Kinds of Phrases


To identify a phrase's type, look for the most prominent word in the phrase, the one that neither modifies anything else in the phrase nor is governed by anything else in the phrase. You might call this the "top word" or the "key word" in the phrase, and it is the one that gives its name to the phrase as a whole. The skill involved in locating top words helps you improve your writing. It may be slow to develop, but pay close attention, and learn from your errors.

Instructions: Identify each phrase according to its type by dragging the items on the right to the items on the left which they describe.