Difference Between Phrase and Clause & Their Similarities


There are different parts in a sentence in the English language, and each part has a specific relative purpose, with some specific characteristics. This might sound pretty straightforward and simple, but it’s not that easy, especially Phrase and Clause’s concept can be really confusing at times.

A Phrase and A Clause are two different parts in a sentence, both with a certain unique trait, but sometimes they look so identical, it is tough to distinguish between them.

The knowledge of Phrase and Clause is necessary to punctuate a sentence properly as well.

You can also find differences between articles on various topics that you need to know. Just tap on the quick link available and get to know the basic differences between them.

What is the Difference Between Phrase and Clause?


To differentiate between a phrase and a clause, one must already know about Subject-Verb. First, we need to find out the Subject-Verb in a sentence to decide if a sentence is a phrase or a clause.

Steps to find out a Subject-Verb.

1) Apply the time test and find the verb: Change the sentence’s time or tense, and the word which you change in the process is called Verb.

2) Finding the Subject: Ask “who” or “what” questions with the verb. Your answer is the Subject.

About Phrase

When a group of words doesn’t have a subject-verb unit, i.e. when we try to change the tense, we can’t because no such word exists in it, which can be altered to change the tense.

Since it doesn’t have a verb, it cannot have a Subject-Verb unit.

Such groups of words are called Phrases.

About Clause

When a group of words or a sentence has a Subject-Verb Unit, it is called a Clause. Clauses are of two types.

1) Dependent Clause

2) Independent Clause

Let’s understand this with an example.

  1. a) Simran played the Guitar.
  2. b) because Simran played the Guitar.

In the above sentences, both have a Subject-Verb Unit, so both are Clauses. The first can be used independently as a sentence, whereas you need a supporting statement to use the second statement.

So, the second statement is a Dependent Clause, and the first one is an Independent Clause.

Difference Between Phrase and Clause 1

Difference between Phrase and Clause in a Sentence

Sentence Subject-Verb Unit Phrase/Clause
A melodic new single N/A Phrase
He released a melodic new single. He released Clause
Some rappers have no sense of melody at all. Rappers have Clause
Rappers with no sense of melody at all N/A Phrase
Lil Wayne is a one-person corporation. Lil Wayne is Clause
Carter gave a thumbs up to TMZ cameras. Carter gave Clause
He sounds terminally bored. He sounds Clause

Difference Between Phrase and Clause 2

Frequently Asked Questions on Difference Between Phrase and Clause

On what basis are Phrases and Clauses differentiated?

To decide if the given sentence is a clause or a phrase, one must look for Subject-Verb Unit’s presence.

What is the easiest way or a trick to find a Phrase of a Clause, if we don’t know about the Subject-Verb unit?

Ask them “Is it true” question. Make a sentence starting with “is it true that” then put the given sentence if the entire sentence makes sense it is a Clause if not, it is a Phrase.

What is the basic difference between a Phrase and a Clause?

The presence and absence of a Subject-Verb unit in a sentence is the basic difference between a Phrase and a Clause.

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