1 of 2
Course Home Expand All
1 of 2

CHAPTER 11 – Definition – Phrase – Syntagme

A phrase, (also known in French as un syntagme or un groupe or again une locution) is a word or group of words forming an entity, a grammatical unity.

There are 5 types of phrases in French:

  1. nominal phrase
  2. adjectival phrase
  3. adverbial phrase
  4. verbal phrase
  5. prepositional phrase

A phrase has a head (un noyau) around which revolves other satellites.

syntagme can be made of several other sous-syntagmes (sub-phrases). Consider the following nominal phrase (syntagme nominal) (underlined for your convenience):

La soeur de mon nouveau voisin est belle. / My new neighbor’s sister is beautiful.

Within that nominal phrase, there are sub-phrases. For example, de mon nouveau voisin is a sub-phrase whose head is voisin linked to the sattelites demon, and nouveau.