phrases?

probus

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What do you think? Can a single word be a phrase? Or does a phrase need to have two or more words?
 
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Soseki

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Glossary
Phrase
A word or group of words which form grammatical units such as noun phrase, verb phrase or adjective phrase. Phrases are the constituents of clauses. (Cambridge Grammar of English, Ronald Carter, Michael McCarthy)

phrase n 1(a) (grammar) a group of words without a verb, esp one that forms part of a sentence: 'The green car' and 'at half past four' are phrases. (Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary)

Both are correct. :-D
 
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GoesStation

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The first definition clearly states that a phrase can consist of a single word.
 

GoesStation

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In case it wasn't clear, post #3 was an illustration of a complete single-word phrase.
 

Soseki

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What has been found so far.
There exist at least two ways of viewing the idea of phrase.
 

Matthew Wai

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'phrase
a group of words that is part of, rather than the whole of, a sentence'—quoted from http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/phrase

'phrase
1 LINGUISTICS a group of words that are used together in a fixed expression'—quoted from http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/phrase_1

'phrase
1 a group of words that have a particular meaning when used together, or which someone uses on a particular occasion'—quoted from http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/phrase

'A phrase is a short group of words that people often use as a way of saying something.
A phrase is a small group of words which forms a unit, either on its own or within a sentence.'—quoted from https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/phrase
 

Phaedrus

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A single word sometimes constitutes not only a phrase but an entire sentence or discourse. For example:

"Evacuate."

In the film Sully, that's all Sully (Tom Hanks) says to his passengers after landing on the Hudson River.
 

Soseki

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The noun phrase
NTRODUCTION
Structure

Noun phrases consist minimally of a noun, which acts as the head of the noun phrase. The head may be accompanied by dependent elements before or after it. The followig are examples of noun phrases; heads are in green, words in black are dependent elements:
music
summer

we
him

a dog
the old man
that
table in the corner
a nice day at the beach
the sofa we bought in the sale
(Cambridge Grammar of English, ditto #4)

A3 NOUN PHRASES AND DETERMINERS
A3.1 Noun phrases

In A2 we looked at nouns as a word class. But we want to study texts and analyse sentences (for example, to identify subjects and objects), we need to recognise a larger unit: the noun phrase. A noun phrase is a noun and all the words that 'go' with it. It can consist of just a noun:
Money is bad for you.
People are
strange.
London is a fantastic place.

And a pronoun can also function as a noun phrase:
She is my best friend.
But usually there is more than one word.
Noun phrases can consist of up to four parts, as in the diagram:

DETERMINER......PREMODIFIER....... HEAD........ POSTMODIFIER
all the ...............tall..................... girls.......... with red hair
Figure A3. 1.1 The four parts of a noun phrase

... omitted ...

Heads
The head is the central part of a noun phrase; it is the only part which is obligatory, though if it is a singular count noun, there must be a determiner with it: a table or that table, not simply 'table'. Heads are usually nouns, but can sometimes be adjectives
(the poor); see B3. The head is the word that changes for number. It agrees with the determiner and any following verb (if the noun phrase is the subject).
(ENGLISH GRAMMAR, Roger Berry, Routledge)

I suppose the sources say countable nouns are not (noun) phrases on their own.
 
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Phaedrus

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I suppose . . . countable nouns are not (noun) phrases on their own.
[Glasses] are on the table.
There are [glasses] on the table.
 

Phaedrus

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"Glass" is a countable noun.
"Glasses" is the plural form of that noun.
"Glasses" is a noun phrase in "Glasses are on the table."
"Glasses" is also a noun phrase in "There are glasses on the table."
"Glasses" is one word.
Therefore:
The notion that countable nouns can't be noun phrases by themselves is incorrect.
 

Matthew Wai

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I would simply call it a noun rather than a noun phrase.
 

Soseki

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"Glass" is a countable noun.
"Glasses" is the plural form of that noun.
"Glasses" is a noun phrase in "Glasses are on the table."
"Glasses" is also a noun phrase in "There are glasses on the table."
"Glasses" is one word.
Therefore:
The notion that countable nouns can't be noun phrases by themselves is incorrect.
I uderstand what you mean.
 

Phaedrus

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I would simply call it a noun rather than a noun phrase.
It's a noun phrase.
When a noun functions as the subject of a clause, it is a noun phrase.
 

Phaedrus

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On that note, some of you learners may be interested to learn this:

All pronouns are noun phrases.

That's right, boys and girls: it, he, she, I, them. They're one and all noun phrases.
 

Matthew Wai

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Just out of interest, Phaedrus, why do you often omit the poster and the post number, e.g. Matthew Wai;1348621, from the quote box?
 

Phaedrus

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Just out of interest, Phaedrus, why do you often omit the poster and the post number, e.g. Matthew Wai;1348621, from the quote box?
I don't use the reply-with-quote function. I start at the bottom and quote as I please.

BTW, "All pronouns are noun phrases" applies only to pronouns in sentences.

And there is at least one exception:

In phrases like "you learners," the pronoun functions as a determiner.
 
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