All to often I ask questions asking what a part of a sentence is reduced from.

The reason I ask is because I understand that a phrase is a group of words that act as a single part of speech. Therefore, when I see a group of words that aren't acting as a single part of speech, I logically, or perhaps illogically, come to the conclusion that it must be a clause that has been reduced.

Below is an example. What are the bolded words? A phrase? If so, what single part of speech is it?

There were two beds in the room, one at each end of the room.

Because I can't see it acting as one part of speech, i immediately assume it is a reduced clause. And since it is reduced, I try and find out what is missing, as identifying what is missing helps me to learn what can and can't be omitted in a sentence.
Senior Member2,850
I'm not sure this is a productive approach.

Just because you can take a group of words (a phrase) which has some meaning to the average native speaker, and can then add words at your discretion to grow it into a legitimate clause, does not mean that the phrase derives from that clause.

Of course there are phrases which the grammatically aware native speaker will thoughtfully admit are ellipsis, but to approach all phrases which are not clauses in this way would be a gross oversimplification.

Further, growing a phrase into a clause does not necessarily further your goal of ascribing a function to it.

We often say that a phrase or a clause functions nominally, adjectivally, or adverbially. But doesn't it end there? Must we always be able to replace (eg.) an "adverbial phrase/clause" with a single adverb? Mebby so. Emotion: thinking

But I don't think you can say that a prepositional phrase acts/functions prepositionally. Emotion: rolleyes

The hardest thing for me when I joined EF was to decipher the category names of phrases and clauses. It seemed to me that people often failed to practice what they preached. I still tend to take these names cautiously on a case-by-case basis.

There were two beds in the room, one at each end of the room.

There were two beds in the room; one bed was at each end of the room.

What have you accomplished here?

- A.
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English 1b3What are the bolded words? A phrase? If so, what single part of speech is it?
There were two beds in the room, one at each end of the room.
The bolded words are a clause from which a few words have been omitted -- not just a phrase. The missing words are easily recoverable from the preceding clause.

There were two beds in the room;
there was one bed at each end of the room.

CJ
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