phrases

  • A phrase is one or more words working together meaningfully.  (most people call a phrase two or more words)
  • Phrases have many grammatical functions in the clause. For example, in the sentence “They call this place their home.” The noun phrase ‘their home‘ is an object predicate.
  • There are five types of phrases:
    • Noun phrases have a noun, pronoun, nominal adjective (‘the elderly’) or a numeral as the ‘head’ (main word) which can be joined with modifiers, determiners, and complements.
    • A verb phrase consists of one or more auxiliaries plus the main ‘head‘ verb. For example, “has been used
    • Adverb phrases have an adverb as the ‘head’.  For example, “more frequently
    • Prepositional…
    • Adjective phrases.  For example: “far more attractive.”  Here ‘attractive’ is the head and has been pre-modified.
  • Phrases can be premodified and/or postmodified.  Here’s an example of a pre and post modified adverb: ‘very luckily for me’
  • Noun phrases can post be modified by a clause: ‘the house which we lived in
  • Phrases can contain one or more other phrases inside them.  For example:
  1. The name of the story = noun phrase with ‘name’ as the head noun.
  2. of the story = prepositional phrase
  3. the story = noun phrase
  • phrases can be extended with co-ordinating conjunctions or with apposition.

time adjuncts

A1 point 1 in the category of NOUNS/phrases: AS ADJUNCTS in some time expressions. The English Grammar Profile examples include: …you tomorrow morning. …her tomorrow …interview today. …you again next week. A search in iWeb for: _P _MD _NNT 1 IT LAST YEAR 6046 2 IT LAST NIGHT 4620 3 IT NEXT TIME 3336 4 …

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my | your | his | her | our + NOUN

A1 point 9 in the category of DETERMINERS is defined: possessive determiners ‘my’, ‘your’, ‘his’, ‘her’ and ‘our’ before nouns. A search in iWeb for: my|your|his|her|our _NN 1 YOUR BUSINESS 624027 You need to know a lot of things about how to make your business. TLC STUDENT EXAMPLE male Russia B2 2 YOUR HOME 598828 3 MY LIFE 576086 4 YOUR LIFE 560286 5 YOUR …

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adjective + OF + object

Here are 4 examples in two sentences for the structure ‘adjective + OF + object’: To the best of my knowledge, it is free of charge. You are aware of the fact that I am proud of you. Here are the most common adjectives in this structure: best: 45 aware: 20 free: 10 proud: 4 An iWeb search for: _JJ of * * * 1 BEST OF BOTH WORLDS …

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determiner + noun phrase (increasing range)

Here’s a student example of a determiner + uncountable noun: My teacher told me “enjoy the music and you will dance naturally.” PELIC Taiwanese female level 3 writing class A2 point 18 in the category of  NOUNS is defined: form simple noun phrases by pre-modifying nouns with an increasing range of determiners. A2 point 24 in the category of NOUNS: form …

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there is | there are

Although ‘There is’ and ‘There are’ is an A1 elementary piece of grammar, the noun phrases as complements are quite difficult for English learners. The following sentences are corrected sentences from Thai students: There are many religions in Thailand. There are many different cultures and traditions. There are many fresh plants and beautiful flowers. See uncorrected versions here. Point 1 in the category of  VERBS: there is/are + singular noun …

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phrase ellipsis

Here’s a student example of verb phrase ellipsis: You need to study hard to pass the test unless you don’t want to. PELIC Arabic female level 4 grammar class Although there are a number of grammar points in the English Grammar Profile to do with Ellipsis, there are none that cover the ellipsis of phrases before or after the ‘TO’ infinitive.  Therefore, we turn to Pearson’s GSE …

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‘In order not to’ + INFINITIVE

PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: I think we should do our best at the present moment in order not to be regretful. Chinese male level 5 writing class. We will only cover half of: GSE 60 B2 express negative purpose with ‘so as/in order not to’ In order not to seem stupid, he didn’t say anything. I came in very quietly, so as not to wake anyone. because ‘so as not to’ is at C1 in the English Vocabulary Profile.  ‘in order …

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IT NEEDS REPLACING. (‘need’ + gerund)

Although gerunds are covered in a few different ways across a few CEFR levels in the English Grammar Profile, there is no entry given to the use of a gerund after ‘need’ as MODALITY which is listed by PEARSON: GSE 63 B2 ‘need’ with verbs in the gerund to express necessity. ‘need’ + Verb Phrase …

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gerund (passive complement)

Here’s a STUDENT EXAMPLE: Therefore, people should educate themselves on their human rights and the basic human rights that other nations have in order to avoid being deceived. PELIC Arabic female level 4 writing class. GSE 64 B2 NP + VP +VP gerund (passive)   An iWeb search for: * _VV being _VVN * 1 TO AVOID BEING HIT BY 313 2 TO AVOID BEING HIT . 185 3 N’T LIKE BEING TOLD WHAT 182 …

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‘BUT FOR’ (third conditional)

We know that ‘but for’ + a phrase means except for or if it were not for. At C1, this structure can be combined with a ‘would have clause’  so it is similar to a past conditional.  All together this construction means “if it wasn’t for this thing that happened, then this other thing was …

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quantifying determiner + possessive determiner + OF + noun phrase

A2 Point 29 in DETERMINERS is defined: quantifying determiners + possessive determiners + ‘of’ + noun. (noun phrases) *There are other A2 determiner grammar points that are less specific,  not requiring quantity or possession. PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: In fact, some of my habits are changed by my mood. Arabic male level 3 writing class. An iWeb search for: _D of _AP _NN …

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What a + NOUN PHRASE

Exclamative ‘what’ can precede the indefinite article and is, therefore, a predeterminer.  Here’s an example: What a surprise! Listen In the English Grammar Profile, A2 point 38 in the category of CLAUSES/exclamations: ‘What a’ + noun phrase and ‘What a’ + noun phrase + clause However, in the English Vocabulary Profile, ‘what’ is listed at B1 …

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noun phrase + relative clause

Here are two student examples of complex noun phrases using relative clauses as complements: In addition, the people who lived in Korea 100 years ago didn’t have enough transportation. PELIC Arabic male level 5 writing class   Here are some of the things which I got. TLC speaking test female Kannada B2 A2 point 34 in CLAUSES is defined: a defining relative clause with ‘who‘ as the subject A2 point 20 in …

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