Phrases and Clauses

Definition: A phrase is a collection of related words without both subject and verb

A clause is a group of words with a verb and a subject.

A phrase does not have a verb and subject.

Nonfinite verb

1. Infinitive=noun=to+v1

2. Gerund=noun=v1+ing

3. Participle=adjective

a. Present participle=v1+ing

b. Past participle=v3

c. Perfect participle=having+v3

Noun phrase/Gerund phrase/Infinitive phrase=it (use it instead of phrase)

Adjective phrase/Participle phrase

Adverbial phrase/prepositional phrase

Verbal phrase

Kinds of phrases          

Noun Phrase: He is wearing a nice red shirt. She brought a glass full of waterThe boy with brown hair is laughing. A man on the roof was shouting. A story as old as time, A cool wet afternoon. All the kids were sleeping. The boy in the blue jeans says he’ll do it. He bought her a beautiful red dress. Mom baked tasty chocolate cookies. Julia was thinking about her friends back home. Will you talk with these rude people? You are a true hero. My dog is my best friend.
Adjective Phrase He is wearing a nice red shirt. The girl with brown hair is singing a song.  He gave me a glass full of water. A boy from America won the race. The movie was not too terribly long. A person smarter than me needs to figure this out. The final exams were unbelievably difficult.  This pie is very delicious and extremely expensive. Everyone was extremely delighted when the winner was announced. The new outfit was very pricey but really beautiful. Mom said the cost of a car is way too high.  Faster than a speeding bullet, Superman was finished in no time. Students upset about the rising cost of tuition staged a rally. That complex has quite small but cheap apartments. Her eyes were very mesmerizing to the young man. The highly emotive actor gave a wonderful performance. Your apple pie smells very tempting. Eating out is usually not very healthy.
Adverbial Phrase: He always behaves in a good manner. They were shouting in a loud voice. She always drives with care.  He sat in a corner of the room. He returned in a short while.  He opened it extremely easily. I’ll do it quite soon. I ran so fast. He was quite unexpectedly kind. He came very surprisingly quickly. The air was warm, stirred only occasionally by a breeze. Only occasionally is there a rumble in the sky or a hint of rain. The carpenter hit the nail with a hammer. The woman who lives next door is a doctor. We must finish our project before the holidays. Nadia buys two CDs every month. Jack bought the flowers for his mother.
Verb Phrase: He is eating an apple. She has finished her work. You should study for the exam. She has been sleeping for two hours. I am always disobeying the speed limit. Taking my dog for a walk, Walking in the rain, Strolling along a beach at sunset, Getting a promotion, Signing autographs, Going for ice cream, Singing for his supper, Getting a sore back, Pulling an all-nighter, Sailing into the sunset.
Prepositional phrase: A boy on the roof is singing a song.  The man in the room is our teacher. She is shouting in a loud voice.  He always behaves in a good manner. The book with the tattered cover has been read many times. All the passengers aboard the runaway train were frightened. The present inside the big box is mine. Our boss put out a memo regarding the new rule. The clues within the first few chapters will lead to the murderer. His is only one voice among many, but it will be heard. The extra blanket is in the box under the bed. Saul, unlike many others, will remain there. The car beside the red one is the one I want to buy. The area outside the boundary is dangerous to cross. All rooms below deck are for sleeping.
Infinitive Phrase: He likes to read books. To earn money is a desire of everyone. He shouted to inform people about fire. He made a plan to buy a car.  She wanted to raise taxes. To know her is to love her.   To study hard will increase your chances of getting into college. I stopped to smoke. The school promised to help me find an apartment. He wants to be a lawyer. To win at chess requires much concentration. Mary was glad to be invited to the party. Koli intends to work hard. To be objective in my decision is hard. Ellen is able to swim six lengths of the pool. I was happy to give you a ride home. To move to a larger house would be unwise for us now. Fred was frightened to be alone in the old house. Megan is trying to practice the piano an hour a day. To be a doctor is Ann’s ambition. Mr. and Mrs. Mamun plan to go to Sylhet this summer. The mayor decided to call me.
Gerund Phrase: I like writing good essays. She started thinking about the problemSleeping late in night is not a good habit. Weeping of a baby woke him up. Cramming for tests is not a good study strategy. John enjoyed swimming in the lake after dark. Blowing bubbles on a windy day is a fun activity for children. Traveling might satisfy your desire for new experiences. Swimming is good exercise. You will gain skill by practisingSwimming laps is good exercise. Anik likes fishing from the dock. You will gain skill by practising the kazoo daily. Sam appreciated my helping him. Natalie was proud of having won the tournament. Irena was upset at having been passed over for the job. They do not appreciate my singing.
Participle Phrase: The kids, making a noise, need food. I received a letter, mentioning about my exam. The table, made of steel, is too expensive. We saw a car, damaged in an accident.   The pond, frozen over since early December, is now safe for ice-skating. Having been on the road for four days, they were exhausted. That song, sung by Munni, is my favorite. Climbing slowly, we approached the top of the hill. Surprised by my question, Mrs. Osmond blushed. He, worn out by his long trip, slept for twelve hours. Watching me closely, the dog came toward me. Staring out the window at the rain, Bob became more and more impatient. The plates, bought from Denmark by my grandmother, are on display in the dining room. The cookies, baked this morning, were all gone by five o’clock. Having come out in the cool night air, Mr. Troy looked up at the sky. The children, waiting for the play to begin, grew bored. Working hard all day, the boys finished the job by dinner time. Driven from their homelands, many people each year seek refuge in the USA. Jumping up and down, the cheerleaders urged the team on.

Some important common phrases and idioms

A mammoth task (বিরাট কাজ)All along (সর্বদা)At a nail’s pace (অতি মন্থরগতিতে)
A bed of roses (পুষ্পশয্যা)All in all (সর্বেসর্বা)At a stretch (একটানা)
A dark horse (অজ্ঞাত ব্যক্তি)All moonshine (বাজে)At a time (এক সময়)
A far cry (একেবারেই আলাদা)All on a sudden (হঠাৎ)At all (আদৌ)
A hard nut to crack (কঠিন সমস্যা)All the same (একই)At any rate (যে কোন মূল্য)
A lame excuse (বাজে অজুহাত)An angel of lightAt dagger’s drawn (সাপে নেউলে)
A narrow scape (অল্পের জন্যবেঁচেযাওয়া)Through  thick and thin(বাধা বিপত্তিসত্ত্বেও)At first sight (প্রথম দর্শনে)
A short cut (সংক্ষিপ্ত পথ)An apple of discord(বিবাদেরবিষয়)At large (স্বাধীনভাবে)
A slow coach (অলস)An irony of fate (অদৃষ্টের পরিহাস)At length (অবশেষে)
A white elephant (খুববেশি ব্যয়সাধ্য)An open secret(জন গোপনীয়তা)At length (অবশেষে/বিস্তারিতভাবে)
Above all (সর্বোপরি)As if /As though (যেন)At once (তৎক্ষণাৎ)
Above board (ভদ্র)As usual (স্বভাবত)At one’s sweet will (খুশি মতো)
Achilles heel  (দূর্বল স্থান)Ask for (চাওয়া)At sixes and sevens (এলোমেলো)
After all (মোটের উপর)At a dead lock (অচল অবস্থা)At stake (বিষণ্ণ বিপদে)
All alone (একাকী)At a loss (হতবুদ্ধি)At the eleventh hour (শেষ মুহূর্তে)
At times (মাঝে মাঝে)A white lie (নির্দোষ মিথ্যা কথা)Turn down (bvKP Kiv)
Bear testimony to (সাক্ষ্য বহন করা)Beyond all doubt (সন্দেহাতীতভাবে)Burning question (গুরুত্বপূর্ণ বিষয়)
Bad blood (শত্রুতা)Bid adieu (বিদায়)By turns (পালাক্রমে)
Bag and baggage (তল্পিতল্পা সহ)Big guns (রুই কাতলা)By all means (সর্বউপায়ে)
Be taken abackBlack and white (লিখিতভাবে)By and by (অচিরে)
Beat about the bush (যাচ্ছেতাই বলা)Block head (গোবর গনেশ)By chance (দৈব ক্রমে)
Beauty sleepBlue blood (আভিজাত্য)By dint of/by virtue of (গুনে/বলে)
At one’s beck and call (বাধ্য)Bone of contention (বিবাদের বিষয়)By fits and starts (মাঝেমধ্যে উৎসাহদেখিয়ে)
Before long (শীঘ্র)Bring about (ঘটনা)By hook or by crook (যে কোন মূল্য)
Beggar description (বর্ণনাতীত)Bring to book (শাস্তি)By leaps and bounds (অতিদ্রুত)
Bell the cat (কোন কাজ যেটা অর্জন করা কঠিন বা অসম্ভব)Bring to light (প্রকাশিত)By means of (সর্ব উপায়ে)
Beyond  one’s means  (সাধ্যর বাইরে)Bring up (লালনপালন করা)By the by (প্রসঙ্গক্রমে)
Call up (স্মরণ করা)Cold war (স্নায়ুযুদ্ধ)Crying need (অত্যন্ত প্রয়োজনীয়)
Call in question (প্রশ্নবিদ্ধ)Come across (অপ্রত্যাশিতভাবে পাওয়া)Curry favour (তোষামোদ করিয়ে প্রিয় হওয়া)
Call names (গালাগালি দেত্তয়া)Come by (ঘটনাচক্রে লাভ করা)Wild goose chase(অর্থহীন প্রচেষ্টা)
Call to the bar(আইনব্যবসায়ীহওয়া)Come down (নামা)Cut a sorry figure(মন্দ করা)
Capital punishment (মৃত্যুদণ্ড)Come off (অনুষ্ঠিত হওয়া)Cut off (বিছিন্ন করা)
Carry on (চালিয়ে যাওয়া)Come round (সুস্থ হওয়া)Cut out (বাদ দেত্তয়া)
Carry the day (জয় লাভ করা)Come to term (চুক্তিতে আসা)Cut short (সংক্ষিপ্ত)
Catch sight of (হঠাৎ দেখা)Conducive to (উপকারী)Ups and downs (উত্থান পতন)
Chicken hearted (কাপুরুষ)Cry in the wilderness (অরন্যে রোদন)Up and doing (কর্মঠ)
Dead against (ঘোর বিরোধী)Die out (শুকিয়ে যাওয়া)Do away with (লোপ করা)
Dead letter (অচল)Dilly dally (গড়ি  মসি)Drop out (বাদ পড়া)
Eat humble pie (অপমান হজম)Epoch making (যুগান্তকারী ঘটনা)Evening star
End in smoke (ব্যর্থ হওয়া)Every inch (পরিপূর্ণরূপে)Fight shy of (এড়িয়ে চলা)
Far fetched (অস্বাভাবিক)Find fault with(ত্রুটি ধরা)For the sake of (জন্য)
Face the music  (ঠেলা সামলাও)First and foremost (সর্ব প্রধান)For the time being (আপাতত)
Fag end (বিরক্তিকর শেষভাগ)Fish out of water (অস্বস্তিকর অবস্থা)Foregone conclusionপূর্বেই অনুমিত ফলাফল)
Fair playFor good (চিরতরে)French leave (বিনা অনুমতিতে প্রস্থান)
Fall flat (নিষ্ফল)For nothing (অকারনে)From hand to mouth (দিন আনে দিনখায়)
Get by heart (মুখস্থ করা)Give vent to (ছেড়ে দেত্তয়া)Go to astray (গোল্লায় যাওয়া)
Get rid of (মুক্তি পাওয়া)Give in (আত্মসমর্পণ করা)Go to the dogs (গোল্লায় যাওয়া)
Gift of the gab (বাগ্মিতা)Go a long way (একটি দীর্ঘ পথ যেতে)Golden age (স্বর্ণ যুগ)
Give away (দানকরা)Go ahead (সামনে অগ্রসর হয়া)Good at/Excel in/At home (দক্ষ)
Give away (দান করা)Go through (ভালোভাবে পড়া)Gordian knot (KwVb mgm¨v)
Hard and fast (বাঁধাধরা)Herculean task (অতি কঠিন কাজ)Hurley barley (কোলাহল)
Hanker after (আকাঙ্ক্ষা)Hold good (প্রযোজ্য)Hush money (ঘৃণা)
Heart and soul (প্রাণপণে)Hue and cry (শোরগোল)Utopian scheme (আকাশ কুসুম কল্পনা)
In a body (একত্রে)In pursuit of  (পশ্চাদ্ধাবন)In the long run (পরিনামে)
In a fix (সমস্যা)In quest of (খোঁজে)Well up (সুপণ্ডিত)
In a hurry (তাড়াতাড়ি)Tell upon (ক্ষতি করা)In the teeth of (বিপত্তিসত্ত্বেও)
In course of time (mgq)In store for (ভাগ্যে)In vain (বিফলে)
In lieu of (পরিবর্তে)In the guise of (ছদ্মবেশে)In vogue (প্রচলিত)
In no time (শীঘ্র)In the least (ন্যূনতম)Ins and outs (খুঁটিনাটি)
In plenty (প্রচুর পরিমাণে)Jump at an offer (jy‡d †bqv)Without delay/fail (অবিলম্বে)
Keep abreast withKeep pace with(তাল মিলিয়েচলা)Kith and kin (আত্মীয়স্বজন)
Keep body and soul together (কায়ক্লেশে দিনযাপন) Well to do (সচ্ছল)Kick off
Lead astray (পথভ্রষ্ট হওয়া)Likely to (সম্ভাবনা)Lose heart (নিরাশ হওয়া)
Leave no stone unturned(চেষ্টার কোন ত্রুটি না করা )Lion’s share (সিংহভাগ)Lump sum (এককালীন প্রদেয়)
Let alone (বলা বাহুল্য)Look down upon (অবজ্ঞা)To the backbone (হাড়ে হাড়ে )
Midas touchMake haste (`ªZ Kiv)Make up one’s mind (মনস্থির)
Maiden speech (প্রথম বক্তৃতা)Make out (বুঝতে পারা)With flying colour (বিজয় গৌরবে)
Make both end meet (কায়ক্লেশেদিনযাপন)Make room (জায়গা করা)Milk and water (দুর্বল ও নিরোস)
Make good (ক্ষতিপূরণ)Make up (সাজ-সজ্জা)Mind your Ps and Qs (নম্র হওয়ার চেষ্টা )
Nook and corner (পুঙ্খানুপুঙ্খ রূপে)Not cricket (সঠিক আচরণ নয়)Null and void (বাতিল)
Nip in the bud (অঙ্কুরে বিনষ্ট)Now and then (মাঝে মাঝে)Weal and woe (সুখ দুঃখ)
Of one’s own accord (স্বেচ্ছায়)On the instant (তৎক্ষণাৎ)On the whole (মোটের উপর)
Of course (অবশ্যই)On the instant (তৎক্ষণাৎ)Once for all (শেষ বারের জন্য)
Of late (সম্প্রতি)On the sly (গোপনে)Once in blue moon (মাঝে মাঝে)
On the spur of the moment ( মুহূর্তের উত্তেজনায়)    Yellow dog (হীন ব্যক্তি )Out and out (হাড়েহাড়ে)
On easy term (সহজ শর্তে )On the threshold of (প্রবেশপথ)To the utmost যথাসাধ্য)
On principle (নীতির উপর)On the verge of (শেষপ্রান্তে)Out of date (সেকেলে)
On the contrary (বিপরীতদিকে)On the wane (ক্ষয়/হ্রাস)Over head and ears (আপাদমস্তক)
Pave the way (পথ সুগম করা)Play truant (স্কুল পালানো)Put off (খুলে ফেলা/ফেলে রাখা)
Part and parcel (অবিছেদ্দ অংশ)Pros and cons (খুঁটিনাটি)Put on (পরিধান করা)
Pick a quarrel (ঝগড়া বাধানো)Put down (দমন করা)Put up with (সহ্যকরা)
Pass through (সহ্য করা)Rank and file (সাধারণ লোক)Red tape (অফিস সংক্রান্ত বাধা)
Step by step (পর্যায়ক্রমে)Set out (যাত্রা করা)Slip of the tongue(বলায় সামান্য ভুল)
Safe and sound (নিরাপদে)Silver tongue (মিষ্টভাষীStone’s throw (Aí `~i‡Z¡)
Salt of life (মূল্যবান বস্তু)Sine die (অনির্দিষ্ট কালের জন্য বন্ধ)Sugar coated (মোড়ক)
Scape goat (অপরের উপর দোষচাপানো)Skim though (হাল্কাভাবে পরা)Sum and substance (সারমর্ম)
Take after (অনুরূপ)Throw dust in one’s eye (ধুলো দেয়া)Tooth and nail (প্রাণপণে)
Take off (খুলে ফেলাউড্ডয়ন করা)Throw dust in one’s eye(ফাঁকি দেওয়া)Tough cookie (শক্ত মানুষ)
Take to task (তিরস্কার করা)To the backbone (হাড়েহাড়ে)Turn a deaf ear to (কানে না তোলা)


Clause: A clause is a group of words that have a subject and a predicate and is used as a sentence or part of a sentence.

 Classification of Clauses: Clauses are of 3 types.

  1. Principal clause or Independent clause or main clause: It is a group of words that contains a subject and verb and expresses a complete thought. An independent clause is a sentence.
  2. Subordinate or Dependent clause: It is a group of words that contains a subject and verb but does not express a complete thought. A dependent clause cannot be a sentence.
  3. Co-ordinate clause: It is a conjunction which coordinates or joins two or more sentences, main clauses, phrases, words, or other parts of speech which are of equal importance.
One Clause=Principal clause= Sub+ finite verb (nonfinite verb)
Two or more Clauses= Principal clause + FANBOYS + Principal clause= FANBOYS (F=forA=andN=norB=butO=or/otherwise, Y=yetS=so)
Two or more Clauses=Principal clause + Subordinating conjunction+ Subordinate clause= Subordinating Conjunction + Subordinate clause + Principal clause

  Subordinating conjunction: although, though , as, since, when, as long as, as much as, as soon as, because, as if, as though, while, than, even if, even though, in order that, so that, that, how, who, when, whenever, where, wherever, which, what, whom, whose, why, after, before, till, until, unless, lest, in case, provided, provided that, providing that, if

Identify clauses from the following sentences

I heated my coffee because it was too cold. She did not cheat on the test, for it was wrong. I will buy the red car or I will lease the blue one. She hoped to win the first prize. She returned the computer after she had damaged it. They got there early and they got really good seats. Wherever you go, you can always find beauty. Although the movie was very long, it was still very enjoyable. The museum was very interesting as I expected. I who was thoroughly trained, was at a loss to explain. When she was younger, she believed in fairy tales. There was no ice cream in the freezer, nor did they have money to go to the store. Everyone was busy, so I went to the movie alone. Though he was very rich, he was still very unhappy. When the cost goes up, customers buy less clothing. Without practicing much, you can’t show better performance. I really want to go to work, but I am too sick to drive. I am counting my calories, yet I really want dessert. He ran out of money, so he had to stop playing poker. I would have gotten the promotion, but my attendance wasn’t good enough. We should start class now, or we should wait for everyone to get here. As she was qualified, she became the manager. You, my best friend, lead a very decent life. We found him smoking behind the shed. After twenty years, he still had feelings for her. After the tornado had hit the town, there was little left standing. Let’s go back to the restaurant where we had our first date. I really didn’t like the play although the acting was very good. Everyone laughed when he got a cream pie smashed in his face. Some people tell me that money can’t buy happiness. It was getting dark, and we weren’t there yet. Cats are good pets, for they are clean and are not noisy. We have never been to Asia, nor have we visited Africa. He didn’t want to go to the dentist, yet he went anyway. Joynal waited for the train, but the train was late. I looked for them but they arrived at the station. They had got on the bus before I arrived. Rana and Dana arrived at the bus station before noon, and they left on the bus before I arrived. They left on the bus before I arrived at the bus station. You may watch TV or you can go out to play. You should either sit quietly or go out. The old man could neither see nor hear. He took the test several times but he couldn’t pass. He is famous, yet he is very humble. She was angry, still she kept her cool. The thieves not only robbed the man of his possessions, but also inflicted injuries on him. We can go to either Greece or Spain for our holiday. You can either take it or leave it. Both cricket and football are popular in Bangladesh. Both English and Welsh are spoken in Wales. Not only is he a professional footballer, but also he’s a successful businessman. In sport, what counts is not the winning but the taking part. Neither Norway nor Switzerland is in the European Union. Marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply a dilemma.  Whether you love them or hate them, you have to admit that the Rolling Stones are very popular. I don’t know whether I’m coming or going. No sooner had I finished watering the garden than it started raining. Either my brother or my mum looks after our cat when we’re away on holiday. Either my brother or my parents look after our cat when we’re away on holiday. Neither the manager nor his assistant is here today. Neither the manager nor his assistants are here today.

Subordinate clauses can be divided into 3 parts. 

 1. Noun Clause: A noun clause is a dependent or subordinating clause that works as a noun to name a person, place, thing, or idea. It can be the subject of a sentence, an object, or a complement.

Noun clauses always begin with certain words.
The most common of these words are words that we also use to form questions:

Who, What, Why, Where, When

We can also begin noun clauses with pronouns:

Which, That, Whoever, Whatever, Wherever, Whenever


I know that the students studied their assignment. I wonder what is making Tracy so unhappy.  I believe that everything happens for a reason. I remember what you said yesterday. The goal of our company is what is explained in the profile. Whatever you decide to do is fine with me. How you made that decision baffles me. Why we chose not to include you is none of your business. The school requires students to complete all courses. I asked her to help me. The manager urged his employees to provide exceptional customer service.

2. Adjective clause 

An adjective clause is a dependent clause that functions as an adjective in the sentence. Adjective clauses can also be called relative clauses. An adjective clause begins with a relative pronoun or a relative adverb.

Here is a list of relative pronouns: who, whom, which, that, whose

Here is a list of relative adverbs: when, why, where


The carpets which you bought last year have gone moldy. The film which you recommended scared the kids half to death. The follies which a man regrets most in his life are those which he didn’t commit when he had the opportunity. Rana, a person who talks when you wish him to listen. The lady who lives across the street is my aunt. The book that is on the chair belongs to Marvin. I do not like people who are mean to animals. Did you go to the school where my friend Jim goes? The moment when the clown burst in to surprise the teacher was great! The reason why I left is a secret. Can you see the bird that is on the fence? The cat whom we are watching just caught a mouse! The boy whose shoes are on the floor is my little brother. I like pizza, which is also the favorite of my sister Jean.

3. Adverbial Clause

An adverb clause is a dependent clause that acts as an adverb in the sentence. Adverb clauses begin with subordinating conjunctions. Unlike an adjective clause, in which the introductory word serves as the subject, the subordinating conjunction does not serve as the subject. The subordinating conjunction is often an adverb itself.

Time: after, when, until, soon, before, once, while, as soon as, whenever, by the time

Condition: if, whether or not, provided, in case, unless, even if, in the event

Cause and effect: because, as, since, so, in order that, now that, inasmuch as

Contrast: though, although, while, whereas, even though 


Because he has a college degree, he got a great job. When the storm started, she was at the store. Bob wore the coat that I gave himWhether you like it or not, you have to go to bed now. She likes the red car more than her husband doesIf you pay your bills, you will have a good credit score. Unless you run fast, you will miss the bus. So that she would have a tan for her vacation, she went to a tanning salon. Marty kept his schedule open, in case of emergenciesBecause he loved her, he didn’t believe she had an affair. Once they saw the car coming, the birds flew away from the street. Although she has a business degree, she is working as a retail clerk. You must keep practicing the etude until you get it rightIn order to have six-pack abs, he works out at the gym. As we bought the tickets, the overture was beginning. Before we go on vacation, we must make reservations. Give us a call when you get back from your trip. I won’t allow you to see that movie, even though you are old enough. We’ll go to the bar where they asked us to waitSince I’ll be working late, I’ll eat downtown. Wherever there is a beach, sun worshippers will gather. While others saw the glass half empty, Barry saw it half full. The fireworks show will start after the sun goes down. That is the last of the soda, as far as I knowWhenever you promise to so something, you need to keep it. Now that everyone has left the party, we need to start cleaning. No matter how many times I try to stop, I just can’t give up chocolate. Insofar as it can be determined, this is the best car on the market. We can get some new clothes provided the store is open this late. The cat made herself at home in the apartment as if she had always lived there. Frank ran the race as though his life depended on it. The people of Italy and Greece are similar in that they live near the Mediterranean Sea. He remembered to wear his jacket lest he catch a cold. We can swim in the pool as soon as we put on plenty of sunscreenEven if all around you are losing their heads, you need to remain calm. Supposing your son took the car without permission, what would your punishment be? Delaware was the first state that signed the ConstitutionInasmuch as I would like to recommend you for the position, I just can’t do it. I never knew how wonderful life could be till I met you. There may come a time when I would do this, though I can’t imagine when that would be.

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