There are a lot of people who speak or write every single day, however they may not have a complete grasp of English grammar. There is a lot that goes into the use of proper grammar, including the proper use of phrases.A phrase is a grouping of words that do not have an implied object, and a subject. These phrases work to combine words into a unit that is larger, which can function like a sentence element. As an example: you can have a participle phrase that will include adjectives, prepositions, nouns and adverbs, set up as a single unit. However, this phrase will function as a larger adjective modifying noun, or even a noun phrase.The Different Types of PhrasesA noun phrase is one that will consist of a noun along with all of the modifiers. This can include other phrases such as a prepositional phrase. Example: “The handsome old man by the lake feeds ducks all day.”
An appositive phrase is a phrase, clause or a single word that will rename another noun without actually modifying it. Example: “Mark, my oldest brother, lives here” or, “My oldest brother Mark lives here.”A gerund phrase is a phrase that is simply a noun phrase that has a gerund in the beginning. A gerund is a noun made into a verb by adding -ing. Example: “I love taking walks.”An infinitive phrase is one that is basically a noun phrase that has an infinitive in the beginning. Example: “I love taking walks.” Unlike other noun phrases, an infinitive phrase also has the ability to function like an adverb or an adjective.Verb phrases are those that can refer to an entire predicate of a given sentence or even just the verb or the verb grouping. Example: “I was baking cakes yesterday.” Adjectival phrases can either pertain to a group of adjectives or any one phrase that will act like an adjective.A participial phrase will have a present or a past participle in the beginning. These phrases will always work like an adjective. Example: “Smashed to bits with a shovel, the vase is a total loss.”Prepositional phrases will have a preposition in the beginning and can work as an adverb, noun or adjective. Example: “The muffins in the kitchen smelled delicious.” Finally, there is the absolute phrase. Much unlike the participial phrase, an absolute phrase will have a subject and will also modify the whole sentence instead of just one noun. Similar to a clause, absolute phrases may be able to include every element of a sentence with the exception of a finite verb. For example, if you have a sentence such as: “My clothes are finally almost dry”, this would be a sentence all of its own if you add on a finite verb, such as: “My clothes were finally dry.”
You will find that when it comes to the English language, there are many people who add and subtract portions of phrases all on their own, most of the time depending on the region that they are from. However, this is a good guideline on phrasing and how they fit into common English grammar structure.