Phrases A phrase is a group of related words that is used as a single part of speech and does not contain a verb and its subject. • Prepositional • Verbal • Participial • Gerund • Infinitive • Appositive
Prepositional Phrases • A prepositional phrase includes a preposition, a noun or pronoun called the object of the preposition, and any modifiers of that object. • Prepositional phrases can either function as adjectives or adverbs.
Identify the following prepositional phrases. Are they adjective or adverb? • Brian’s Song is an inspiring story about friendship and courage. • During the Civil War, Louisa Mae Alcott worked in a hospital as a nurse for six weeks. • Louisa Mae Alcott wrote Little Women, a novel rich in New England tradition. • Sarah Kemble Knight kept a journal of her trip to New York.
Verbal Phrases • A verbal is a form of a verb used as a noun, adjective or adverb. • The three kinds of verbals are participles, gerunds and infinitives. • When used with other modifiers and prepositional phrases, these verbals are called verbal phrases.
The Participle • A participle is a verb used as an adjective. • There are two kinds of participles: present and past. Present participles end in ing and past participles end in ed, or d (unless the past tense is irregular). • Examples: singing lessons, smiling teacher, baked chicken, frightened boy
Identify the participial phrases in the following sentences. • Nodding his head, the defendant admitted his guilt. • I love to see roses bursting into bloom in the spring. • Known as Johnny Appleseed, John Chapman distributed apple seeds and saplings to families heading West.
If a participial phrase is not used near the noun it modifies, it can cause confusion. • The defendant admitted his guilt, nodding his head. • Bursting into bloom in the spring, I love to see the roses. • Heading West, John Chapman distributed apple seeds and saplings to families, known as Johnny Appleseed.
Gerunds • A gerund is a verb that is used as a noun. • It ends in ing. • Examples: • Swimming is excellent exercise. • Janetta’s hobby is knitting. • In cooking, use salt sparingly. • He gave studying all his attention.
Identify the following gerund phrases. How do they function? • Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein after having a nightmare about a scientist and his strange experiments. • My brother likes working at the travel agency. • An excellent way to build your vocabulary is reading good literature. • Walter Mitty daydreamed of being a courageous pilot.
Infinitives • An infinitive is a verb used as a noun, adjective or adverb. • An infinitive is “to” plus a verb. • Examples: • To fly was an ambition of humans. (noun) • His attempt to fly was a failure. (adjective) • Rip Van Winkle went to the woods with his dog to hunt. (adverb)
Identify the following infinitive phrases. How do they function? • To finish early is our plan. • Julia wants to go to the beach with us on Saturday. • Napoleon’s plan to conquer Europe failed. • Chico was unable to play in the football game.
Appositives • An appositive is a noun or a pronoun placed beside another noun or pronoun to identify or explain it. • Appositives can either be essential (no commas) or non-essential (commas needed around both sides of noun/pronoun).
Examples of appositives • We went to the Navajo Gallery in Taos, New Mexico to see R.C. Gorman’s painting Freeform Lady. (essential, no commas) • Namingha, a Tewa-Hopi artist, often paints abstract images of Hopi pueblos. (non-essential, commas needed)
Identify the following appositive phrases. • The Kenai Peninsula is the home of the Alaska moose, the largest moose in the world. • We visited Boston Harbor, the site of the Boston Tea Party. • A nineteenth-century female author Marian Evans had to publish her book Middlemarch under a male pseudonym, George Eliot.
Putting it all together. Identify the type of italicized phrases in each sentence. • Working on the school newspaper has taught me responsibility. • Delayed by the snowstorm, the flight from Chicago to Seattle was finally cleared for takeoff. • Today’s crossword puzzle is difficult to complete correctly. • If you want to go to the concert tonight, give me a call after school. • At the beginning of class today, we sang “La Marseiilaise,” the French national anthem.
Continued… • Preserving rare and valuable books and documents is one of the challenges facing the Library of Congress. • The emu, a flightless bird from Australia, is similar to the ostrich. • Franklin’s history report was on Booker T. Washington, founder of Tuskegee Institute. • Refreshed by the cool breeze, I didn’t object to going back to work. • The United States, a true, “melting pot,” has been greatly enriched by many diverse cultures.