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Sentence Structure: Changing Word Order

In this worksheet, students practise moving subordinate clauses to the beginning of sentences.

'Sentence Structure: Changing Word Order' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Writing: Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

Curriculum subtopic:   Grammar Awareness

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

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

Jack went swimming although the water was cold.

 

The main clause makes sense on its own.

Jack went swimming although the water was cold.

 

The subordinate clause begins with a connective and does not make sense on its own.

Jack went swimming although the water was cold.

 

Sometimes order of the clauses can be changed so that the subordinate clause is at the start of the sentence. In this case we need to use a comma to separate the clauses.

Although the water was cold, Jack went swimming.

 

Starting a sentence with the subordinate clause can make writing more varied and interesting.

Rewrite the following sentence with the subordinate clause at the beginning.

(Remember that the subordinate clause begins with a connective and don't forget the comma!)

 

We'll be late if you don't hurry up.

Rewrite the following sentence with the subordinate clause at the beginning.

(Remember that the subordinate clause begins with a connective and don't forget the comma!)

 

I like maths although I find it quite hard.

Rewrite the following sentence with the subordinate clause at the beginning.

(Remember that the subordinate clause begins with a connective and don't forget the comma!)

 

The sports day was cancelled because it rained so much.

Rewrite the following sentence with the subordinate clause at the beginning.

(Remember that the subordinate clause begins with a connective and don't forget the comma!)

 

I will go to America next year if I can afford it.

Rewrite the following sentence with the subordinate clause at the beginning.

(Remember that the subordinate clause begins with a connective and don't forget the comma!)

 

You will keep on improving provided you work hard.

Rewrite the following sentence with the subordinate clause at the beginning.

(Remember that the subordinate clause begins with a connective and don't forget the comma!)

 

I can reach the top shelf although I am only nine.

Rewrite the following sentence with the subordinate clause at the beginning.

(Remember that the subordinate clause begins with a connective and don't forget the comma!)

 

You must take your coat in case it rains.

Rewrite the following sentence with the subordinate clause at the beginning.

(Remember that the subordinate clause begins with a connective and don't forget the comma!)

 

You may leave the table once you have eaten all your food.

Rewrite the following sentence with the subordinate clause at the beginning.

(Remember that the subordinate clause begins with a connective and don't forget the comma!)

 

Katie carried on walking as if she hadn't heard her mother calling.

Rewrite the following sentence with the subordinate clause at the beginning.

(Remember that the subordinate clause begins with a connective and don't forget the comma!)

 

We had to wash our hands before we started cooking.

  • Question 1

Rewrite the following sentence with the subordinate clause at the beginning.

(Remember that the subordinate clause begins with a connective and don't forget the comma!)

 

We'll be late if you don't hurry up.

CORRECT ANSWER
If you don't hurry up, we'll be late.
EDDIE SAYS
The trick here is to identify the main clause first. Which is the bit that would make sense on it's own. 'We'll be late', is the main clause. 'If you don't hurry up' does not make sense without the rest of the sentence. This is the subordinate clause and as the question has asked you to put this first it should appear at the start of the sentence. You must remember to put the comma after the subordinate clause to separate it from the main clause.
  • Question 2

Rewrite the following sentence with the subordinate clause at the beginning.

(Remember that the subordinate clause begins with a connective and don't forget the comma!)

 

I like maths although I find it quite hard.

CORRECT ANSWER
Although I find it quite hard, I like maths.
EDDIE SAYS
Good effort! Remember to look for the main clause, the sentence that would make sense on it's own. 'I like maths.' Is a stand alone sentence. 'I find it quite hard', does not make sense on it's own as it does not explain what the subject finds hard. When putting the subordinate clause first we put the conjunction at the start of the sentence followed by the subordinate clause, a comma then the main clause. You've got this!
  • Question 3

Rewrite the following sentence with the subordinate clause at the beginning.

(Remember that the subordinate clause begins with a connective and don't forget the comma!)

 

The sports day was cancelled because it rained so much.

CORRECT ANSWER
Because it rained so much, the sports day was cancelled.
EDDIE SAYS
You getting the hang of this now? Go through the key things you need to do. Identify the main clause and subordinate clause. Move the conjunction to the start of the sentence and remember to separate the subordinate clause and the main clause with a comma.
  • Question 4

Rewrite the following sentence with the subordinate clause at the beginning.

(Remember that the subordinate clause begins with a connective and don't forget the comma!)

 

I will go to America next year if I can afford it.

CORRECT ANSWER
If I can afford it, I will go to America next year.
EDDIE SAYS
Fantastic keep it up! Did you identify the main clause? Once you have got that you can move the subordinate clause to the start of the sentence. Remember to move the conjunction used to the start and separate the two clauses using a comma.
  • Question 5

Rewrite the following sentence with the subordinate clause at the beginning.

(Remember that the subordinate clause begins with a connective and don't forget the comma!)

 

You will keep on improving provided you work hard.

CORRECT ANSWER
Provided you work hard, you will keep on improving.
EDDIE SAYS
You've got this! 'Provided you work hard', can not be a sentence on it's own as it does not explain the whole story. This is the subordinate clause so must go at the start of the sentence. Remember to include your comma!
  • Question 6

Rewrite the following sentence with the subordinate clause at the beginning.

(Remember that the subordinate clause begins with a connective and don't forget the comma!)

 

I can reach the top shelf although I am only nine.

CORRECT ANSWER
Although I am only nine, I can reach the top shelf.
EDDIE SAYS
Did you remember to put the conjunction first, in this case 'although'? Just keep reminding yourself that a subordinate clause can not make sense on it's own, it relies the main clause to give the reader the information they need. Keep it up!
  • Question 7

Rewrite the following sentence with the subordinate clause at the beginning.

(Remember that the subordinate clause begins with a connective and don't forget the comma!)

 

You must take your coat in case it rains.

CORRECT ANSWER
In case it rains, you must take your coat.
EDDIE SAYS
Well done your nearly there! 'In case it rains' needs to go at the start of the sentence as it is the subordinate clause. It can does not give the reader enough information and relies on the rest of the sentence for it to make sense. Remember you need the comma after the subordinate clause to separate it from the main clause.
  • Question 8

Rewrite the following sentence with the subordinate clause at the beginning.

(Remember that the subordinate clause begins with a connective and don't forget the comma!)

 

You may leave the table once you have eaten all your food.

CORRECT ANSWER
Once you have eaten all your food, you may leave the table.
EDDIE SAYS
Amazing effort! 'Once' is the conjunction so comes to the start of the sentence followed by 'you have eaten all your food', as this is the subordinate clause. You then needed to use a comma followed by the rest of the sentence, which is your main clause. Nearly there!
  • Question 9

Rewrite the following sentence with the subordinate clause at the beginning.

(Remember that the subordinate clause begins with a connective and don't forget the comma!)

 

Katie carried on walking as if she hadn't heard her mother calling.

CORRECT ANSWER
As if she hadn't heard her mother calling, Katie carried on walking.
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get it? 'As if' comes to the start of the sentence, followed by 'she hadn't heard her mother'. This is the subordinate clause as it does not make sense on it's own. It relies on the the main clause.
  • Question 10

Rewrite the following sentence with the subordinate clause at the beginning.

(Remember that the subordinate clause begins with a connective and don't forget the comma!)

 

We had to wash our hands before we started cooking.

CORRECT ANSWER
Before we started cooking, we had to wash our hands.
EDDIE SAYS
Super star effort! Make sure you have started the sentence with the conjunction 'Before'. Then identify the main clause. This should be stand alone sentence. 'We need to wash out hands.' This makes sense on it's own. 'Before we started to cooking', gives us extra information and relies on the main clause in order for it to make sense. This is the subordinate clause. Also remember you need to include your comma when the subordinate clause comes first.
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