9 Grammar Phrases. Absolute phrases. Phrase. A phrase is a group of words, without a subject and verb, that functions in a sentence as one part of speech. Absolute Phrases. An absolute is made up of a noun and its modifiers Absolutes function as adjectives in a sentence
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A phrase is a group of words, without a subject and verb, that functions in a sentence as one part of speech.
An absolute is made up of a noun and its modifiers
Absolutes function as adjectives in a sentence
An absolute allows us to move from a description of a whole person, place, or thing to one aspect or part
High in the air, a little figure, his hands thrust in his short jacket pockets, stood staring out to sea. (Katherine Mansfield, “The Journey”)
Absolutes are almost complete sentences
As a test, you can make any absolute a sentence by adding was or were
The absolute phrase provides some sort of information that works to put the whole sentence or idea in context - they modify entire sentences
She returned to her bench, her face showing all the unhappiness that had suddenly overtaken her.
Theodore Dreiser, An American Tragedy
CHECK - Her face was showing all the unhappiness that had suddenly overtaken her.
Absolute phrases are optional in sentences and can be removed without damaging the grammatical integrity of the sentence.
Since absolute phrases are optional in the sentence, they are often set off from the sentence with commas or, less often, with dashes.