Request a call back

Join NOW to get access to exclusive study material for best results

ICSE Class 9 Grammar Revision Notes for Phrases and Clauses

Phrases, Clauses and Sentences

Parts of a Sentence

A sentence is a group of words which makes complete sense. However, the sentence itself is made up of smaller elements called phrases and clauses. 


Technically, words are the smallest units of a sentence. A group of words which has no subject or predicate is called a phrase. Grammatically, the phrase is the basic unit of English Grammar.

  • A phrase can be a short group of words.

  • It can also be a long group of words.

  • Phrases represent various parts of speech.

Types of Phrases

Noun Phrase

  • A phrase which functions as a noun in a sentence is called a noun phrase.

  • The phrase comprises a noun along with one or more modifiers.

Verb Phrase

  • A verb phrase contains both a verb and an auxiliary or helping verb.
  • It may contain a direct or an indirect object.
  • It is the main part of the predicate of the sentence.

Adjective Phrase

  • An adjective phrase is a group of words which functions as the adjective in the sentence.
  • The main word in the phrase is the adjective.
  • It is placed before a noun or as a part of the predicate of the sentence.

Adverb Phrase

  • An adverb phrase is a group of words which functions as the adverb in the sentence.
  • It can modify either an adjective or another adverb in the sentence.

Prepositional Phrase
  • A prepositional phrase comprises a preposition and a noun or a pronoun which functions as its object.
  • The prepositional phrase may also contain modifiers. 
  • It may function as an adjective or an adverb in the sentence.

Appositive Phrase

  • An appositive is a word which is placed next to another word in order to explain it.

  • An appositive phrase is nothing but a noun phrase which is used for modifying or explaining another word in the sentence.

Infinitive Phrase
  • An infinitive phrase comprises an infinitive (to + verb) and modifiers and complements.
  • The complement of an infinitive is its indirect object and its modifier is its adverb.
  • They can act as adjectives, adverbs or nouns.

Gerund Phrase

  • Gerunds are words which end in ‘-ing’. 
  • They look like verbs but act like nouns. 
  • The gerund phrase comprises a gerund, its object and modifiers.
  • It performs all the functions of a noun.
  • Prepositional phrases are often part of gerund phrases.

Participial Phrase
  • A participial phrase is an adjective phrase which comprises a participle (past or present) along with relevant complements and modifiers.
  • It always functions as an adjective.
  • It is separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma if they are used at the beginning of the sentence.
  • It is separated from the rest of the sentence by two commas if it is used in between a sentence.

Absolute Phrase

  • An absolute phrase is a combination of a noun and a participle along with other complements and modifiers.
  • It qualifies an entire sentence.


A clause is a group of related words which contains a subject and a predicate. Unlike a phrase, a clause is complete in meaning and can function as an independent sentence. 

There are two basic types of clauses:

  • Main clause
  • Subordinate clause

Main Clause 

The main clause contains a subject and a verb which can stand independently as a sentence.

Subordinate Clause 

The subordinate clause contains a subject and a verb, but unlike the main clause, it cannot stand independently as a sentence. It requires the support of the main verb in order to function properly.

Types of Subordinate Clauses


Adverb clauses can be further divided into 7 types:



Relationship between Phrases and Clauses

  • Phrases are groups of words which act as parts of speech. When phrases come together, they form clauses. 
  • Clauses are simple sentences by themselves; however, two or more clauses can be joined together to form bigger sentences.


Grammar Chapters for Revision Notes

Be a Top Scorer in the Exam with Test Series and Test Generator!

Enrol Now