A sentence in English language can divided into various parts. Each part of a sentence serves its relative purpose and has some specific characteristics. While all of this seems simple, there is still a lot of confusion that arise between different parts of a sentence. One of the most puzzling pair of speeches is a clause and a phrase.
Clauses and phrases are two very different parts of a sentence but some of their similar features make it difficult for the learners of English language to distinguish between the two. In this article, we will discuss both clauses and phrases and what separates the two of them. More importantly, we will talk about some easy ways to tell the both of them apart.
The boy is playing.
A clause might also contain an object along with the subject which makes it stand alone as a complete sentence. One of the easiest way to distinguish between a clause and a phrase is that a clause is a set of words that makes complete sense and does not require any additional helping words to complete it.
I looked everywhere but the cat was gone.
A phrase is a group of words in a sentence that does NOT contain a subject and a verb. In other words, in a sentence, one part with subject and verb is a clause while the rest of it without those two parts of speeches is a phrase.
On the wall, in the water, over the horizon.
He is playing in the field.
He is playing is a clause (subject+verb) and in the field in a phase.
Another easy way of remembering the difference between a phrase and a clause is that a phrase does not make complete sense on its own and requires the help of other words to make it a complete sentence.
Take the above example, if you find in the field written somewhere alone, you will be very confused about its meaning and will be unable to understand it. Thus, a phrase is a set of words that does not make up a complete and understandable sentence by its own.