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A phrase is a group of words that forms a unit simpler than a sentence. Unlike a sentence (or clause), a phrase normally does not contain both a subject and a finite (conjugated) verb.
A noun phrase is simply a noun (or pronoun) with its modifiers.
Examples of noun phrases
Noun phrases consist of a noun or pronoun modified by adjectives, phrases or even dependent clauses.
Noun or pronoun + adjectives
- two old shoes [noun shoes + adjectives two and old]
- many others [pronoun others + adjective many]
Noun or pronoun + prepositional phrase
- trucks with rusty fenders [noun trucks + prepositional phrase with rusty fenders]
- both of you [pronoun both + prepositional phrase of you]
Noun or pronoun + participle phrase
- workers delivering supplies [noun workers + present participle phrase delivering supplies]
- anyone delivering supplies [pronoun anyone + present participle phrase]
- cars made in Canada [noun cars + past participle phrase made in Canada]
- the ones made in Canada [pronoun ones + past participle phrase]
Noun or pronoun modified by an infinitive phrase
- popcorn to snack on [noun popcorn + infinitive phrase to snack on]
- something to snack on [pronoun something + infinitive phrase]
Noun or pronoun modified by a dependent clause
- clients who want this service [noun clients + clause who want this service]
- those who want this service [pronoun those + clause]
Note: We have said that a phrase normally does not contain a subject and verb. The exception is a phrase that contains a dependent clause as a modifier, because every clause has a subject and verb.
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