Using Phrases as a Camera Lens

Howdy, Monarchs!

Once you fully understand basic sentence structure (simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences), you’re ready to start zooming in on different details by adding phrases to your sentences.

There are three types of phrases you can use to zoom in on specific details within a sentence: appositive, participial, and absolute. Watch the video below to learn about the differences between these three types of phrases. Take Cornell notes as you watch the video. You will need to know the differences between clauses and phrases, as well as the differences between appositive, participial, and absolute phrases, and also how to use commas and phrases together to avoid run-on sentences.

Did you finish watching the video? I suggest you review your Cornell notes to make sure you have clear, easy to understand notes on appositive, participial, and absolute phrases and on the comma rules that go along with phrases.

Placement and Punctuation of Phrases

When adding phrases into their sentences, strong writers use:

  • appositive phrases to give more information about the subject of a sentence
  • participial phrases to zoom in on the movement of the subject
  • absolute phrases to zoom in on the movement of a specific part of the subject

Strong writers also consider where they should put their phrase within the sentence, and also where to put their commas to keep the sentence from running on and on and on and on and…you get the idea.

While participial phrases and absolute phrases can be openers, interrupters, or closers, appositive phrases are almost always interrupters and sometimes closers, but never openers.

Punctuate your phrases correctly!

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Review basic sentence structure!

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