Types of Phrases

A phrase is a collection of words without a subject or predicate. The phrase is the fundamental building block of English grammar.

Example: My sister enjoys singing a song in the shower. I’m cooking dinner for the family tonight. I saw a girl with long hair.

Types of Phrases

Types of Phrases

There are 9 types of phrases.

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  1. Noun Phrase,
  2. Verbal Phrase,
  3. Adjective Phrase,
  4. Adverbial Phrase,
  5. Prepositional Phrase,
  6. Appositive Phrase,
  7. Infinitive Phrase,
  8. Gerund Phrase,
  9. Absolute Phrase

Types of Phrases #1

Noun Phrase

A noun phrase is a group of words that perform the function of a noun.

  • The computer screen is cracked.
  • His office desk is cluttered.
  • The baby’s diaper is dirty.
  • She wore a silk dress.
  • The new car has leather seats.

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Read the following Nouns and Noun Phrases:

NounsNoun Phrases
Football is a good game.Playing football is a good game.
Reading is a good habit.Have you enjoyed reading this novel?
Your bed is ready.Early to bed is a healthy habit.
Any prize is a prestigious thing.To win a prize is not an easy task.

Types of Phrases #2

Verbal Phrase

A verbal phrase or a phrasal verb is a group of words that work as a verb.

  • We’re planning on watching a movie with friends later tonight.
  • Writing a book about his life is his dream project.
  • prefer riding a bike to work instead of driving a car.
  • She’s painting a picture for the art show at school.
  • I’m cooking dinner for the family tonight.
  • need to write a letter to my friend who lives abroad.

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Types of Phrases #3

Adjective Phrase

An Adjective Phrase is a group of words that work as an adjective.

  • Virat Kohli is a cricketer of worldwide fame.
  • The building across the street is a bank.
  • The dog with the wagging tail is friendly.
  • The woman in the yellow dress is the bride.
  • The boy without a jacket is cold.

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Read the following Adjectives and Adjective Phrases:

AdjectiveAdjective Phrases
A black coat.A coat of black colour.
A golden crown.A crown made of gold.
A blank page.A page with no writing on it.

Types of Phrases #4

Adverbial Phrase

An Adverbial Phrase is a group of words that work as an adverb.

  • The couple promised to stick together through thick and thin.
  • He decided to leave the company on his own accord. (Adv. voluntarily)
  • The competitors fought tooth and nail to win the championship. (Adv. desperately)
  • The new company policy seemed to be implemented without rhyme or reason. (Adv. unreasonably)

Read More Examples

Read the following Adverbs and Adverbial Phrases:

Adverbs Adverbial Phrases
CarefullyWith care.
Bravelywith bravery.
Beautifullyin a beautiful style.
Everywherein all places.
Hereat this place.
Nowat this very moment.
Recentlyat present / at a recent date.

Types of Phrases #5

Prepositional Phrase

A Prepositional Phrase is a group of words that work as a preposition.

  • In comparison with her previous job, her new position had better benefits.
  • In connection with the investigation, the police questioned several witnesses.
  • He always worked in the interest of the entire family.
  • In order to succeed you have to work hard.
  • In consequence of the storm, many trees were uprooted and power lines were down.
  • In consideration of his years of service, he was given a generous retirement package.

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Types of Phrases #6

Appositive Phrase

An Appositive Phrase is a group of words that is placed next to another word in order to explain it.

  • Tina, my sister, is very ill.
  • I love Tony, my faithful dog.
  • Lisa, my sister, has secured 1st place in her examination.

Types of Phrases #7

Infinitive Phrase

An infinitive phrase is formed of an infinitive (to + verb) as well as complements and modifiers. An infinitive’s indirect object acts as its complement, while its adverb acts as its modifier. They can function as nouns, adverbs, or adjectives.

  • The injured person started to slowly open his mouth.
  • To know him is to love him.

Types of Phrases #8

Gerund Phrase

A Gerund is a verb that ends in ‘-ing’ and consists of a noun and a verb.

They look like verbs, but they behave like nouns. A gerund, its object, and its modifier make up a gerund phrase. It performs all the tasks of a noun. 


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  • Working for this company has helped me improve my communication skills. (Subject of the sentence)
  • John enjoys knitting sweaters for the children in the orphanage. (Object of the sentence)

Types of Phrases #9

Absolute Phrase

An absolute phrase is a combination of a noun and a participle along with other complements and modifiers. It qualifies an entire sentence.

Examples of Absolute Phrase

His lips quivering, he finally gathered the courage to confess.
God willing, we will be able to face all adversities.

Also, Read

Types of Figures of Speech

Types of Figures of Speech

Types of Conjunctions

Types of Conjunctions

Types of Modal Verbs

Types of Modal Verbs

Types of Prepositions with Examples

Types of Prepositions

Types of Sentences

Types of Sentences

4 Types of Moods in English Grammar

Types of Moods

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