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Sentence Structure: Commas and Subordinate Clauses 1

In this worksheet, students practise adding commas to subordinate clauses in complex sentences.

'Sentence Structure: Commas and Subordinate Clauses 1' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Writing: Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

Curriculum subtopic:   Use Commas to Clarify

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

A complex sentence contains a main clause and a subordinate clause.

In the following sentence the subordinate clause splits the main clause into two parts.


Dad, who was wearing his red shirt, loaded the beach gear into the car.

 

The main clause makes sense on its own.

Dad, who was wearing his red shirt, loaded the beach gear into the car.

 

The subordinate clause gives us more information about Dad, but it does not make sense on its own.

Dad, who was wearing his red shirt, loaded the beach gear into the car.

 

If the subordinate clause splits the main clause into two parts in this way, we need to put commas on either side to make the sentence easier to read and understand.

 

The comma always comes straight after the word, with no space. There is one space between the comma and the following word.

Underline all words below that make up the subordinate clause in the sentence below.

 

Charlie who is my brother likes playing football.

Charlie who is my brother likes playing football.

Which part of the sentence below is the subordinate clause?

 

Mr Jones who is my favourite teacher never gives us homework.

Mr Jones

who is my favourite teacher

never gives us homework

What punctuation should we put around the subordinate clause in the sentence below?

 

My new bicycle which was very expensive is kept in the garage.

Inverted speech marks

Commas

Semicolon

Shantini has written the sentence below.

 

Amir who is my best friend is coming to tea today.

 

Ralph knows that she is not quite right and corrects it:

 

Amir, who is my best friend is coming to tea today.

 

Has Ralph manage to write this correctly?

 
Yes

No

Put commas around the subordinate clause in this sentence to make it easier to read. 

 

My sister who is called Freya is only six.

Read carefully!  Can you underline all of the words below that do not make up part of the subordinate clause?

 

Janey who was chosen to play Cinderella in the school production is a really good actress.

Janey who was chosen to play Cinderella in the school production is a really good actress.

Put commas around the subordinate clause in this sentence to make it easier to read. 

 

The new girl who looked very shy sat at the back of the room.

Put commas around the subordinate clause in this sentence to make it easier to read.

 

Karen who is the youngest in my family is very spoilt.

Put commas around the subordinate clause in this sentence to make it easier to read.

 

My parrot who is red and green can say lots of words.

Put commas around the subordinate clause in this sentence to make it easier to read.

 

Jimmy who is very good at maths came top in the test.

  • Question 1

Underline all words below that make up the subordinate clause in the sentence below.

 

Charlie who is my brother likes playing football.

CORRECT ANSWER
Charlie who is my brother likes playing football.
EDDIE SAYS
How did you get on with this first one? 'who is my brother' is the subordinate clause. It doesn't make sense on its own. If we take this information out the rest of the sentence still makes sense. We put commas around it to show we know it is the subordinate clause.
  • Question 2

Which part of the sentence below is the subordinate clause?

 

Mr Jones who is my favourite teacher never gives us homework.

CORRECT ANSWER
who is my favourite teacher
EDDIE SAYS
In this case, the subordinate adds to the main clause but would not make sense on its own. Did you find it? Read through the sentence and think about what the extra information is? Which group of words can be taken out without changing the meaning of the sentence. 'Who is my favourite teacher' is the subordinate clause, so we need to put commas around it.
  • Question 3

What punctuation should we put around the subordinate clause in the sentence below?

 

My new bicycle which was very expensive is kept in the garage.

CORRECT ANSWER
Commas
EDDIE SAYS
Did you remember the rule? Just remember a subordinate clause is extra information about the subject. It can be taken out of the sentence and it would still make sense. 'Which is very expensive' is the subordinate clause.
  • Question 4

Shantini has written the sentence below.

 

Amir who is my best friend is coming to tea today.

 

Ralph knows that she is not quite right and corrects it:

 

Amir, who is my best friend is coming to tea today.

 

Has Ralph manage to write this correctly?

 
CORRECT ANSWER
No
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get it right? Unfortunately, Ralph didn't! 'Who is my best friend' is the subordinate clause as it can be taken out of the sentence without changing the meaning. It means that there should be a comma before and after the clause. Amir, who is my best friend, is coming to tea today.
  • Question 5

Put commas around the subordinate clause in this sentence to make it easier to read. 

 

My sister who is called Freya is only six.

CORRECT ANSWER
My sister, who is called Freya, is only six.
My sister,who is called Freya,is only six.
EDDIE SAYS
Are you getting the hang of this now? 'who is called Freya' is extra information, we do not need to know this to understand the point of the sentence. It is extra information that depends on the rest of the sentence to make sense so it is the subordinate clause.
  • Question 6

Read carefully!  Can you underline all of the words below that do not make up part of the subordinate clause?

 

Janey who was chosen to play Cinderella in the school production is a really good actress.

CORRECT ANSWER
Janey who was chosen to play Cinderella in the school production is a really good actress.
EDDIE SAYS
Are you feeling more confident now? 'who was chosen to play Cinderella in the school production' is the subordinate clause.
  • Question 7

Put commas around the subordinate clause in this sentence to make it easier to read. 

 

The new girl who looked very shy sat at the back of the room.

CORRECT ANSWER
The new girl, who looked very shy, sat at the back of the room.
EDDIE SAYS
You got this! Look for the extra information. 'Who looked very shy' is the subordinate clause, so you need to use commas to separate it.
  • Question 8

Put commas around the subordinate clause in this sentence to make it easier to read.

 

Karen who is the youngest in my family is very spoilt.

CORRECT ANSWER
Karen, who is the youngest in my family, is very spoilt.
EDDIE SAYS
How you doing? Just remember a subordinate clause is extra information that can be taken out of the sentence without changing the meaning of the main sentence. 'Who is the youngest in my family' is the subordinate clause.
  • Question 9

Put commas around the subordinate clause in this sentence to make it easier to read.

 

My parrot who is red and green can say lots of words.

CORRECT ANSWER
My parrot, who is red and green, can say lots of words.
EDDIE SAYS
Super effort! 'Who is red and green' is the subordinate clause.
  • Question 10

Put commas around the subordinate clause in this sentence to make it easier to read.

 

Jimmy who is very good at maths came top in the test.

CORRECT ANSWER
Jimmy, who is very good at maths, came top in the test.
EDDIE SAYS
Which part of the sentence can be removed without changing the meaning. 'Who is very good at maths' tells us extra information about the subject (Jimmy), however it can be removed from the sentence without changing the main point. Jimmy came top in the test. 'Who is very good at maths' is the subordinate clause so requires commas around it.
---- OR ----

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