English Grammar 101: Sentences, Clauses and Phrases

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Welcome to English Grammar 101, the newest category on Daily Writing Tips. I thought that creating a series of posts covering the basic grammar rules and parts of speech would be useful to many people, especially if you consider the diversity of our readership.

On this first post we’ll cover sentences, clauses and phrases.


Sentences are made of two parts: the subject and the predicate.

The subject is the person or thing that acts or is described in the sentence. The predicate, on the other hand, is that action or description.

Complete sentences need both the subject and the predicate.


Sentences can be broken down into clauses. For example:

The boy is going to the school, and he is going to eat there.

This is a complete sentence composed of two clauses. There are mainly two types of clauses: independent clauses and subordinate clauses.

Independent clauses act as complete sentences, while subordinate clauses cannot stand alone and need another clause to complete their meaning. For example:

Independent clause: “The boy went to the school.”
Subordinate clause: “After the boy went to the school…”


A group of two or more grammatically linked words that do not have subject and predicate is a phrase. For example:

The girl is at home, and tomorrow she is going to the amusement park.

You can see that “the amusement park” is a phrase located in the second clause of the complete sentence above.

Phrases act like parts of speech inside clauses. That is, they can act as nouns, adjectives, adverbs and so on.

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143 thoughts on “English Grammar 101: Sentences, Clauses and Phrases”

  1. i m a teacher n we have to write daily 1 pg lesson plan.i can write that but i want that i should use good vocabulary words and properly form the sentence with good english

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  4. Hi! my name Chamnan, i’m from cambodia, i would like to know how
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  5. I plan to write a novel about my school…please help me on how to go about it….
    How can i improve my grammer ang my vocabulary?

  6. I’m glad that I found this site. I always need advice on grammarical

    matters and didn’t know where to ask. I’ve got one now-Is there

    any specific reason to choose clauses rather than phrases or vice

    versa except for variations or brevity?

  7. I’m Irfanullah from Pakistan.i am writing this note to ask about to know,how could i be a best English speaker and writer and i should tell that how can i improve my Grammar,vocabulary,and listening skills so please help me. i need your assistnce.

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  9. Can u help me how can i improve my fluency because when i speak i do lots of blunder which are mostly concerned with grammer. how can i make my grammer strong. can u suggest me some cheap and best english spoken center. pls give ur kind advice.

  10. Is the sentence punctuation in this sentence correct?
    Islam was declared to be the ONLY permissible religion so the Brotherhood nationalized all “Christian” church houses by converting them to mosques or state run food warehouses.

  11. Janis,

    No. See the example under clauses in the original post. You’re missing a comma. Also, you need a hyphen in “state-run.”

    We deal with both these issues in the Precise Edit Training Manual and in our Writing Tips for a Year service. You can get both on our website at .

  12. It was a wonderful time going through your website,i’ve lernt some things that would improve my Writing. Good job,keep it up.

  13. Balaji and Darwin: In addition to the excellent writing advice on this blog, you might check out the recommended writing resources on , particularly The Elements of Style and The Business Writer’s Handbook.

    Two other recommendations:
    1. Get a good dictionary and use it for checking spelling, word meaning, and correct usage. might also be useful.
    2. Read aloud well-written books. Find books that are at your English reading level (even children’s books, if necessary) and read them aloud.

  14. i will like u to heip me inprove in english language based on summary writing, essay writing, composition, speech work, listening skill and the transitional elements.

  15. thanks a lot, this website helped me learning english language. i got much too problem, but i sure i can speak english very well next time

  16. Hi ! I want to speak and write english fluently, I’m junior in college, i still can not speak english well. Pls help me!!!!

  17. Hi! My greetings! I have solved some grammar problems owing to your printing materials. And i ask you to teach how we can connect to difficult types of sentences. Also give me some information about if clauses. How to use words like “however, despite, throughly, in spite of, “. And how we can use english words in its true way? How to chose pozitive and neutral words when writing articles?

  18. I want to pass my toefl test, but I think it`s very hard could you give me some advice?

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  19. I visited this site to improve my English knowledge though..

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  20. Watching English movies can help improve spoken English. However, I could refine my English skills through the training sessions offered by the call centre where I once worked.

  21. i really want to speak in english everyday.. but i got too much problems in english… i always like too watch english movies, listening too english song… its all because of english… i really want to improve my self english.. plz let me know how can i do. Can you please help me too improve my english?……..

  22. my problems is that, how can i iprove my word power how will i speaking eglish, i want to speak enlish,write and read how can i
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  23. hi I’m a student and will be very glad to know more grammar,sentences and clauses. and how the all work in modern linguistics.

  24. i am very poor in english transltion .so pleas give sugtion for the how to translte and make sentence .

  25. I am not sure if I am writing the below phrase correctly. Can anyone advice me.

    “Our current strength is only 1 and half manpower”

  26. if there is something to add from my side it would be discussing the probality of improving capabilities in english grammar for non-native speakers

  27. I am a social worker woking with an NGO. I am very weak in English. I want to fluent in writing and speaking in english. kindly guide me.

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