Phrases and Clauses both are parts of a sentence. They make sense, but not complete sense. A group of words, which forms part of a sentence and contains a Subject and a Predicate, is known as a Clause. On the other hand, a phrase is a part of a clause or a sentence, without any Subject or a Predicate.
A phrase is a single piece of information made up of more than one word, without containing a subject and a verb. In other words, a phrase is a group of words that stand together as a single unit and forms a part of a clause or a sentence, but as it does not contain a subject and verb, it cannot convey a complete sense. As a phrase cannot stand alone to give a complete idea, it is used to complement the overall structure of a sentence.
Examples: The Sun sets in the west. / The dog was sleeping under the table. / I was waiting at the door. / She has a chain of gold. / The girl in the blue skirt won the prize.
Depending upon its function in a sentence, the phrases can be divided into many types, as below:
Noun Phrase – A phrase that does the work of a noun or acts as a noun in a sentence is a Noun Phrase. Examples: Early to bed is a good habit. / They enjoy playing cricket. / His father bought a huge black car.
Adjective Phrase – A phrase that does the job of an adjective or acts as an adjective in a sentence is an Adjective Phrase. Examples: My teacher was a learned man. / My sister gifted me a beautiful red shirt. / The lady with short hair is a pianist. / It was a horrible story.
Adverb Phrase – When the work of an adverb is done by a phrase, the phrase is called an Adverb Phrase. Examples: He reads with great care. / He has the habit to drive the car in a very high speed. / The boy always speaks in a very polite way.
Verb Phrase – The group of main verbs and the helping Verbs within a sentence, is known as Verb Phrase. Examples: He has been reading the book since morning. / I am waiting for the last train. / She is singing for quite a long time.
Prepositional Phrase – A phrase comprising a preposition and an object of preposition is called a Prepositional Phrase. Prepositional Phase contains a noun or pronoun, which is called the object of preposition. Examples: The cat was sleeping on the carpet. / That man always speaks in a loud voice. / The kids ware laughing at the joker.