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Phrase and Clause





A clause is defined as a group of related words that contains a subject and predicate (verb).
e.g. he came.


A phrase is defined as a group of related words that does not contain a subject and a verb.
e.g. on the table.


Consider the following example.

                He is laughing at a joker.


The above sentence has two parts “he is laughing” and “at a joker”.


The first part of the sentence “he is laughing” is a clause because it has a subject (he) and a predicate (is laughing).

The second part of the sentence “at a joker” is a phrase because it does not contain subject and verb.

The difference  between a clause and a phrase is that a clause consists of both subject and verb, but a phrase lacks a subject and verb.


The underlined part of each of following sentences shows a clause, while the rest part (non-underlined) of each sentence shows a phrase.

         He reached school in time.
         I was standing near a wall.
         They are singing in a loud voice.
         She made tea for the guests.
         He a bought a book for his friend.
         I will meet him in my office.
         You look handsome in this picture.


See “Clause” in detail
See “Phrase” in detail


Related Topics

Types of Clauses
Types of Subordinate Clause
Types of Phrase