(5) Having come home // my brother repainted the two old tables.
o Consider the second constituent. It can be further divided into three parts called phrases. The break between the two phrases can often be noted by the fact that we can make a natural pause there even though we may not normally do so. The break between the pauses is indicated with a single slash (/).
(6) My brother / repainted / the two old tables.
Consider this further example:
(4) Having come home, my brother repainted the two old tables.
o This SENTENCE breaks naturally into two parts or constituents. These parts of the sentence are called clauses, with a pause between clauses in this sentence marked by a pause. The double slash (//) marks the break between the two clauses in the sentence.
Each phrase can be further divided into constituents. The constituents of phrases are words. Words are stretches of speech which can be said all by themselves, i.e., in isolation, and still have meaning. When we write English we learn to put a space between those constituents that we believe are words.
Notice that one of the phrases only has one word while the others have two or more words. A grammatical unit at any level may consist of only one constituent. Therefore the constituent of a clause, for example, are called phrases whether they are a single word, as in ‘repainted’, or several words, as in ‘the two old tables’.