Phrase is the combination of words that don’t give complete meaning. Unlike Clause phrase always lacks meanings. In phrase there is no concept of subject and object unless used in a sentence.

The student is reading his book in a class.

In the above sentence there are many phrases which are identified below.

  1. The student (Noun Phrase)
  2. Is reading his book (Verb Phrase)
  3. In a class (Prepositional Phrase)
  4. His book (Noun Phrase)

It means that in one phrase there can be one or more phrases. If the group of words contains both subject and verb it can’t be called as phrase. It is clause. Phrase on the other hand contains either of these things.

There are many kinds of phrases. They are six in number.

  1. Noun Phrase
  2. Verb Phrase
  3. Adjective Phrase
  4. Adverb Phrase
  5. Propositional Phrase
  6. Possessive Phrase

Remember the most important word of the phrase is called head after which the phrase is named, and the rest of the word(s) is / are dependent(s).


  1. His pen (noun phrase). Pen is the most important word. It is head. His is pronoun, hence dependent.
  2. In the room (Prepositional Phrase) In is the head and the room which is noun phrase is dependent.
  3. Work hard (Verb Phrase) Work (verb) is head and hard is dependent.