The Connection Between Sentences, Clauses and Phrases
To express an idea you need to make a sentence, which has to have a subject and a verb.
Sentences are made up of clauses and phrases, especially if you need to give some extra detail about the idea you are describing.
Clauses and phrases are not the same thing. A clause needs to have a subject and a verb, and a phrase doesn't have a subject and a verb. It may have a subject, or it may have a verb, but not both.
A clause often contains phrases, and phrases can contain other phrases. Let's look at the following sentence as an example:
The presence of wild animals in the amazon rainforest indicates that they are able to survive in very difficult conditions and therefore must be very resilient.
The presence of wild animals is a NOUN phrase.
Within that noun phrase is one of two prepositional phrases - of wild animals, and in the Amazon rainforest.
Inside each prepositional phrase we have smaller noun phrases - wild animals, amazon rainforest.
So we have noun phrases inside prepositional phrases which are in turn inside a larger noun phrase.
And there are many more.
So you can see that phrases make up other phrases and clauses, and these phrases and clauses make up sentences.
If you need to add information to an idea within a sentence, you need to use phrases and clauses, and there are 9 different types of phrases and 3 different types of clauses.
The 9 types of phrases are: Noun phrase, Prepositional phrase, Adjective phrase, Adverb phrase, Verb phrase, Infinitive phrase, Gerund phrase, Participle phrase and an Absolute phrase.
They will be looked at individually in another section.
The 3 types of clauses are: Noun clauses, Adjective clauses which are usually called Relative clauses, and Adverb clauses.
These will also be looked at individually in another section.