A Verb Phrase is a linguistic phrase whose Head is a verb
- AKA: VP
- It must contain a Verb
- It can contain an Adverb whose combined meaning cannot be deduced from their individual meanings.
- It can contain one or two Complements.
- It can contain any number of Adjuncts.
- The phrase “is German” in "Helmut [[is V] German VP]."
- The phrase “huffed and puffed up the mountain” in "Yesterday, I [[huffed and puffed V] up the mountain VP].", a Simple Declarative Sentence.
- See: Predicate Phrase, Compound Verb.
- (Wikipedia, 2009) ⇒ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verb_phrase
- In the generative grammar framework, the verb phrase is a phrase headed by a verb. A verb phrase may be constructed from a single verb; often, however, the verb phrase will consist of various combinations of the main verb and any auxiliary verbs, plus optional specifiers, complements, and adjuncts. For example, consider the following sentences:
- 1a. Yankee batters hit the ball to win their first World Series since 2000.
- 1b. Mary saw the man through the window.
- 1c. John gave Mary a book.
- Example (1a) contains the verb phrase hit the ball to win their first World Series since (2000). Example (1b) contains the main verb see, the noun phrase (NP) complement the man, and the prepositional phrase (PP) adjunct through the window. Additionally, example (1c) contains the main verb gave, and two noun phrases Mary and a book, both selected by the verb in this case.
- Verb phrases are sometimes defined more narrowly in scope to allow for only those sentence elements that are strictly considered verbal elements to form verb phrases. According to such a definition, verb phrases consist only of main verbs, auxiliary verbs, and other infinitive or participle constructions. For example, in the following sentences only the bolded words would be considered to form the verb phrase for each sentence:
- 2a. John gave Mary a book.
- 2b. They were being eaten alive.
- 2c. She kept screaming like a maniac.
- 2d. Thou shalt not kill.