Need Help?

Get in touch with us


Uses of Phrases and Clauses in Sentences

Grade 10
Jul 25, 2023

Phrases and Clauses

We know that a sentence is a group of words that is complete in itself, makes complete sense, and typically consists of a subject and predicate.

But what do we call the group of words that contain a subject and some predicate within a sentence?

They are called clauses.

A clause is a sentence component that includes a subject and some sort of predicate.


  • We will start early since there will be traffic in the evening.
  • I was cooking food when you called.

Clauses are of two types: dependent clauses and independent clauses.

Let us take a look at the different types of clauses and see how a clause is different from a phrase.

Independent Clauses:

An independent clause, also known as the main clause, is a group of words that includes a subject and a predicate that can express a complete thought. An independent clause is capable of standing alone as a sentence.


  • We went to the church in the morning.
  • She managed to finish the work on time.
  • I will be in Germany next week.

Slides 23-28


Dependent Clauses:

Read the Sentence:

I will call you when I am free.

In this sentence, the main clause is I will call you, which is a complete idea and can also stand on its own as a sentence. But the group of words that follow- when I am free– acts as a subordinate to the main clause. Though they contain a complete idea within themselves, including a subject and corresponding predicate, the presence of the conjunction indicates that the clause cannot stand alone as a sentence. It is determined by the main clause.

Now let us define a dependent clause:

A dependent clause is a group of words that has a subject and a predicate but does not express a complete thought. A dependent clause is incapable of standing alone as a sentence as it always needs a main clause to depend upon. A conjunction is frequently used to identify a dependent clause.

In fact, in many cases, the presence of a conjunction is the only thing that distinguishes an independent clause from a dependent clause.


  • Since you have already been there once, I suggest that you drive the car all the way through.
  • The crowd went berserk when their team scored a goal.
  • Natalie watches her favorite series whenever she is away free.


As explained earlier, a phrase is a set of words that may contain sentence-building elements such as a noun or a verb. It differs from a clause in that it may not include a subject or a predicate. A phrase adds meaning to a sentence by supplying more details regarding the subject, object, verb, or situation. A sentence is also made up of phrases, however, if you isolate a phrase from a sentence, it will not function as a whole sentence. To put it simply, clauses contain phrases, and sentences contain clauses.

Examples of phrases:

  • The sun rises in the east.
  • Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
  • Tell me how to do it.
Phrases and Clauses


Related topics


Exploring the World of Adjectives: Types, Usage, and Examples

What are Parts of Speech? Parts of speech determine words’ grammatical and semantic position in a sentence. Activity time The parts of speech are nouns, adverbs, conjunctions, pronouns, interjections, adjectives, articles, prepositions, and verbs. Identify the parts of speech of the underlined words in the following sentences. White- Adjective Big- Adjective    Exciting- Adjectives New- […]

Memoir writing

Memoir Writing: Basic Elements, Structures, and Types

Memoir: A memoir is a narrative written from an author’s perspective about a particular facet of his/her own life. ‘Memoir’ word comes from the French word ‘memoire’, which means ‘memory’ or ‘reminiscence’. Example Night: Elie Wiesel gives an account of how he survived his teenage years at Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps during World War […]

Identifying the main idea

Identification of Main Idea in Fiction and Non-fiction

Every story or paragraph or non-fictional text has at least one main idea. The MAIN IDEA is what the text is mostly about. (It is backed up or supported by SUPPORTING DETAILS) Before discussing how to find the main idea, we shall first look at TOPIC. Can you define a topic? A topic can be […]

Writing an Article

Writing an Article: Structure and Essential Tips

What is an article? Structure of Article Writing : Title : Draw the attention of readers with an attractive title and indicate the main topic of the article Introduction : Attract the reader’s attention with a sentence that gives a general presentation of the topic. Main Body : Between these sentences, the body should do […]


Other topics