10 Types of Phrases (Definitions, Examples, Worksheets, & PDF)

10 Types of Phrases in English! When learning a new language, one of the first things you learn is basic phrases. These phrases help you get by in everyday life, whether you’re ordering food at a restaurant or asking for directions. There are many different types of phrases, and today we’re going to take a look at 10 of them. Each type of phrase has its own unique use, so it’s important to learn them all. Let’s get started!

Definition of a Phrase

A phrase can be defined as a set of words, consisting of any number of elements. These elements may include subject-verb combinations, objects, conjunctions, prepositions, and more. Some phrases are simple while others are complex. Using the right type of phrase in your writing can bring depth to your work and engage readers on a deeper level.

Difference Between a Phrase and a Clause

A phrase is a group of related words that function as a single unit but lacks both a subject and a verb. It does not convey a complete thought or express a complete sentence.

Examples of phrases include “in the park“, “under the bed“, and “before sunrise“.

On the other hand, a clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought or idea. Clauses can either be independent (also called main clauses) or dependent (also called subordinate clauses).

An independent clause can stand alone as a sentence, while a dependent clause cannot.

Examples of independent clauses include “I went to the store” and “She loves to sing“. An example of a dependent clause is “After she finished her homework“.

In summary, the main difference between a phrase and a clause is that a phrase lacks a subject and a verb, while a clause contains both and can express a complete thought or idea.

How to Teach Phrases in an Easy Way?

Teaching phrases in an easy way is possible by using stories to teach phrases, especially short ones. This is because the brain likes stories and loves them even more if they are interesting enough.

Short Story Fun Packs are creative writing worksheets that you can use to facilitate your teaching of English Phrases. They come with different kinds of stories that feature a variety of important elements of language that students need to learn. This keeps the task fun and interesting for everyone. We have added some worksheets for your help. Must check them too.

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10 Types of Phrases

types of phrases

Below is the list of 10 types of phrases:

  1. Absolute Phrase
  2. Appositive Phrase
  3. Gerund Phrase
  4. Infinitive Phrase
  5. Noun Phrase
  6. Participial Phrase
  7. Prepositional Phrase
  8. Adverbial Phrase
  9. Verb Phrase
  10. Adjective Phrase

Absolute Phrase

An absolute phrase is a group of words that are used to limit the meaning of another word or group of words. The absolute phrase, also known as an absolutive phrase, can be either essential or nonessential.


Here are examples of both types:

1) “I saw the man with binoculars.”

2) “The man with binoculars was my neighbor.”

The first example is essential, while the second example is nonessential. In the first case, the phrase “with binoculars” identifies the man in question. If you leave out this phrase, it changes who you are talking about. In the second case, if you take away “with binoculars,” it doesn’t change who the man is.

Appositive Phrase

The appositive phrase is used to rename or define another noun or pronoun that occurs earlier in the sentence. It consists of a noun or pronoun, along with the words that modify it.


1) “I saw my neighbor at the park.”

2) “I saw the man who lives next door at the park.”

In the first sentence, you aren’t telling us who your neighbor is. In order to tell us more about this person, you would use an appositive phrase: “I saw my neighbor John at the park.” In the second sentence, we know who the man is, so we don’t need an appositive phrase.

Gerund Phrase

A gerund phrase is a group of words that starts with a gerund and includes any modifiers, objects or complements. The term “gerund” refers to a verb form that acts as a noun.


1) “Swimming is good exercise.”

2) “I enjoy swimming.”

In the first example, the phrase “Swimming is good exercise” contains the gerund “swimming” and functions as an adverb to tell us more about what type of exercise it is. In the second example, the phrase “I enjoy swimming” tells us that the person enjoys doing this thing called ‘swimming.’

Infinitive Phrase

An infinitive phrase is made up of an infinitive (the “to” verb), any modifiers, objects or complements.


1) “I was about to get dinner when he arrived.”

2) “I wanted to leave early so I could get good parking.”

In the first example, the infinitive phrase is “to get dinner.” In the second example, the infinitive phrase is “to leave early.”

Noun Phrase

A noun phrase is a group of words that acts as a noun. A noun phrase may consist of just a subject and verb or it can contain additional modifiers, objects, and complements.


1) “The dog barked.”

2) “I accidentally stepped on the cat’s tail. The cat hissed at me.”

In the first example, the noun phrase is “the dog” because it is the subject of the sentence. In the second example, there are two noun phrases: “the cat” and “the cat’s tail.”

Participial Phrase

A participial phrase consists of a participle and any modifiers, objects, or complements. A present or past participle is used to modify the subject or object of the sentence.


1) “The room full of sleeping children made me sad.”

2) “Having finished dinner, we went for a walk.”

In the first example, the present participle “sleeping” modifies the subject “room,” and in the second example, the past participle “finished” is used to modify “dinner.”

Prepositional Phrase

A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition and its object. The object of the preposition will always be a noun or pronoun and can also contain modifiers, objects, and complements.


1) “I put my book on the table.”

2) “Please put the book on top of the pile.”

The first example has no prepositional phrase; it’s just “book.” The second example has a prepositional phrase: “on top of the pile.”

Adverbial Phrase

An adverbial phrase is made up of an adverb and any modifiers, objects, or complements.


1) “I ate dinner very quickly.”

2) “Please don’t eat so loudly.”

In the first example, the adverbial phrase is “very quickly” and in the second example, it’s “Don’t eat so loudly.”

Verb Phrase

A verb phrase consists of the main verb and any modifiers, objects, or complements.


1) “He spilled his drink on me.”

2) “I can’t find my car keys.”

In the first example, the verb phrase is “spilled his drink on me” and in the second it’s “can’t find my car keys.”

Adjective Phrase

An adjective phrase consists of an adjective and any modifiers, objects, or complements that are connected to the adjective.


1) “The cold wind made me shiver.”

2) “We’re going to get a brand new car!”

In the first example, the phrase “cold wind” contains the adjective and tells us more about what it did. In the second example, we have two adjective phrases: “brand new” and “we’re going to get.

Infographics (Types of Phrases)

appositive phrases adverbial phrases absolute phrases adjective phrases noun phrases verb phrases prepositional phrases gerund phrases infinitive phrases participial phrases

10 Examples of Phrases in Sentences

Below are 10 examples of phrases in sentences:

  1. In the morning I like to drink a cup of coffee.
  2. My favorite hobby is reading books.
  3. The cat with the fluffy tail is sleeping on the sofa.
  4. Running in the park is a great way to stay in shape.
  5. The concert on Saturday night was fantastic.
  6. The pizza with extra cheese was delicious.
  7. During the summer months, the temperature can get very hot.
  8. I bought a new shirt on sale at the store.
  9. After finishing her homework she went to bed.
  10. With a big smile on his face, he walked into the room.

Related: 10 examples of phrases and clauses

Exercise and Worksheet on Phrase and Its Types

Here’s an exercise on phrases and their types:

Instructions: Identify the type of phrase for each sentence below. Write down the letter corresponding to the correct answer in the blank provided.

A. Prepositional Phrase B. Verbal Phrase C. Infinitive Phrase D. Gerund Phrase E. Appositive Phrase

  1. Watching the sunset on the beach is one of my favorite things to do.
  2. To speak another language fluently requires practice.
  3. The book on the shelf is mine.
  4. Swimming in the ocean is dangerous.
  5. My best friend, a talented artist, gave me a painting.
  6. Running for an hour every morning is good exercise.
  7. I went to the store after work.
  8. She wants to become a doctor.
  9. The winner of the race, John, received a trophy.
  10. Playing basketball is his favorite hobby.

Answer Key:

  1. B
  2. C
  3. A
  4. D
  5. E
  6. B
  7. A
  8. C
  9. E
  10. D

Download this worksheet in PDF, Here.

Worksheet on Phrase and Its Types

Types of Phrases – Video Lesson

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