I don't know either the following constructions are a phrase or a clause?

1) wash the dishes

2) do the laundry

3) take out the garbage

In my opinion, they are all phrases or verb phrases to be exact.

Am I right?


These are all examples of commands, in which the subject (you/you all) is omitted. Although the subjects are not explicitly written, they are implied, so these examples are in fact complete sentences.

See this post for more information: https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/124250/are-commands-complete-sentences


They could be either.

In the sentence

Wash the dishes!

The phrase is a complete clause, and a complete sentence. It is an imperative.

In the sentence

We wash the dishes on Monday.

The phrase "wash the dishes" is not a complete clause in this example, it is the verb phrase in a longer sentence. This sentence only has a single clause.

So the question cannot be answered. A word or phrase only has a grammatical function when placed in a sentence.

  • However, the latter example 'We wash the dishes on Monday' does fulfill the requirements of a clause; i.e. having a subject (we) and a verb (wash). I don't understand why did u say it is a phrase?
    – The One
    Jul 16 '19 at 5:38
  • 1
    I said "We wash the dishes on Monday" is a clause. The words "wash the dishes" are a phrase when they are used in the sentence "We wash the dishes on Monday".
    – James K
    Jul 16 '19 at 5:41
  • Despite the requirements of a phrase -- having no subject and verb? The word 'wash' is a verb. So, I might be wrong to say that 'wash the dishes' is not a phrase in the sentence.
    – The One
    Jul 16 '19 at 5:48
  • "wash the dishes" is a phrase in that sentence, formed from a verb and the object of the verb. It is a predicate phrase.
    – James K
    Jul 16 '19 at 5:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .