Lesson: Parts of Speech - Phrases

Rate this video: 

Comment on Parts of Speech - Phrases

its really good
gmat-admin's picture

Thanks for taking the time to say that!

Hello Admin,

I have a little query regarding infinitive . The query is whether I should use happy or happily in the below 2 sentences and the logic to decide the same.
1. To live ( happily/ happy ) is what everyone wants.
2. Everyone wants to live ( happy/happily)..

Thanks ,

gmat-admin's picture

In both cases (within the infinitive phrase) we are describing the manner in which one lives (verb). So, in both cases, we need the adverb "happily"

Thanks for all your vids, it's really helpfull! I just would like to know if your vids cover everything we need to succeed in the sentence correction part ? Thanks
gmat-admin's picture

Yes, these videos cover everything you need to know.

Great Videos ! Thank you for helping us to overcome fear of gmat.

Brilliant videos!
Includes all tits and bits of error which have to be avoided on GMAT.

You are awesome man! Thankyou for helping the community. God bless you and your team.


gmat-admin's picture

Yes, that's correct.

cool. Thanks for the clarification and the videos. U bet they are helpful. Cheers!

HI can u please help me understand the difference between a particple phrase and a gerund phrase.
Ex : Sensing danger ,Claudette slowly reached for her tooth brush .
Why is sensing danger not a gerund phrase as it begings with " ING ". Here you said it acts as an adjective and modifies Claudette whereas in the sentence Smoking cigars has become a status symbol the word smoking cigars acts as a noun . Why ??
gmat-admin's picture

It comes down to context.

For example, "playing" can act as either a gerund or a participle. It's up to you to examine the context in which the word appears to determine whether "playing" is acting as a noun or a modifier.

Jane enjoys playing (noun)

Playing in the garden, Jane spotted a spider (participial modifier)

This requirement for the reader to determine context occurs often in English. For example, in the sentence "All roads lead to Rome.", does "lead" refer to the heavy metal "lead" or to the verb "lead" that means to go in a certain direction. Context, context, context.

Got it. Thanks for the explanation again

Sir, I can't understand gerund phrase and participial Phrase clearly.Help me
gmat-admin's picture

I answered that question 3 posts up.

Is there a list of all Participles not ending with -ed and -ing?
gmat-admin's picture

I've spent the last 20 minutes looking for such a list, and haven't found one. I'll try to find one. In the meantime, if you find one, please let me know.

Will this be a decent and appropriate reference point: https://jakubmarian.com/english-verbs-that-are-the-same-in-the-present-tense-and-the-past-tense/
gmat-admin's picture

Definitely a good place to start.

Refer to 07:02 time mark in the video.
It is said that an adverb can be used to modify a gerund.
Can we use the same analogy and use an adjective to modify gerund?
For example can we say : Smoking fat Cigars has become a status symbol.
Here I tried using 'fat' to modify 'Smoking'.
gmat-admin's picture

I wouldn't worry about this aspect of gerunds. The truth of the matter is that words that modify gerunds can be both adjectives and adverbs. This should make sense since gerunds are created by adding "ing" to verbs.

I mention in the video that it's fine to have obvious adverbs (like "quickly") modifying gerunds (even though gerunds are nouns) so that people don't view this as a grammatical error.

The actual mechanics of whether something modifying a gerund is an adverb or adjective is pretty subjective, so the GMAT will not test you on this. More on this here: https://www.reddit.com/r/grammar/comments/4wtxyk/adjectives_modifying_a_...

Refer to 10:12 time mark in the video.
In the example 'Kyle's ambition is to win the sate lottery", what is the clue to identify the the infinitive phrase as a noun? Would it become an adverb if it was placed as an infinitive phrase of the first example? For example, Ismet's decision is to win the state lottery.
gmat-admin's picture

This is a pretty esoteric aspect of infinitive phrases, which wouldn't be tested on the GMAT.

That said, in the 3rd sentence, the word "is" serves to equate "ambition" (a noun) with winning the state lottery. So, the infinitive phrase "to win the state lottery" must also be a noun.

In the Ismet example, the infinitive phrase "to appoint his parakeet" is touching the noun "decision." So, in this case, "to appoint his parakeet" is modifying the word decision.

If were to write "Ismet's decision is to appoint his parakeet," then "to appoint his parakeet" would be behaving as an adjective.

More here: http://www.softschools.com/examples/grammar/infinitives_examples/96/

Hi Brent,
In the example "Sensing danger, Claudette slowly reaches for her toothbrush", would it be correct to say that "for her toothbrush" is a prepositional phrase?
gmat-admin's picture

You are correct.

"for her toothbrush" is a prepositional phrase that modifies the verb REACH. It tells us more about HOW Claudette reached.


Add a comment

Ask on Beat The GMAT

If you have any questions, ask them on the Beat The GMAT discussion forums. The average response time is typically less than 30 minutes.

Change Playback Speed

To watch our videos at faster speeds (e.g., 20% or 50% faster), download this free extension for your Chrome web browser.  

Have a question about this video?

Post your question in the Comment section below, and we’ll answer it as fast as humanly possible.