What's the difference between a phrase and a sentence (I suppose there must be one)
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whl626 said:

''As far as I know, 2 or a bunch of words with no subject and verb in it.

Eg. On second thought, I decided to join EnglishForward as a member. " On second though " is supposed to be a phrase, the later is the main sentence.''

Shouldn't latter be used in place of later above?
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Edited by Moderator in include source information: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/internet-grammar/clauses/hierarc2.htm

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Words, phrases, clauses, and sentences constitute what is called the GRAMMATICAL HIERARCHY. We can represent this schematically as follows:

consist of one or more...

consist of one or more

consist of one or more...

Sentences are at the top of the hierarchy, so they are the largest unit which we will be considering (though some grammars do look beyond the sentence). At the other end of the hierarchy, words are at the lowest level, though again, some grammars go below the word to consider morphology, the study of how words are constructed.

At the clause level and at the phrase level, two points should be noted:

1. Although clauses are higher than phrases in the hierarchy, clauses can occur within phrases:

The man who lives beside us is ill
Here we have a relative clause who lives beside us within the NP the man who lives beside us.

2. Clauses can occur within clauses, and phrases can occur within phrases.

Bearing these two points in mind, we can now illustrate the grammatical hierarchy using the following sentence:

My brother won the lottery
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This is a simple sentence (S), consisting of a matrix clause (MC):

[S/MC My brother won the lottery]
We can subdivide the clause into an NP and a VP:

[S/MC [NP My brother] [VP won the lottery]]
The VP contains a further NP within it:

[S/MC [NP My brother] [VP won [NP the lottery]]]
So we have a total of three phrases. Each phrase consists of individual words:

[S/MC [NP [Det My] [N brother]] [VP [V won] [NP [Det the] [N lottery]]]]
Each of the bracketed units here is a word, a phrase, or a clause. We refer to these as CONSTITUENTS. A constituent is defined as a word or a group of words which acts syntactically as a unit.
—A sentence must have a subject (expressed or not), a verb, and a complete thought supplied by a variety of constructions.

Example: We are assigned a grammar presentation.

—A phrase is a collection or word without a subject/verb, or complete thought

Example of a Phrase:

“over the river”, “through the woods”, “to grandmothers house.”
Thank you, Anon.
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i think this may be benificial

sentence is a group of word and clauses are used to connect word phrases,or clauses of equal rank
A sentence has to include an object (noun) and a verb. "Cats explode." is a simple sentence because it includes both of these features.

Simple sentence = a verb and a noun (an object or subject).

Lets use the example: "I cry." It has one subject and one verb, therefore a simple sentence.
"I cry and vomit." is still a simple sentence because it has one subject and two verbs.
"I cry and vomit and dance and laugh" is still a simple sentence because it still only has one object.

Compound sentence = more than one verb, more than one noun (object or subject) and a COORDINATING conjunction.

"I cry and I vomit" uses two first person pronouns (I) and two verbs (cry and vomit) and has a coordinating conjunction "and". As long as there is a coordinating conjunction (and, but...) and more than one verb and more than one noun, it is a compound sentences. There are two clauses in it.

Complex sentence = more than one verb, more than one noun (object or subject) and a SUB COORDINATING conjunction.

Pretty much the same as compound sentences, but instead of the coordinating conjunction connecting the two clauses, its sub coordinating (because, although, however). It is a cause and effect relationship between the twp clauses.


As long as none of the above are in the quotation you have chosen, then it is a phrase. For something to be a phrase it cannot be a simple, compound or complex sentence. If you said "I cry and vomit" was a phrase, you would be wrong as it is a clause (short sentence). "The cat's basket" is a phrase because it includes the definite article ("the") which isn't a noun or verb, and two nouns ("cat's" and "basket).

Hope this helps!
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my daughter wants to know the difference because she had to do this for homework and she didn't know the difference
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