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Sentence Meaning: Investigate Essential Words

In this worksheet, students consider which words in a sentence are essential and which can be deleted without affecting the meaning.

'Sentence Meaning: Investigate Essential Words' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Year:  Year 3 English worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Writing: Composition

Curriculum subtopic:   Sentence Awareness

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

When we write a sentence some of the words are essential (absolutely necessary) but others can be left out without changing the meaning of the sentence.

Look at this sentence:

The small boy walked down the narrow lane with his black dog.


If we take out all the adjectives (small, narrow, black) we end up with:

The boy walked down the lane with his dog.

This is still a complete sentence and the meaning is the same, although we have lost some of the detail.


If we take out the little words like 'the' as well, we get:

boy walked down lane with dog

This still means the same thing, but it is no longer a complete sentence. It is more like what we write when we are making notes.


If we take out the verb (walked) or the nouns (boy, lane, dog) it no longer makes sense at all.

boy down lane with dog

walked down lane


In this worksheet you will investigate what happens when different words are missed out of sentences.

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