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Sentence Composition: Phrases and Clauses

In this worksheet, students understand the difference between a phrase and a clause.

'Sentence Composition: Phrases and Clauses' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Writing: Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

Curriculum subtopic:   Extend Sentence Composition

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Phrases and clauses are both groups of words, but there is a difference between them.

 

A clause is a group of words that includes a subject and a verb.

Andrew played his guitar. (The subject of the sentence is Andrew, and the verb is 'played'.)

A clause can be a whole sentence or part of a sentence.

The mouse ran away. (one sentence with one clause)

Peter slipped on the ice and his sister laughed at him. (one sentence with two clauses)

 

A phrase is a group of words that form a chunk of a sentence. A phrase may contain nouns or verbs, but not both.

 

the little kitten (noun phrase)

may be going away (verb phrase)

 

One way of thinking about the difference is to say that clauses are made up of phrases.

Decide whether the following group of words is a phrase or a clause.

 

at the bottom of the hill

phrase

clause

Decide whether the following group of words is a phrase or a clause.

 

the dog was very small

phrase

clause

Decide whether the following group of words is a phrase or a clause.

 

in a far and lonely country

phrase

clause

Decide whether the following group of words is a phrase or a clause.

 

Maya lived in a lonely little cottage

phrase

clause

Decide whether the following group of words is a phrase or a clause.

 

the day before yesterday

phrase

clause

This time, read the whole sentence and decide whether the underlined section is a phrase or a clause.

 

The boy, who was wearing a red cap, rode his bike down the road.

phrase

clause

Read the whole sentence and decide whether the underlined section is a phrase or a clause.

 

It was Freya's birthday on the 5th of March.

phrase

clause

Read the whole sentence and decide whether the underlined section is a phrase or a clause.

 

Everybody gasped when Neela walked into the room in her beautiful new dress.

phrase

clause

Read the whole sentence and decide whether the underlined section is a phrase or a clause.

 

Billy, who was smiling to himself, sauntered along the road.

phrase

clause

Read the whole sentence and decide whether the underlined section is a phrase or a clause.

 

The city of York is situated about half way between London and Edinburgh.

phrase

clause

  • Question 1

Decide whether the following group of words is a phrase or a clause.

 

at the bottom of the hill

CORRECT ANSWER
phrase
EDDIE SAYS
There is no verb in this group of words, so it is a phrase.
  • Question 2

Decide whether the following group of words is a phrase or a clause.

 

the dog was very small

CORRECT ANSWER
clause
EDDIE SAYS
This is a clause as it has a subject (the dog) and a verb (was).
  • Question 3

Decide whether the following group of words is a phrase or a clause.

 

in a far and lonely country

CORRECT ANSWER
phrase
EDDIE SAYS
There is no verb in this group of words so it is a phrase.
  • Question 4

Decide whether the following group of words is a phrase or a clause.

 

Maya lived in a lonely little cottage

CORRECT ANSWER
clause
EDDIE SAYS
This is a clause. It has a subject (Maya) and a verb (lived).
  • Question 5

Decide whether the following group of words is a phrase or a clause.

 

the day before yesterday

CORRECT ANSWER
phrase
EDDIE SAYS
There is no verb here so it is a phrase. Can you think of some more words to complete this sentence?
  • Question 6

This time, read the whole sentence and decide whether the underlined section is a phrase or a clause.

 

The boy, who was wearing a red cap, rode his bike down the road.

CORRECT ANSWER
clause
EDDIE SAYS
This is a subordinate clause. The subject is the pronoun 'who', which refers to the boy.
  • Question 7

Read the whole sentence and decide whether the underlined section is a phrase or a clause.

 

It was Freya's birthday on the 5th of March.

CORRECT ANSWER
phrase
EDDIE SAYS
Happy Birthday to Freya! There is no verb in this group of words so it is a phrase.
  • Question 8

Read the whole sentence and decide whether the underlined section is a phrase or a clause.

 

Everybody gasped when Neela walked into the room in her beautiful new dress.

CORRECT ANSWER
phrase
EDDIE SAYS
What a lovely shade of pink! There is no subject or verb here so it is a phrase.
  • Question 9

Read the whole sentence and decide whether the underlined section is a phrase or a clause.

 

Billy, who was smiling to himself, sauntered along the road.

CORRECT ANSWER
clause
EDDIE SAYS
The pronoun 'who' is acting as the subject of this subordinate clause. It is referring back to Billy.
  • Question 10

Read the whole sentence and decide whether the underlined section is a phrase or a clause.

 

The city of York is situated about half way between London and Edinburgh.

CORRECT ANSWER
phrase
EDDIE SAYS
How did you get on? There is no verb here, so this is a phrase.
---- OR ----

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