The smart way to improve grades

Comprehensive & curriculum aligned

Affordable pricing from £10/month

Understand Relative Clauses 3

In this worksheet, students consider when the pronoun can be left out of a relative clause and whether or not to use commas around relative clauses.

'Understand Relative Clauses 3' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Writing: Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

Curriculum subtopic:  Relative Clause Awareness

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

A relative clause is a type of subordinate clause that gives more information about a noun. It usually begins with a relative pronoun.

A young girl dancing

The girl who won the competition performed a dance routine.

The phone that Jess is buying is the latest model.

 

Sometimes the relative pronoun can be left out of the sentence.

The phone Jess is buying is the latest model.

 

In this sentence the phone is the object of the sentence (Jess is the subject as she is doing the buying). Notice that the pronoun can't be left out when it refers to the subject. In the first sentence the girl is the subject of the sentence as she is performing the routine, so the sentence wouldn't make sense without the pronoun.

 

It can also be tricky to know whether to put commas around a relative clause or not. Look at the following sentences.

The dog that came first at Crufts was the most beautiful.

The dog, which was very sweet, was called Muffin.

If you can leave the relative clause out of the sentence and it still makes sense, then use commas. If we take the relative clause out of the second example we still have a meaningful sentence.

The dog was called Muffin.

 

However, the first sentence is comparing the dog with all the other dogs at Crufts, so if we take the relative clause out of the first sentence it changes it completely.

The dog was the most beautiful.

 

So you need to decide whether the relative clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence or not. If it just adds extra information but can be left out, then use commas.

The relative pronoun can be left out of the following sentence without affecting its meaning. Write the sentence again in the answer box, leaving out the relative pronoun.

 

The films that Jayden likes best are action ones.

 

Don't forget the capital letter and full stop!

Again, write the sentence out without the relative pronoun.

 

The car that my mum bought is really posh.

This time, read the sentence and decide whether the relative pronoun that can be left out or not.

 

You shouldn't take things that don't belong to you.

can be left out

can't be left out

Again, decide whether the relative pronoun that can be left out or not.

 

The rain that fell last night flooded our garden.

can be left out

can't be left out

Can the relative pronoun be left out this time?

 

Josie is looking for the book that she left on your desk.

can be left out

can't be left out

Which of the sentences below is correctly punctuated? Remember that you can look back at the introduction if you are not sure about using commas.

Andrew who is very talented played his guitar in the school concert.

Andrew, who is very talented, played his guitar in the school concert.

Again, decide which sentence is correctly punctuated.

The teacher who I like best in our school is Miss Jones.

The teacher, who I like best in our school, is Miss Jones.

Which one is correct this time?

Hedgehogs which are nocturnal animals are becoming rare.

Hedgehogs, which are nocturnal animals, are becoming rare.

This time, decide whether commas are needed or not, and rewrite the following sentence in the answer box.

 

Freya who is my little sister is five years old.

 

Don't forget the capital letter and full stop!

Rewrite the following sentence, deciding whether you need commas or not.

 

The people who want to buy our house are coming round this afternoon.

  • Question 1

The relative pronoun can be left out of the following sentence without affecting its meaning. Write the sentence again in the answer box, leaving out the relative pronoun.

 

The films that Jayden likes best are action ones.

 

Don't forget the capital letter and full stop!

CORRECT ANSWER
The films Jayden likes best are action ones.
EDDIE SAYS
Glad your having a try! Remember what the introduction told you. The films are the object of the relative clause (Jayden is the subject), so the pronoun can be left out.
  • Question 2

Again, write the sentence out without the relative pronoun.

 

The car that my mum bought is really posh.

CORRECT ANSWER
The car my mum bought is really posh.
EDDIE SAYS
Super work! The car is the object of the clause (Mum is the subject), so the relative pronoun can be left out. Nothing else in the sentence needs to change.
  • Question 3

This time, read the sentence and decide whether the relative pronoun that can be left out or not.

 

You shouldn't take things that don't belong to you.

CORRECT ANSWER
can't be left out
EDDIE SAYS
Read through the sentence, would it make sense without the pronoun? The pronoun refers to the things, which are the subject of the clause. The sentence wouldn't make sense without the pronoun.
  • Question 4

Again, decide whether the relative pronoun that can be left out or not.

 

The rain that fell last night flooded our garden.

CORRECT ANSWER
can't be left out
EDDIE SAYS
You getting the hang of this now? The relative pronoun refers to the rain, which is the subject of the clause, so it can't be left out. The pronoun can only be left out if it refers to the object not subject. Keep going you got this!
  • Question 5

Can the relative pronoun be left out this time?

 

Josie is looking for the book that she left on your desk.

CORRECT ANSWER
can be left out
EDDIE SAYS
Good effort! This time the pronoun can be left out, as the book is the object of the clause (the subject is Josie). In the example 'that' is referring to the book, when a pronoun refers to the object it can be left out.
  • Question 6

Which of the sentences below is correctly punctuated? Remember that you can look back at the introduction if you are not sure about using commas.

CORRECT ANSWER
Andrew, who is very talented, played his guitar in the school concert.
EDDIE SAYS
The trick here is to read the sentence aloud, would it still make sense if we took out the relative clause? If a relative clause can be taken out without changing the meaning of the sentence then we can use commas around it. The information in the clause can be left out without changing the meaning of the sentence, so it is correct to use commas.
  • Question 7

Again, decide which sentence is correctly punctuated.

CORRECT ANSWER
The teacher who I like best in our school is Miss Jones.
EDDIE SAYS
Fantastic effort! This time the information in the relative clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence so it can't be left out. Miss Jones is being compared to the other teachers in the school. Keep it up!
  • Question 8

Which one is correct this time?

CORRECT ANSWER
Hedgehogs, which are nocturnal animals, are becoming rare.
EDDIE SAYS
Great job! The second sentence gives more information about hedgehogs but isn't essential to the meaning of the sentence, so commas are put around it. If we put commas around the relative clause it means we can remove it from the main sentence without changing the meaning.
  • Question 9

This time, decide whether commas are needed or not, and rewrite the following sentence in the answer box.

 

Freya who is my little sister is five years old.

 

Don't forget the capital letter and full stop!

CORRECT ANSWER
Freya, who is my little sister, is five years old.
EDDIE SAYS
Your a super star! The relative clause gives more information about Freya, but it isn't essential to the meaning of the sentence, so commas are used. Keep going!
  • Question 10

Rewrite the following sentence, deciding whether you need commas or not.

 

The people who want to buy our house are coming round this afternoon.

CORRECT ANSWER
The people who want to buy our house are coming round this afternoon.
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get the hang of it? This time the relative clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence as we are talking about the people who want to buy the house, not just people in general. It can't be left out of the sentence and commas are not used.
---- OR ----

Sign up for a £1 trial so you can track and measure your child's progress on this activity.

What is EdPlace?

We're your National Curriculum aligned online education content provider helping each child succeed in English, maths and science from year 1 to GCSE. With an EdPlace account you’ll be able to track and measure progress, helping each child achieve their best. We build confidence and attainment by personalising each child’s learning at a level that suits them.

Get started
laptop

Start your £1 trial today.
Subscribe from £10/month.