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Linguistic Definition of Verb Phrase

Verb phrases in English grammar are phrases in which a verb functions as the head of the phrase. Verb phrases perform verbal, nominal, adjectival, and adverbial grammatical functions.

Verb phrase is a grammatical form.

The eleven grammatical functions performed by verb phrases are predicate, noun phrase modifier, adjective phrase complement, verb phrase complement, subject, subject complement, direct object, object complement, indirect object, prepositional complement, and appositive.

The five grammatical forms that may appear in verb phrases are auxiliary verbs, p-words, prepositional phrases, adverb phrases, and determiners. Verb phrases may also contain subject complements, direct objects, object complements, and indirect objects.


Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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