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  • June 20th, 2024

Are Phrases And Clauses The Same Thing?

English is indeed a language full of mystery. The students think the English language to be very difficult because there are tricky rules for spelling and bizarre grammatical guidelines. And there is an additional confusion that is between phrases and clauses. That is why we are going to give you a detailed guide so that you may easily understand the discrepancy between a phrase and a clause. 

What Are The Distinctions Between A Phrase And A Clause?

It is very crucial to learn the discrepancy between a clause and a phrase because it helps you to secure your desired grades in your English exam as well as it is a method of expressing your thoughts to your near and dear ones. Have you ever written a letter to your pal? Have you ever expressed how much you love your friends through letters? If yes, then you must have composed the letter with the assistance of clauses and phrases. 

What Do You Mean By A Clause In Grammar?

Clauses are generally a set of words that contains a verb and a subject. People use this smallest grammatical unit for expressing their thoughts. The subject is the entity in a clause that is performing the work of the sentence. The verb is the work that the subject performs and finishes in the sentence. In short, a close makes a detailed feeling. It delivers an idea or a statement that may stand independently. 

In brief,

Subject + verb = detailed thought

Ram talks. = detailed thought.

I sing. = detailed thought.

What Do You Mean By A Phrase In Grammar?

The phrase is nothing but a group of words that exist together just like a unit. It is generally utilized as a portion of a clause or a sentence. Like clauses, phrases do not have any subject and subject. Moreover, it is not capable enough to express complete thoughts independently. This is the main difference between a phrase and a clause. 

For instance,

  • After the lunch 
  • The nasty relatives
  • Were waiting for the film 

If you have a look at the above-mentioned examples and make a comparison of phrases with clauses you will find that no subject is acting on the former. But we know that clauses contain a subject as well as a verb. But you should keep in mind that phrases are always more than a word. 

What Are The Various Kinds Of Phrases And Clauses?

Phrases start with a single word and slowly it becomes a compound sentence. A clause is a very important part of a sentence. A clause does not require the help of any other thing to convey a complete thought. Now put your eyes on the various kinds of phrases and clauses. 

The Various Kinds Of Clauses 

There are mainly two kinds of clauses available in the English language: one is an Independent clause and the other is a Dependent clause.

A Short Overview Of The Independent Clause 

From the name of the clause, we can understand that this type of clause can stand independently in a sentence. An independent clause consists of a subject and a verb and it is the smallest unit of grammar. There may be a verb predicate and modifiers in an independent clause. 

We have given several examples of independent clauses below: 

  • Ram waits at the park for his playmate every day at the same time. 
  • My friend enjoys sitting by the fireplace with her cat. 
  • My best teacher speaks loudly.
  • I eat apples in the middle of the night. 

A Short Overview Of The Dependent Clause 

Dependent clauses are not capable enough to stand independently in a sentence like independent clauses. There is a subject and a verb is a dependent clause. A dependent clause has to be assembled with an independent clause to be grammatically accurate and express a complete thought. Dependent clauses contain noun clauses, adverb clauses, and relative or adjective clauses. 

We have given several examples of dependent clauses below: 

  • As if Shyam know what was going to happen ( adverb clauses)
  • Which is situated in France ( Adjective clauses)
  • When the Chief Minister comes ( adverb clauses)
  • Who live by the sea (adjective clauses)
  • Whatever makes you comfortable (noun clauses)
  • Who let the cat out of the cage ( noun clauses)

The Various Kinds Of Phrases 

We can term any group of words as phrases. Phrases are the common unit of grammar that assists us to create complete, meaningful sentences. There are various types of phrases like 

  • Noun phrases 
  • Appositive phrases 
  • Infinitive phrases 
  • Verb phrases 
  • Prepositional phrases 
  • Participle phrases 

A Short Note On Noun Phrases With Definitions And Examples 

A noun phrase contains a noun and various modifiers.


  • The glowing snow 
  • The red house 
  • A skateboard 
  • The little girl 

A Short Description Of Verb Phrases Along With Definitions And Examples 

There are multiple modifiers and a verb in a verge phrase. 


  • Were waiting for the movie series 
  • Felt a prick on my hand 
  • You shouldn’t consume that!
  • Went smiling all along 

A Short Note On Infinitive Phrases Along With Definitions And Examples 

This type of phrase starts with a verb infinitive and contains multiple modifiers.


  • To see the graveyard 
  • To fix the mobile 
  • To know Mr. Sen. 
  • To run out of oxygen 

A Short Note On Appositive Phrases Along With Definitions And Examples 

This is generally a noun phrase that renames other nouns in a sentence. 


  • Tommy, the cat that sits in the neighbourhood, usually likes to go for walks. 
  • The pianist Co-Yo-Ma plays an outstanding instrument all across the world. 
  • The flower, greenish blue, was beautiful.
  • The curtains were made out of silk, a dainty and delicate cloth. 

A Short Note On Participle Phrases Along With Definitions And Examples 

Such phrases start with either a past participle or –ed or with a present participle or –ing. 


  • Playing and laughing in the playground 
  • Exhausted and weakened in the hill 
  • Singing and dancing in the atmosphere.
  • Waiting at the school gate 

A Short Note On Prepositional Phrases Along With Definitions And Examples 

These kinds of phrases are a group of words that contain a noun and a preposition.


  • Before lunch 
  • Under the chair 
  • During holiday 
  • Past midnight 

What Is The Difference Between Clauses And Phrases: Explain In A Single Sentence 

If you are still confused to learn the difference between a phrase and a clause you may look at the following example: 

He is sleeping on the bed.

If you look at the sentence you will see that the first part of the sentence is ‘he is sleeping’. It conveys a complete sense even if we do not add the second part of the sentence with it. So, this is a clause.

Now move your eyes to the second part of the sentence which is ‘on the bed’. It does not express a complete meaning if you use it independently without using the first part. So, this is a phrase. 

For expressing a completely meaningful thought a phrase requires the support of a clause. But a clause does not require anything. It is capable enough to express a complete meaningful sentence independently.

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