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30 October 2011

Phrases in a Sentence


ENGLISH PHRASE

In English, sentences are not formed by simply stringing words together.

Sentences have a hierarchical design that some words are grouped together into successively larger structural units. This structural unit is called phrases.

In English grammar, a phrase defined as a group of words that has functions as a single unit in the syntax of a sentence. Beside that, Phrase can also be defined as a term used in grammatical analysis to refer to a single element of structure containing more than one word, and lacking the subject-predicate structure typical of clauses.
The meaning of a phrase is a slot in which one or more words can occur, or indeed other phrases can occur.

A phrase is a syntactic structure which has syntactic properties derived from its head. A phrase can contain another phrase, such as the rather intriguing results of the examination. A phrase can also contain a clause, such as the woman who came to see him. Phrases can be extended indefinitely.

Different types of phrase have different types of head. Phrases occur in clauses, but clauses can also occur inside phrases
A complex phrase consists of several words, whereas a simple phrase consists of only one word. This terminology is especially often used with verb phrases:
          Simple past and present are simple verb, which require just one verb
          Complex verb have one or two aspects added, hence require additional two or three words  "Complex", which is phrase-level, is often confused with "compound", which is word-level. However, there are certain phenomena that formally seem to be phrases but semantically are more like compounds, like "women's magazines", which has the form of a possessive noun phrase, but which refers (just like a compound) to one specific lexeme (i.e. a magazine for women and not some magazine owned by a woman).

Kinds of Phrases

Phrases can be classified by the type of head (vs. Tail) they take

1.      Prepositional phrase (PP)
This phrase has a preposition as head (e.g. in love, over the rainbow). Languages that use postpositions instead have postpositional phrases. The two types are sometimes commonly referred to as ad positional phrases.

2.      Noun phrase (NP)
This phrase has a noun as head (e.g. the black cat, a cat on the mat)
Please come in vs. She goes down + ?

3.      Verb phrase (VP)
This phrase has a verb as head (e.g. eat cheese, jump up and down)

4.      Adjectival phrase
This phrase has an adjective as head (e.g. full of toys)

5.      Adverbial phrase
This phrase has an adverb as head (e.g. very carefully)


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