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Ory's Writing Notes: Phrases

Published by OJB in the blog OJB's blog. Views: 155

So what is a phrase?

A phrase is a group of words working together that does not have both a verb and a subject. Here is a list of different types of phrases that I have already gone over. (Read my previous blog post.)

Verb phrases: Helping verb + Verb. (Have been walking)
Prepositional phrases: Prepositional + Noun & modifiers. (Between the two walls)
Verbal phrases: Verbal + noun & modifiers. (Singing her song)

Note: Prepositional phrases and Verbal phrases act as either nouns, adjectives, or adverbs.

There are two other types of Phrases out there that can really add imagery and meaning to our sentences. The first of these phrases are called an appositive phrase. An appositive phrase is a word or phrase that remains the noun. Here is an example of an appositive phrase from my story.

Example: Azure, the woman who saved my life, sat at her desk.

Appositives and appositive phrases usually precede the noun; however, they can be used as introductory phrases. (Note: An introductory phrase can be ANY type of phrase you use to start your sentence. An introductory phrase must always be separated with a (,) before the main sentence begins.)

Just like other adjective phrases, an appositive can either be restrictive or nonrestrictive. Restrictive phrases will always tell 'Which one' if there is some type of ambiguity. Restrictive phrases do not need commas around them (unless they are an introductory phrase), but nonrestrictive phrases do need commas around them.

The last type of phrase is called an Absolute phrase. An absolute phrase is a phrase that uses a noun or pronoun + a Participle phrase. The difference between a participle phrase and an Absolute phrase is that an Absolute phrase modifies the entire sentence while a participle phrase only modifies the noun.

An Absolute phrase can be at the start of the sentence, after the noun, or at the end of the sentence. Absolute phrases are always set apart with a (,).

Here is an example I wrote:

Nooses hanging from their branches, twelves oak trees decorate the side of the road.


In conclusion, phrases can a very powerful tool to use. When I write, I usually just write very simple sentences. (Dave ran.) Afterward, I go back and start adding adjectives, phrases, verbals, prepositions and other things. The reason is that I try not to overstuff my writing and bog it down with unneeded information.

This ends my notes and thoughts on phrases. I will be moving onto clauses next.
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