute phrases always have a noun or pronoun. The most important thing about an absolute phrase is it modifies, or gives more information about the whole sentence, not only about a noun or pronoun.


The students standing side by side, sang the national song Together.

Student is a noun, standing is a present participle, and side-by-side are modifiers.

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