Linguistic Terms


Types of phrases in English


phrase is a set of words that forms a complete meaning and, does not always constitute a sentence and, a sentence contains several phrases contained in punctuation marks, which causes its meaning to be unclear and must be determined through context. The word phrase is of Greek origin “phrasis” .

In syntax, the phrase is synonymous with phrase , that is, the minimum syntactic unit, lower than the sentence, with its own function and meanings. A phrase can consist of a word or group of words. The kinds of words that can appear isolated, constituting a phrase by themselves are: the noun, the verb, the adjective, the pronoun and the adverb.

Aphrase is a set of words that make sense. Although the term is usually used as a synonym for prayer , a phrase may not constitute a sentence (which is a unit of meaning with syntactic autonomy). The phrase is also known as the sentence without a verb ( “For God’s sake!” ), Although, from a technical point of view, it is not correct.

The concept, which comes from the Latin phrasis , also refers to the particular use of a language made by a writer or speaker, and to the specific mode of each language. For example: “The Castilian phrase shares many similarities with Galician and Portuguese, although it is not comparable to English . 

For linguistics , a phrase is an expression formed by two or more words and whose joint meaning cannot be deduced from the elements that compose it.

Types of phrases in English

There are different types of phrases in English , which follow certain relatively flexible structures.

Structure of the affirmative phrase

Active voice:  Subject + verb (+ object).

Example : I knock the door. / I knock on the door.

Passive voice:  Patient subject (object of the verb) + verb (+ subject of the action / complement)

Example : The door is knocked by me. / The door is knocked by me.

In addition, these structures can be branched, adding subjects, verbs or objects. For example:

Subject + verb + object + subject + verb.

Example : I knock the door but nobody answers. / I knock on the door but nobody answers.

Negative phrase structure .

Subject + auxiliary + not + verb (+ object)

Example : I do not knock the door. / I don’t knock on the door.

Auxiliary verbs allow you to construct interrogations and denials in English.

Auxiliary verbs and negation construction:

  1. Be : I am not a child. / I’m not a child.
  2. Do : I do not believe that. / I do not believe that.
  3. Have : I have not lost my keys. / I have not lost my keys.
  4. Can : You can’t open the door. / You can’t open the door.
  5. Will : They will not buy the car. / They won’t compare the car.

Structure of the interrogation

Auxiliary + subject + verb (+ object)

Auxiliary verbs and interrogation construction:

  1. Be : Are you Mr. Smith? / Are you Mr. Smith?
  2. Do : Do you like coffee? / Do you like coffee?
  3. Have : Have you seen him? / You’ve seen?
  4. Can : Can you build the house before January? / Can you build the house before January?
  5. Will : Will you stay for dinner? / Will you stay for dinner?

Phrases are also called sets of words that make up the different parts of the sentence. Depending on the function they fulfill they can be:

Substantive phrase : A set of nouns that can occupy the function of

  • Subject:  The boy and the girl became friends. / The boy and the girl became friends.
  • Direct object: They bought shoes, trousers and shirts. / They bought shoes, pants and shirts.
  • Indirect object: They gave flower to girls and women . / They gave flowers to girls and women.

Adverbial phrase : A set of words that function as adverbs, that is, that modify a verb, an adjective or another adverb.

  • With great regret we inform that the program will not continue next year. / With much pain we inform you that the program will not continue next year.
  • They stayed with him in silence . / They stayed with him in silence.

Verbal phrase : Verb set.

  • They are trying to tell us something. / They are trying to tell us something.
  • I have invited them to visit next fall. / Invite them to visit next fall.

Specific types of verbal phrases are :

  • Infinitive phrase: He is ready to start training . / You are ready to start training.
  • Particular phrase: The roof was blown away and lost .
  • Gerund phrase: I have spent the evening eating and drinking . / He spent the night eating and drinking.

Adjective phrase : It is a set of words that characterize a noun, that is to say that they contribute information about its characteristics.

  • The house is not very cheap . / The house is not very cheap.

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