When both are used as modifiers, is there any difference in meaning or usage? like 'verb phrase', 'verbal construction', etc.

  • I think it is a useful question, so I'll repost my comment as an answer. – StoneyB on hiatus Aug 20 '14 at 13:17

There should be a difference, and in many technical grammar texts a formal distinction is drawn; but, alas, such distinctions are not consistent from author to author, and are even less consistently observed across the community.

This is probably inevitable in a discipline which is constantly evolving and which is constrained to talk about language with language itself. We are constrained to use generally understood terms from traditional grammar, like verb and verbal, in order to be understood at all; but we have to use these to discuss novel concepts which are often at odds with traditional understanding. Each author has to find her own path through this minefield.

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