Special Sub-Topic: Know Your Phrases and Clauses
|Name an adverb clause in the following sentence: When he spilled the tray of cookies, Jake got on his knees, moved the cookies back onto the tray, and placed the tray in the refrigerator as if nothing had happened.|
when he spilled the tray. "When he spilled the tray" is an adverb clause because it has a finite verb (spilled). It also begins with a subordinating conjunction (when). The others were prepositional phrases. Phrases have no finite verbs. "As if nothing had happened" is also an adverb clause. It has a finite verb (had happened) and begins with a subordinating conjunction (as if).
|Name the independent clause in the following sentence: As the cat slinked across the backyard, she smiled at the dog, who barked with fervor.|
she smiled at the dog. An independent clause can stand alone. It makes sense and sounds complete. Also, it has a subject and predicate. "As the cat slinked" is an adverb clause, a type of subordinate clause, and cannot stand alone. "At the dog," "across the backyard" and "with fervor" are prepositional phrases. "Who barked with fervor" is an adjective clause. These are subordinate clauses that describe nouns-in this case, "dog"- and begin with a relative pronoun-in this case, "who."
|Name the structure of the following sentence: Lucille donated hundreds of books to the school, and Marty gave hundreds of hours in volunteer work for the community center.|
compound. A compound sentence has two or more independent clauses and no subordinate clauses. The two independent clauses are "Lucille donated hundreds" and "Marty gave hundreds." Everything else is a prepositional phrase. A simple sentence has one independent clause and no subordinate clause. A complex sentence has one independent clause and one or more subordinate clause. A compound-complex sentence has two or more independent clauses and one or more subordinate clause.
|Name the adjective phrase in the following sentence: David hummed in ecstasy when he thought about the girl with blond hair who kissed him last night.|
with blond hair. An adjective phrase is a type of prepositional phrase which acts like-what else-an adjective. "With blond hair" describes "girl" just like an adjective would. "In ecstasy" and "about the girl" are adverb phrases, another type of prepositional phrase, which act like adverbs. "Who kissed him last night" is an adjective clause.
|Name the noun clause in the following sentence: Claudia pretended to understand what Mike said.|
what Mike said. A noun clause begins with a relative pronoun-in this case, "what"-and acts like a noun. Like all clauses, a noun clause has a subject-"Mike"- and a predicate-"said."
|Name the infinitive phrase in the following sentence: Carla wanted to beat her opponent in tennis.|
to beat her opponent in tennis. An infinitive consists of the preposition "to" and a verb. In this case the infinitive is "to beat." An infinitive phrase has an infinitive and all the words that go with it.
|Name the participial phrase in the following sentence: Trembling with fear, Robert moved along the ledge of the building.|
trembling with fear. A participle is a word which acts like both a verb and an adjective. A present participle ends in "-ing." A participial phrase includes a participle and all the words which go with it.
|Name the structure of the following sentence: Sheri, who is an excellent cook, fixed the food for the banquet.|
complex. This sentence is complex because it has one independent clause (Sheri fixed the food) and one subordinate clause (who is an excellent cook). "For the banquet" is an adjective phrase.
|Name the appositive phrase in the following sentence: Louisville, otherwise known as "The Derby City", hosts the Kentucky Derby every first Saturday in May.|
otherwise known as "The Derby City". An appositive is a noun or pronoun that renames another noun or pronoun. "City" is an appositive that renames "Louisville." An appositive phrase includes an appositive and all of its modifiers.
|Which of the following could not be considered an independent clause?|
subordinate clause. A subordinate clause usually begins with a subordinating conjunction or a relative pronoun. It can't stand alone like an independent clause. The others can be considered independent clauses which can stand alone; they can sometimes even be used interchangably with the term "independent clause."
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