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Types of Phrases | A-Must-Know for Competitive Exams

There are four types of phrases They are:

  • Noun Phrases

  • Adjective Phrases

  • Verb Phrases

  • Adverb phrases.

Noun Phrases:

  • A Noun phrase gives information about noun.

  • A noun Phrase is also linked to a noun.

For Example,

a) The young cook makes tasty food.

Here the phrases the young cook is a noun phrase.

The phrase is linked to the noun ‘cook’.

The phrase also tells us whether the cook is old or young.

b) A twelve-year-old boy won the prize.

Here the phrase ‘A twelve-year-old boygives us information

about the age of the boy, who is a noun.


  • A noun phrase can also be an object of a verb.

Object means going after. Therefore, object of a verb means something

that goes after the verb.

For example, I love reading story books.

Here the noun phrase ‘reading story books goes after the the verb ‘love’.

So the noun phrase ‘reading story books’ is the object of the verb ‘ love’.


  • A Noun phrase can be a subject of a verb.

Note: Subject of a verb means something that goes before the verb.

For Example, To forgive one’s enemies is a noble quality. The noun phrase , ‘To forgive one’s enemies ‘ is used before the verb ‘is’ . Therefore, the noun phrase ‘to forgive one’s enemies’ is the subject of the verb ‘is’


  • Adjective Phrases give information about/ describe a noun.

For example:

a) The girl with the long hair is my sister. Here the adjective phrase with the long hair describes about the girl, who is a noun.

b) The woman who just called me is my teacher. Here the adjective phrase ‘who just called me‘ describes about the woman, who is a noun.

Learn the Difference between Adjectives & Adjective Phrases

Adjectives are generally used before nouns, whereas adjective phrases are generally used after the Nouns.
Ex: A red coat , red is an adjective whereas A coat of red colour. Here red colour is an adjective phrase.

Verb phrases and Adverb phrases.


  • Verb Phrases are linked to action verbs.

For example, I practised a song yesterday.

Here the verb phrase I Practised is linked to action verb ‘practised’.


  • Verb Phrases are also linked to helping verbs and action verbs.

For Example, We have been playing for one hour.

Here the verb phrase ‘We have been playing ’ is linked to the helping verb’

have been ’and action verb ‘ playing’.


  • Adverb Phrases give extra information about a verb.

Ex: I live over there. Here the adverb phrase over there describes where I live ( ‘live’ is a verb)

Ex: I go to the school every morning. Here the adverb phrase ‘every morning’

describes when I go to school.


Adverb phrases tell us how something is done, when something is done

or how often something is done .


Learn the Difference between Adverb and Adverb Phrases.


Ex:He fought bravely. Here ‘bravely’ is an example of adverb as it modifies

or points to verb’ fought’. Whereas in the example, He fought in a brave manner.

The highlighted part is an example of adverb phrase. It shows how or in what way he fought.

As the phrase modifies the verb ‘fought’, therefore, ‘in a brave manner’ is an adverb phrase.


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