When building straightforward sentences, writers recognize to usage a subject and also a verb to produce a clause. Independent clauses contain a subject and also a verb and also create a finish thought, while dependent clauses contain a subject and a verb without producing a complete thought.

You are watching: In which sentence is the underlined phrase a prepositional phrase functioning as an adjective?

Like clauses, phrases are also a combination of two or much more words in a sentence; however, uneven clauses, phrases perform not save on computer both a subject and also a verb.

There space many types of phrases, but they can be split into three main categories: noun phrases, verb phrases, and modifying phrases. In this post, we will exercise identifying these three categories that phrases and also using each of them properly in sentences.

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What we Review


The Basics of identifying Phrases3 advice for understanding PhrasesApplying the Basics: Phrases review & PracticeSummary because that Phrases

The Basics of identify Phrases


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What space Phrases?

Phrases are a combination of two or more words that can take the duty of a noun, a verb, or a comprehensive in a sentence.

Phrases are various from clauses since while dependent and also independent rule both save a subject and also a verb, phrases do not.

For example:

The glowing red ball bounced directly into a muddy puddle.

In the instance above, there space two noun phrases. Every noun phrase above consists of a noun, one article, and one or 2 adjectives the modify the noun. Neither of this phrases save a verb, so they cannot be considered clauses.

Here is an example of a i below:

The bright red ball that slipped indigenous my hand bounced directly into a muddy puddle.

Do friend see how the underlined i in the over sentence includes both a noun or pronoun, that, and also a verb, slipped? This dependent i modifies which red round landed in the puddle and also is not taken into consideration a noun phrase.

What room the different varieties of phrases?

Phrases can be split into three main categories: noun phrases, verb phrases, and modifying phrases.

Noun Phrases

Noun phrases consist the a noun and every one of its modifiers. Modifiers can incorporate adjectives, articles, participles, or own nouns and also pronouns, simply to name a few. Noun phrases can function as any kind of noun in the sentence, whether together subjects, objects, or subject complements.

Noun paragraph can be quick or long relying on how much detail the writer wishes to include around a certain person, place, thing, or idea. Nothing let size fool you into thinking these space clauses!

For example:

The setting sun glowing v colors that red, purple, and orange fascinated united state this evening.

Can you believe that the underlined phrase above is all one noun phrase? Let’s take it apart:

The setup sun includes an article, an adjective, and the main noun the the phrase.Glowing is a participle, or a verb acting favor an adjective.With colors and of red, purple, and also orange are both prepositional phrases the modify the noun.
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Sometimes, noun phrases can appear as appositive phrases, a phrase inserted after a noun to provide extr information.

Here is another example of a much shorter appositive noun phrase:

Julie, mine older sister, involved visit me the other day.

In the sentence above, both “Julie” and also “my enlarge sister” are nouns that could equally stand together the subject of the sentence. However, “Julie” is the topic of the sentence, while “my enlarge sister” features as an appositive phrase come make certain that she readers know who “Julie” is.

Additionally, as soon as appositive paragraph are separated native the rest of the sentence by a pair the commas, this way that they space non-essential to expertise the sentence. This method that if you take far the appositive phrase, the sentence will still make sense.

Other times, words the are commonly categorized together verbs end up being nouns when they are provided in a gerund phrase. Gerund phrases include a verb ending in -ing, one object, and also modifiers.

For example:

Walking ~ above the beach is just one of my favourite activities.

In this sentence, also though go is usually categorized together a verb, in this sentence, the is being supplied as a gerund phrase, and also it is the subject of the sentence.


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Verb Phrases

Verb unit volume consist the the key verb and also its auxiliaries, or helping verbs. Unequal adjectives and noun phrases, adverb that modify the verb room not considered component of the verb phrase.

For example:

The turtle was running quite quickly considering the nature of his species.

In the sentence above, the verb phrase is composed of just the main verb (running) and any helping verbs or auxiliaries (was).

Modifying Phrases

There are many species of phrases the all act together different types of modifiers. Many of these phrases modify solitary words in sentences; however, one form of phrase modifies the whole sentence!


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Here room the different types of modifying or describing phrases:

1. Preposition Phrases

Prepositional phrases consist that a preposition, the object, and any articles or modifiers. Together a unit, prepositional phrases have the right to be offered to modify nouns or verbs by acting favor adjectives or adverb respectively.

For example:

Bambi frolicked in the meadow with Thumper.

The prepositional phrase in the sentence over is acting favor an adverb by editing and enhancing the verb and answering whereby Bambi and Thumper frolicked.

Here is one more example:

The princess v long golden hair to be trapped in a tower through a dragon.

In the sentence above, the prepositional phrase with long golden hair modifies the noun, princess, by describing her outward appearance.

2. Jet Phrases

Participle Phrases consist of a present or previous participle (a verb ending in -ing or -ed), an object, and any modifiers. This phrases act like adjectives and constantly modify nouns. That is very easy to confuse gerund phrases v participle phrases since they look precisely the same! However, it’s necessary to remember that while participle phrases modify nouns, gerund phrases can actually change nouns altogether!

For example:

Present jet Phrase: Gasping because that breath, the dachshund barely make it home from his ten foot walk.

In the sentence above, the participle expression gasping for breath describes how the dog feel after his “long” walk.

Past jet Phrase: Perched menacingly on the porch railing, the cat watched the neighbor’s dog.

In the sentence above, the jet phrase perched menacingly on the porch railing defines the body language and also intentions of the cat.

3. Prototype Phrases

Infinitive paragraph are comprised of an infinitive (the “to” kind of a verb), an object, and also any modifiers. Infinitive phrases can role as adjectives, adverbs, or nouns.

For example:

Adjective prototype Phrase: My favorite movie to watch is little Women.

In this example, the infinitive phrase to watch modifies the noun, movie and also functions together an adjective.

Adverb infinitive Phrase: He studied all night to avoid failing his mathematics test the next day.

In this sentence, the infinitive phrase, to protect against failing his math test the next day modifies the verb learned by telling us why that studied.

Noun infinitive Phrase: They want to visit new Orleans throughout Jazz Fest.

In this sentence, the infinitive expression to visit new Orleans throughout Jazz Fest acts together a noun since it answers what “they wanted”.


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4. Absolute Phrases

Absolute paragraph contain a noun, a participle, and any amendment and/or objects.

These phrases are tricky for numerous reasons:

First, castle look deceptively similar to live independence clauses due to the fact that they perform technically save on computer a noun and a form of a verb. However, when you try to make an absolute phrase was standing on that own, that does no make sense.

Secondly, absolute phrases space tricky since we might mistake them because that dependent clauses. They are not dependence clauses due to the fact that they execute not satisfy the structural demands of dependency clauses. Dependent clauses must start with either a object conjunction, a family member pronoun, or an ask pronoun or expletive. If no one of these space present, climate it cannot be a dependence clause.

Thirdly, absolute phrases space sometimes hard to spot due to the fact that they define or modify whole independent clause instead of a single word. This makes them different from participle, infinitive, and prepositional phrases.

Here is an example:

Holding onto the rigging for dear life, i barely endured the storm that us encountered at sea.

In the example above, the absolute phrase modifies the entire independent clause by explaining how “I barely made it through the storm”.


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3 advice for understanding Phrases

Here room some crucial tips to assist you recognize Phrases:


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Tip #1. Phrases are not thought about clauses because phrases perform not save both a subject and a main verb

For example:

The dependent clause “Whenever ns go come the beach” contains a subordinating conjunction, a subject, and a verb.

However, the expression “to walk to the coast soon” does no contain any type of of the above. Instead, it is made up of one infinitive phrase acting choose a noun straight object, a prepositional phrase, and an adverb. To do this a clause, we would require to include a subject and verb.

Tip #2. Phrases can be supplied to replace nouns, verb, adjectives, and also adverbs

For example:

I love to trail operation on the weekends.

In this sentence, the infinitive phrase acts prefer a noun and replaces the direct object that the verb, love.

Here is an additional example:

I love to run in the woods to calm my mind.

In this sentence, the prepositional phrase replaces the adverb through describing whereby the speaker “loves to run”.

Tip #3. Phrases deserve to be provided to modify nouns, verbs, or whole sentences

For example:

Palms sweaty, the passed the baton very closely to the next runner.

In the sentence above, the participle phrase modifies the subject, that by describing his physical state.

Here is one more example:

Her imagination running wildly, she rapidly turned the pages that the novel as easily as she review them.

In the sentence above, the absolute phrase her creativity running wildly modifies the entire sentence by explicate the all at once experience the the reader and also explaining why she turned the pages for this reason quickly.


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Applying the Basics: Phrases review & Practice

Now that you recognize how phrases duty in sentences, testimonial the anchor graph below and also complete the testimonial to completely understand how to use and also recognize phrases.

The Ultimate perform of Phrases

Refer come the graphic listed below to discover the different species of Phrases:


Select the noun phrase(s) in the sentences below. Remember, noun phrases covers the main noun, articles, and also modifiers.

1. The girl v red hair clutched the bright copper key.

In this sentence, there room two noun phrases! The an initial noun phrase is the subject of the sentence: the girl v red hair. The 2nd noun phrase is the direct object, the shining copper key.

2. The forest smelled prefer fir, goldenrod, and rich soil.

In this sentence, there are two noun phrases. The first noun phrase in this sentence is the subject, the forest. The second noun phrase is in the last prepositional phrase, fir, goldenrod, and rich soil.

Select the verb phrase(s) in the sentences below. Remember, verb phrases consist only of the key verb and also a help or auxiliary verb.

3. A ferocious-looking dog to be barking repetitively at us while us were walking yesterday.

In this sentence, there space two verb phrases. The very first is to be barking, and the 2nd is were walking.

4. Your package will certainly be shipped first thing in the morning.

In this sentence, the verb expression is will certainly be shipped.

Select the participle phrase(s) in the sentences below. Remember, particle phrases modify noun by acting like adjectives.

5. Waving rapidly, the 2 red flags warned swimmers not to go into the water.

In this sentence, waving rapidly is the participle phrase the modifies the subject, the 2 red flags.

6. Students confused by the assignment were asked to remain after course for extra help.

In this sentence, confused by the assignment is the participle phrase that modifies the subject, students.

Pro tip: Remember, phrases are constantly made up of two or more words, but do no contain both a subject and a verb. Different varieties of phrases have different functions; because that example, when one phrase may modify a indigenous in a sentence, one more phrase might replace that word altogether.

For additional practice, examine out our Phrases exercise content ~ above lifwynnfoundation.org.


1. Have the right to a gerund expression replace any kind of noun in a sentence?

Answer: YesCorrect Explanation: that’s right! Gerund phrases have the right to replace any noun in a sentence, from topics to objects to topic complements.Incorrect Explanation: Sorry, that’s not right! Remember, gerund phrases have the right to replace any noun in a sentence, from topics to objects to topic complements.

2. Execute infinitive phrases change or change adjectives, adverbs, and nouns?

Answer: ReplaceCorrect Explanation: that’s right! Infinitive phrases change adjectives, adverbs, and nouns rather of editing and enhancing them.Incorrect Explanation: Sorry, that’s not right! Remember, infinitive phrases replace adjectives, adverbs, and nouns instead of change them. Participle and prepositional phrases are modifiers.

3. In this sentence, is the infinitive phrase, “to sleep” instead of a noun, adverb, or adjective?

I desire to walk to sleep before midnight tonight.

Answer: AdverbCorrect Explanation: it is right! The infinitive phrase, to sleep answers whereby the speaker “wants to go”, and is therefore replacing one adverb in this sentence.Incorrect Explanation: Sorry, that’s no right! Remember, infinitive phrases that answer inquiries such together how, why, when, and where change adverbs in sentences due to the fact that they modify the verb.

4. In this sentence, is the underlined phrase a participle expression or an pure phrase?

Her hair a tangled mess, the poodle reluctantly agreed come a bath.

Answer: AbsoluteCorrect Explanation: it is right! In this sentence, the phrase her hair a tangled chaos is absolute because it modifies the whole independent clause rather of just one word. The absolute clause answer why the poodle agreed to a bath.Incorrect Explanation: Sorry, that’s no right! Remember, absolute phrases modify entire clauses when participle phrases only modify one noun.

5. In this sentence, is the underlined expression a participle expression or an pure phrase?

Muscles flexed, he quickly took under his foe on the wrestling mat.

Answer: ParticipleCorrect Explanation: it is right! In this sentence, the phrase muscles flexed is participial because it acts like an adjective by editing and enhancing the noun, he.Incorrect Explanation: Sorry, that’s not right! Remember, absolute phrases modify whole clauses when participle phrases just modify one noun.

6. In this sentence, what type of expression is underlined?

We to be going to ride our bikes this afternoon, yet it started raining.

Answer: Verb phraseCorrect Explanation: that’s right! The underlined phrase, to be going is a verb phrase that combines the main verb v an auxiliary or help verb.Incorrect Explanation: Sorry, that’s not right! Remember, verb phrases consists the main verb and any auxiliary or helping verbs.

For extr practice v phrases, examine out our completely cost-free practice ~ above lifwynnfoundation.org: identifying Phrases.


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Teacher’s edge for Phrases

For many students, phrases often come throughout as intimidating and also even confusing. V so many varieties and also functions that phrases, the is basic to know our students’ suspicion to handle this specific grammatical concept. As soon as approaching teaching phrases because that the first time, top the typical Core English Language Progressive an abilities Chart to first identity where you students was standing in your grammatical understanding, but likewise how come best aid your students with a point where they can comfortably obtain to recognize phrases and even practice using castle in your writing.

For specific standards on the different varieties of phrases, check out the typical Core State criter website.

lifwynnfoundation.org’s identify Phrases practice is a valuable tool for students who are still getting familiar with this different species of phrases. When students have this down, they can move on come practicing through each kind of expression individually. Once ready, teachers have the right to assign pre-made assessments and also quizzes to check students’ overall understanding.

Summary for Phrases

Phrases can be split into three main categories: noun phrases, verb phrases, and modifiers.

Noun phrases are comprised of a noun and all the modifiers. These phrases deserve to replace any noun in a sentence.

Verb unit volume are comprised of the key verb and its auxiliaries. Unequal adjectives, adverbs that change the verb are not considered part of a verb phrase.

There are plenty of other types of phrases the act as different types of modifiers. Prepositional phrases, participle phrases, prototype phrases, and absolute paragraph are simply a few!

Be sure to check out ourfree grammar food for an ext phrase practice.

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