Posted by: episystechpubs | December 5, 2014

Editor’s Corner: A Clause and a Phrase Walk into a Bar

My subject heading is a blatant, underhanded ploy to get you to open this email. But now that you’re here, I thought I’d give you the lowdown on the difference between a clause and a phrase (in case you don’t remember, or in case you were never told).

· A clause is a group of words that contain both a subject and a verb or a verb phrase (also called a predicate).

For example, in the following sentence, I’ve used bold font for the subject and I’ve used italics for the verb phrase.

My best friend looks and sings like Celine Dion.

Note: Some clauses can stand alone as sentences (these clauses are called independent clauses) and some must be joined with other clauses or phrases to create a complete sentence.

· A phrase is a group of words that work together, but these word groups are not clauses because they lack a subject and/or a predicate (verb or verb phrase).

For example,

o Under the refrigerator,… (no subject or verb)

o While running on the treadmill,… (no subject)

If you want to read a little bit more about phrases and clauses, click here.

So maybe a clause and a phrase didn’t walk into a bar, but I can’t leave you hanging, so here’s your bar joke:

Two whales walk into a bar. The bartender asks what they want. The first whale says "Mmmmmmmmmmuuuuuuuuuuuuaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh."

The second whale turns to him and says, "Go home Frank, you’re drunk."

Donna Bradley Burcher | Technical Editor, Adv. | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

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