Difference Between
versus

Phrase vs. Clause: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on January 20, 2024
A phrase is a group of words without a subject-verb combination, used as a single part of speech. A clause has a subject and verb and can be independent or dependent.
Phrase vs. Clause

Key Differences

A phrase is a collection of words that may include nouns or verbs but does not contain a subject-verb pairing that expresses a complete thought. In contrast, a clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a predicate. It can be a complete sentence (independent clause) or part of a sentence (dependent clause).
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024
Phrases function as single parts of speech within a sentence, such as a noun phrase ("the quick brown fox") or a verb phrase ("was jumping"). Clauses, however, contribute to the sentence's structure by forming the main part of the sentence (independent clauses) or providing additional information (dependent clauses).
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024
Phrases cannot stand alone as complete sentences since they lack a subject-verb relationship. Clauses can be independent, forming complete sentences by themselves, or dependent, requiring an independent clause to form a complete sentence.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024
In the sentence "The laughing child played," "The laughing" is a phrase, lacking a subject-verb structure. In contrast, "The child played" is a clause, as it has a subject (the child) and a verb (played). Phrases often provide descriptive detail, while clauses are the building blocks of a sentence.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024
Phrases come in various forms like noun phrases, verb phrases, adjectival phrases, etc., each serving a different function in a sentence. Clauses are categorized into independent (main) and dependent (subordinate) clauses, dictating the sentence's structure and meaning.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Comparison Chart

Components

Group of words without a complete subject-verb pair
Group of words with a subject and verb
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Standalone Ability

Cannot stand alone as a sentence
Independent can, dependent cannot
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Types

Noun, verb, adjectival, etc.
Independent (main), dependent (subordinate)
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Function

Acts as part of speech in a sentence
Forms main or subordinate part of a sentence
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Example

"under the table" (Prepositional Phrase)
"She sings" (Independent Clause)
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Phrase and Clause Definitions

Phrase

A group of words that describes a noun.
The house on the hill is old.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Clause

A clause that modifies a noun or pronoun.
The book that I read was interesting.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Phrase

A group of words functioning as an adverb.
He ran with great speed.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Clause

A group of words that can stand alone as a sentence.
The sun sets in the west.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Phrase

A verb along with its modifiers.
She was singing melodiously.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Clause

A clause that acts as a noun.
What she said was surprising.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Phrase

A preposition with its object and modifiers.
The cat slept under the tree.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Clause

Cannot stand alone and depends on the main clause.
Although it was raining, we went for a walk.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Phrase

A sequence of words that have meaning, especially when forming part of a sentence.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Clause

A clause that functions as an adverb.
He left when the bell rang.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Phrase

A characteristic way or mode of expression
An apt turn of phrase.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Clause

(Grammar) A group of words containing a subject and a predicate and forming part of a compound or complex sentence.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

A brief, apt, and cogent expression
The phrase "out of the frying pan and into the fire.".
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Clause

A distinct article, stipulation, or provision in a document.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

(Music) A short passage or segment, often consisting of four measures or forming part of a larger unit.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Clause

(grammar) A verb, its necessary grammatical arguments, and any adjuncts affecting them.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

A series of dance movements forming a unit in a choreographic pattern.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Clause

(grammar) A verb along with its subject and their modifiers. If a clause provides a complete thought on its own, then it is an independent (superordinate) clause; otherwise, it is (subordinate) dependent.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

To express orally or in writing
The speaker phrased several opinions.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Clause

(legal) A separate part of a contract, a will or another legal document.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

To divide (a passage) into phrases.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Clause

To amend (a bill of lading or similar document).
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

To combine (notes) in a phrase.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Clause

A separate portion of a written paper, paragraph, or sentence; an article, stipulation, or proviso, in a legal document.
The usual attestation clause to a will.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

To make or express phrases.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Clause

A subordinate portion or a subdivision of a sentence containing a subject and its predicate.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

(Music) To perform a passage with the correct phrasing.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Clause

See Letters clause or Letters close, under Letter.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

A short written or spoken expression.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Clause

(grammar) an expression including a subject and predicate but not constituting a complete sentence
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

(grammar) A word or, more commonly, a group of words that functions as a single unit in the syntax of a sentence, usually consisting of a head, or central word, and elaborating words.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Clause

A separate section of a legal document (as a statute or contract or will)
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

(music) A small section of music in a larger piece.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

(archaic) A mode or form of speech; diction; expression.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

(dance) A short individual motion forming part of a choreographed dance.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

(transitive) To express (an action, thought or idea) by means of particular words.
I wasn't sure how to phrase my condolences without sounding patronising.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

To perform a passage with the correct phrasing.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

To divide into melodic phrases.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

A brief expression, sometimes a single word, but usually two or more words forming an expression by themselves, or being a portion of a sentence; as, an adverbial phrase.
"Convey" the wise it call. "Steal!" foh! a fico for the phrase.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

A short, pithy expression; especially, one which is often employed; a peculiar or idiomatic turn of speech; as, to err is human.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

A mode or form of speech; the manner or style in which any one expreses himself; diction; expression.
Thou speak'stIn better phrase and matter than thou didst.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

A short clause or portion of a period.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

To express in words, or in peculiar words; to call; to style.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

To use proper or fine phrases.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

An expression forming a grammatical constituent of a sentence but not containing a finite verb
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

A short musical passage
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

An expression whose meanings cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

Put into words or an expression;
He formulated his concerns to the board of trustees
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Phrase

A group of words acting as a noun.
The roaring lion scared the tourists.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is a phrase?

A group of words without a subject-verb pair, serving as a single part of speech.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

What are examples of phrases?

"On the table," "running quickly."
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

What is a clause?

A group of words with a subject and verb, forming a sentence or part of it.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Can a clause be a complete sentence?

Yes, if it's an independent clause.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

What are examples of clauses?

"She runs" (independent), "because she is late" (dependent).
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Are all sentences clauses?

Yes, every sentence includes at least one clause.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

What is a dependent clause?

A clause that can't stand alone and needs an independent clause.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Can a phrase stand alone?

No, phrases cannot form complete sentences.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Are phrases less important than clauses?

No, they play different but complementary roles.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

What is a noun phrase?

A phrase acting as a noun.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Can a phrase contain a verb?

Yes, but not with a subject to form a complete thought.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Can a sentence end with a phrase?

Yes, often for descriptive emphasis.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Can a sentence have both a phrase and a clause?

Yes, most complex sentences have both.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

How do phrases enhance sentences?

By adding descriptive detail.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Do clauses affect sentence structure?

Yes, they define the main and subordinate parts of sentences.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

How do you identify a phrase in a sentence?

Look for groups of words without a subject-verb pair.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Can a sentence start with a clause?

Yes, especially with dependent clauses.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Is a clause part of grammar?

Yes, it's fundamental to sentence structure.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

How do you identify a clause?

Look for groups of words with a subject and verb.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Can clauses be complex?

Yes, especially in compound and complex sentences.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Share this page

Link for your blog / website
HTML
Link to share via messenger
About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

Popular Comparisons

Trending Comparisons

FPTP vs. PRFPTP vs. PR
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 16, 2024
FPTP (First Past the Post) is a simple plurality voting system where the candidate with most votes wins; PR (Proportional Representation) allocates seats based on the proportion of votes each party receives.
Poster vs. InfographicPoster vs. Infographic
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
A Poster is a large printed image or notice for public display, while an Infographic is a visual representation of information or data.
Japanese Eyes vs. Chinese EyesJapanese Eyes vs. Chinese Eyes
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Japanese Eyes and Chinese Eyes refer to linguistic structures in Japanese and Chinese respectively, each reflecting unique aspects of grammar and syntax.
Login vs. LogonLogin vs. Logon
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
"Login" and "Logon" are often used interchangeably to describe the process of gaining access to a computer system, but "login" can also refer to the credentials used for access.
2 Pole Motors vs. 4 Pole Motors2 Pole Motors vs. 4 Pole Motors
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
2 Pole Motors have one pair of magnetic poles and run at higher speeds, while 4 Pole Motors have two pairs of poles and operate at lower speeds, offering higher torque.
Poem vs. PoetryPoem vs. Poetry
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
A poem is a piece of writing that expresses ideas and emotions with a distinctive style and rhythm; poetry is the art form of writing such pieces.
Extent vs. ScopeExtent vs. Scope
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
"Extent" refers to the degree or range something covers, while "Scope" relates to the breadth or range of coverage, influence, or effect.
Pulley vs. SheavePulley vs. Sheave
Hifza NasirHifza Nasir
April 4, 2024
A pulley is a wheel on an axle designed to support movement and change of direction of a taut cable, while a sheave is the wheel part of a pulley system that specifically interacts with the cable.
Nuclear Family vs. Joint FamilyNuclear Family vs. Joint Family
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 9, 2024
Nuclear Family is a family unit consisting of parents and their children. Joint Family is a larger family structure comprising parents, children, and other relatives living together.
NM3 vs. M3NM3 vs. M3
Hifza NasirHifza Nasir
April 19, 2024
NM3 measures gas volume under Normal conditions (0°C and 1.01325 bar), while M3 measures volume under the conditions at which it is measured, without standard adjustment.
Vital Proteins Collagen vs. OrganikaVital Proteins Collagen vs. Organika
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 9, 2024
Vital Proteins Collagen is a brand offering collagen supplements for health and beauty, while Organika is a broader health and wellness brand with diverse products including collagen.
Data Roaming vs. Cellular DataData Roaming vs. Cellular Data
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Data Roaming allows usage of mobile network services outside of the home network area, while Cellular Data is using mobile services within the home network.
Catapult vs. TrebuchetCatapult vs. Trebuchet
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 4, 2024
A catapult is a ballistic device using tension or torsion to launch projectiles, while a trebuchet is a type of catapult using a counterweight for greater force and distance.
Gorilla Glass 3 vs. Gorilla Glass 5Gorilla Glass 3 vs. Gorilla Glass 5
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 1, 2024
Gorilla Glass 3 offers improved scratch resistance and durability compared to its predecessors, while Gorilla Glass 5 focuses on enhanced drop protection and toughness.
Slazenger Logo vs. Puma LogoSlazenger Logo vs. Puma Logo
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 15, 2024
The Slazenger logo features a panther, symbolizing agility and tradition, while the Puma logo depicts a leaping puma, representing speed and strength.
Pycharm Community vs. Pycharm ProPycharm Community vs. Pycharm Pro
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 4, 2024
PyCharm Community is a free, open-source IDE for Python development, while PyCharm Pro is a paid version with additional advanced features like web development support and database tools.
Fluid vs. LiquidFluid vs. Liquid
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 13, 2024
Fluids encompass all substances that flow (including gases and liquids), while liquids specifically refer to fluids with a definite volume but no fixed shape, adapting to their container.
DDR3 vs. DDR3LDDR3 vs. DDR3L
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 29, 2024
DDR3 is a type of RAM with standard voltage (1.5V), while DDR3L is a low voltage variant (1.35V) compatible with both 1.5V and 1.35V slots.
Pebble vs. StonePebble vs. Stone
Dua FatimaDua Fatima
May 30, 2024
A pebble is a small, smooth rock worn by water or weather, typically found on beaches or rivers, while a stone is a larger, more varied rock that can be rough or smooth, used in construction or as a tool.
5'11" vs. 6'0"5’11” vs. 6’0″
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 4, 2024
The difference between 5'11" and 6'0" is one inch, with 5'11" being 71 inches and 6'0" being 72 inches tall.
NDM vs. FTPNDM vs. FTP
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 15, 2024
NDM (Network Data Mover) automates and secures data transfers across networks, while FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a standard network protocol for transferring files between computers.
Crane vs. HeronCrane vs. Heron
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
June 24, 2024
Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds known for their elaborate dances, while herons are typically more solitary, stealth hunters with a distinctive S-shaped neck.
Traditional Trade vs. Modern TradeTraditional Trade vs. Modern Trade
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Traditional trade involves local, small-scale, often personalized commerce; modern trade is characterized by large-scale, technology-driven, and impersonal retail environments.
Explain vs. DefineExplain vs. Define
Dua FatimaDua Fatima
June 22, 2024
Explaining involves detailing or clarifying a concept, often including context and examples, whereas defining means stating the exact meaning of a word or phrase, typically in a concise manner.

Featured Comparisons

New Comparisons