Noun phrase and prepositional phrase

A phrase is a group of words that does not include a subject and verb. Note that if the group of words contains a subject and a verb, it is considered as a clause.

A phrase doesn’t make complete sense, but it must still make some sense.

The groups of words given below are not examples of phrases because they do not make any sense.

the on roof

girl a beautiful

the bench on

In order to make sense, the words in these groups need to be rearranged.

on the roof

a beautiful girl

on the bench

There are different kinds of phrases. A good understanding of their structure and function in a sentence will boost your confidence in writing sentences that are sound in structure and form.

Noun phrase

A noun phrase obviously has a noun. It also includes some associated modifiers.

Examples are given below

A lovely long drink

A wet morning

Black and white socks

The tall and handsome professor

The modifiers that accompany a noun can be adjectives, participial phrases, infinitive phrases or prepositional phrases.

Prepositional phrase

A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition and a noun or pronoun that acts as the object of the preposition. This object is sometimes modified by an adjective or two.

Examples are given below

Across the valley

At a table

Outside the building

A prepositional phrase usually answers the question ‘when’ or ‘where’

Examples are:

In the sun (where)

In the morning (when)

At his bedside (where)

In thirty minutes (when)

A prepositional phrase coming at the beginning of a sentence is usually separated by a comma.

Except John, everybody turned up.