Two words you’ll hear grammarians throw out are clause and phrase. What’s the difference?

In short, a clause contains a subject doing the verb while a phrase doesn’t.

Take this sentence for example. 

For the first time in 11 years, I ate fried chicken. 

In this example, everything before the comma is a phrase and everything after the comma is a clause (I is the subject and ate is the verb the subject is doing. 

Clear as mud?

About Kim Siever

I am a copywriter and copyeditor. I blog on writing tips mostly, but I sometimes throw in my thoughts about running a small business. Follow me on Twitter at @hotpepper.

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