Previously I told I would tell more about phrases. Drum rolls please *durrrr*

As a recap, phrase are simply group of related words within a sentence which lacks both a subject and a predicate. A sentence may be made up of many phrases! Phrases are called वाक्यांश (bakyansha) in Nepali.  


Nominal phrases, also known as Noun Phrases are those phrases which behave as a noun. That means, a whole group of words behave as one noun. The component does not necessarily have only nouns, though. For example:

त्यो रातो लुगा राम्रो छ (tyo rato luga ramro cha)

= That red dress is good.

[That + red + dress + good + is]

The noun phrase is highlighted with bold.

Now, as we can see the two words ‘red dress’ together act as one word. In this case, it behaves as a noun. Hence, it is a nominal phrase. 

Most nominal phrases use an adjective + noun format as the basis. For example:

सुन्दर आँखा /sundar akha/ = Beautiful Eye(s)

नरम छाला /naram chala/ = Soft Skin

In turn, these are placed in the sentence where they behave like a single word.

The first sentence was pretty simple. In fact, they are called simple sentences in Grammar. What if we wanted to make use of many noun phrases? To do such, we need to construct a slightly difference sentence format; construct a complex sentence. However, constructing one requires the use of clauses which we will explore later on. Just remember that phrases are the ‘bricks’ to the clauses which are the ‘walls’ of ‘the house’ called the sentence.

More example of nominal phrases:

यहाँ सुन्दर फूलहरु छन् (yaha sundar phul`haru chan)

= There are beautiful flowers here.

[Here + Beautiful + Flowers + are]

मैले घरको खाना खाएर आएको हुँ (maile ghar`ko khana khaera aaeko hu)

[I + House’s + Food + after eating + come + have]

= I have come after eating house’s food.


Adjectival Phrases (better known as ‘adjective phrases’) are those phrases which behave like an adjective. For example:

त्यो ठूलो रातो कुरा (tyo thulo rato kura)

That big red thing

[That + big + red + thing]

It is important to know which order adjectives place themselves, so you can head over this lesson to find out more.

Adjectival phrases can also be constructed from a noun and the genitive particle ‘ko’:

उसको रातो किताब (usko rato kitab)

His red book

[His + red + book]

श्रेष्ठ ज्यू मेरो अफिसको मान्छे हो (shrestha jyuu mero afis`ko manche ho)

= Mr. Shrestha is a man of (from) my office

[Shrestha + Mr. + My + office’s + person + is]

ऊ तिमी भन्दा सानो छ (timi`bhanda sano cha)

= He is smaller than you.

[He + You + than + small + is]

While adjectival phrases seem to be trivial, later on, we will see how adjective clauses and relative clauses intertwine, that is the use of adjective clauses where relative clauses are used in English. For example, the clause ‘the man who walks on the street’ is simply reduced to ‘street (in) walking man’ in Nepali, simplifying things. For now, I’ll say no more.


The last type of phrase that you’ll see is ‘Adverbial Phrase’. An adverbial phrase is a phrase that behaves like an adverb. First, we must distinguish between Adverbs and Adverbial Phrases. Take these sentences:

म छिटो सुत्छु (ma chito sutchu)

= I sleep quickly. (= I fall asleep soon)

[I + quickly+ sleep]

म एक घण्टामा सुत्छु (ma ek ghanta`ma sutchu)

= I sleep in one hour. (= I fall asleep in an hour)

[I + One + Hour in + Sleep]

What’s the difference? The first word ‘chito’ is a simple adverb whereas the second is an adverbial phrase. Remember that adverbial phrases still behave like adverbs and follow the standard rule of ‘adverb before verb’. Here are a few more sentences:

ऊ गाडी धेरै राम्ररी हाँक्छ (u gadi dherai ramrari haakcha)

= He drive the car very well.

[He + Car + Very + Good + Drives]

म घरको ढोकामा उभिएँ (ma ghar`ko dhoka`ma ubhie)

= I stood in the house’s door.

[ I + House’s + Door in + Stood ]

Adverbial phrases do not need to modify verbs because they can modify adjectives too. For example:

रातो रङ एक मिनटमा सेतो भयो (rato rang ek minat`ma seto bhayo)

= Red paint became white in one minute.

[red + pain + one + minute in + white + became]


That’s all that is in Phrases. While this may seem trivial, it is vital to understand this in order to make sentences and see how they function in a sentence. Next time, you’ll learn clauses and how to use them to create better sentences.




1. उसले सानो हरियो कलमहरु बेच्छ /us`le sano hariyo kalam`haru bechcha/ (He sells small green pens)

2. उसले चिसो पानी धेरै बिस्तारै दियो  /us`le dherai chiso pani dherai bistaarai diyo/ (He gave (me) very cold water very slowly)

3. राम हरिको साथीको छोरा हो /ram hari`ko sathi`ko chora ho/ (Ram is Hari’s friend’s son)


bold = Nominal  |  italics = adjectival |  underlined = adverbial

1.  उसलेसानो हरियो कलमहरु बेच्छ

2.  उसले धेरै चिसो  पानी धेरै बिस्तारै दियो

3.  राम हरिको साथीको  छोरा हो