Phrases and Clauses (Expanding simple sentences into complex sentences).
Prepositional • Preposition – a word used to show the relationship of a noun or pronoun to some other word in the sentence. Common prepositions: about, above, across, around, at, before, between, by, concerning, during, except, for, from, in, into, of, over, since, through, to, toward, under, until, up, upon, with, within. • Def. – A prepositional phrase is a group of words beginning with a preposition and usually ending with a noun or pronoun. • Examples – at the lake; inside the house; under the sea; along the path • Rule of thumb – Prepositional phrases do not stand by themselves; they are parts of a sentence and are used as modifiers (a modifier is a word or phrase that describes or makes more definite), sometimes as adjectives and at other times as adverbs. [An adjective phrase is a prepositional phrase that modifies a noun or a pronoun; ex. That tall building with the red tower is our new library.] [An adverb phrase is a prepositional phrase that modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb; ex. Louisa May Alcott wrote with great care.]
Strategy #1: Combine sentences by using prepositional phrases. • Not Combined: Handlers can usually train dogs. Training is in basic obedience. Training takes about eight weeks. • Combined: Handlers can usually train dogs in basic obedience in about eight weeks. (prepositional phrases in bold)
Participial phrases • Participle – a word that is formed from a verb and used as an adjective; ex. The talking students were asked to be quiet. The cheering fans waited for their team to arrive. • Def. – A participial phrase is a phrase containing a participle and any complements (complement - one or more words in the predicate that complete the meaning of the subject and verb) or modifiers it may have. A predicate is the part of the sentence that says something about the subject [i.e. the verb and those words that follow; ex. John (subject) walks by the road (predicate).] • Examples – Nodding his head, the student agreed with the teacher. Holding her breath, the cheerleader waited for the results. Disturbed by his letter, she called him on the phone.
Strategy #2: Combine sentences using participial phrases. • Not Combined: Handlers and dogs work together. This strengthens the bond between pet and master. • Combined: Handlers and dogs work together, strengthening the bond between pet and master. (participial phrase in bold)
Appositive phrases • Appositive – a noun or pronoun that follows another noun or pronoun to identify or explain it. Ex. Her sister Nancy was a year older. My favorite dog Sherman ran away from home. • Def. – An appositive phrase is made up of an appositive and its modifiers. • Examples – We drove through Tallahassee, the capital of Florida. George Washington, the first president of America, was a great military leader.
Strategy #3: Combine sentences by using appositive phrases. • Not Combined: A training collar helps the handler correct the dog. It is the handler’s most important tool. • Combined: A training collar, the handler’s most important tool, helps correct the dog. (appositive phrase in bold)
Absolutes – p. 220 • A word group that modifies a whole clause or sentence, usually consisting of a noun followed by a participle or participial phrase. • Ex. His tone suggesting no hint of humor, the minister told us to love our enemies because it would drive them nuts.
Gerunds • A verb form ending in –ing that is used as a noun. • Ex. Jogging can be good exercise. • A gerund phrase includes the gerund and all the words related to the gerund. • Ex. Shouting at people does not make them understand you better.
Infinitive • A verb from that can be used as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. It has the word to directly before the plain form of the verb. • Examples: • To forgive does not always mean to forget. (used as a noun) • The best time to visit the north is in the summer. (used as an adjective) • They were eager to try. (used as an adverb) • An infinitive phrase consists of an infinitive together with its complements and modifiers. • Ex. To lift those weights takes a lot of strength.
Adverb Clauses • An adverb clause is a subordinate clause that modifies a verb, an adjective, or an adverb by telling how, when, where, or under what condition • Adverb clauses begin with subordinate conjunctions and answer such questions as where, why, when, how, to what extent, in what manner, and under what conditions. • Subordinate conjunctions: • After, although, as, because, since, though, unless, until, when, whenever, where, wherever, while, that, as long as, even though, in order that, so that, provided that, as if.
Adverb Clauses continued • Example: Because the house had been empty for so long, the lawn and garden were choked with weeds. [The adverbial clause is underlined and because is the subordinating conjunction.] • When combining two sentences, identify the less important sentence and join it with the other sentence by adding a subordinating clause [don’t forget to use punctuation when combining.]. • Example: The medium-sized sun will last longer than more massive stars. Massive stars burn up their fuel at a very fast rate. [When combining these two sentences using an adverb clause, it looks like this: Since massive stars burn up their fuel at a very fast rate, the medium-sized sun will last longer than more massive stars.]
Adjective clauses • An adjective clause is a subordinate clause used as an adjective to modify a noun or a pronoun. • Adjective clauses begin with relative pronouns: who, whose, that, whom, which OR relative adverbs: when, why, where. • Note: Sometimes a relative pronoun is omitted. The missing pronoun, however, is understood and still functions in the sentence. • Examples: • The flowers (that) I bought for my mother are beautiful. • The friends (whom) I visited are my cousins.
Adjective clause continued • Example: The novel that I read in class was very interesting. [The adjective clause is underlined once and the relative pronoun that introduces the clause is italicized.] • When combining two sentences, identify the less important sentence and join it with the other sentence by adding a relative pronoun [Add commas when you use the word which.] • Ex. The school has just been declared a landmark. The school was renovated last year. [When combining these two sentences using an adjective clause, it looks like this: The school, which was renovated last year, has just been declared a landmark.] • Ex. I borrowed a novel from the library. The novel is about the American Revolution. [When combining these two sentences using an adjective clause, it looks like this: The novel that I borrowed from the library is about the American Revolution.]
Noun Clauses • Noun clauses often begin with the words that, which, who, whom, or whose (the same pronouns used to begin adjective clauses). Noun clauses can also use variants of those words such as whichever, whoever, or whomever. Noun clauses may also begin with the words when, where, whether, why, how, if what, or whatever. • Examples: • No one knew where we were headed. • She asked whether we should go. • Do you know when you are leaving?
A Final Note about Noun Clauses • Sometimes students confuse noun clauses functioning as appositives with adjective clauses. Remember, appositives rename the noun before them, whereas adjectives describe that noun. • Examples: • The report that there was an earthquake alarmed my mother. (Noun clause) • Notice that you can replace “the report” with “that there was an earthquake.” And both, of course, can be replaced with the pronoun “it.” • The report that was in the paper explained the situation. (Adjective clause) • You can not say “That was in the paper explained the situation.”