The first thing to know to determine a phrase and a clause is to know first what is meant by subject and predicate.
What or who we are speaking about in a sentence is called the subject.
What is said about the subject is called the predicate.
1. He cleans. (HE is the subject and CLEANS is the predicate)
2. John cleans the room. (JOHN is the subject and CLEANS THE ROOM is the predicate.)
3. The mother monkey takes care of her baby monkey. (THE MOTHER MONKEY is the subject and TAKES CARE OF HER BABY MONKEY is the predicate.)
4. In the classroom, the janitor sweeps. (THE JANITOR is the subject and SWEEPS IN THE CLASSROOM is the predicate.
Just like the subject and predicate, PHRASE and CLAUSE have also distinguishing marks that differ from each other. A Phrase is a group of words or a sequence of related words forming as a part of the whole sentence, but it does not have a subject and a predicate. A Clause is a group of related words containing a subject and a predicate.
Though there are several types of phrases, the important thing is to determine which pat of the sentence is phrase and clause.
Prepositional Phrase is of course signaled by a preposition. Let see the example below:
The scissors is mine.
This is a simple sentence which indicates THE SCISSORS as the subject and IS MINE is the predicate. By adding a prepositional phrase IN THE DRAWER the sentence becomes:
The scissors in the drawer is mine. (Prepositional phrase)
Infinitive can also be expanded to infinitive phrase. Read the sentence below:
Los Angeles is my dream. A simple sentence with subject and predicate.
To go back to Los Angeles is my dream. (to go back – is the Infinitive phrase).
When a verb is used in its ing form it is called GERUND.
Gerundial phrase on the other hand, starts the phrase forming the verb into the ing form.
Sailing the oceans aboard a ship is his job. (Sailing the oceans – is the gerundial phrase)