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Standard and Non-Standard English: How to Differentiate 1

In this worksheet, students begin to consider the differences between standard and non-standard English.

'Standard and Non-Standard English: How to Differentiate 1' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Spoken Language

Curriculum subtopic:  Speak with Confidence

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

People in different parts of the United Kingdom speak English in different ways. They have different accents and use different words for some things.

You may call the shoes you wear in PE lessons 'pumps', 'daps' or 'plimsolls' depending on where you live.

 

These differences are called dialects, and they include ways of forming sentences that are non-standard, which means different from standard English.

 

For example, in some parts of the country people say 'we was', 'you was' and 'they was' instead of the standard English 'we were', 'you were' and 'they were'.

"We were thinking of buying a new car." (standard English)

"We was thinking of buying a new car." (non-standard English)

 

In other areas people say 'I were' instead of the standard English 'I was'.

"I was tired at the end of the match." (standard English)

"I were tired at the end of the match." (non-standard English)

Read the following sentence and decide whether it is in standard or non-standard English.

 

They was looking for their lost cat.

standard English

non-standard English

Read the following sentence and decide whether it is in standard or non-standard English.

 

I were disappointed that we didn't win.

standard English

non-standard English

Read the following sentence and decide whether it is in standard or non-standard English.

 

The puppies were trying to jump out of the car.

standard English

non-standard English

Read the following sentence and decide whether it is in standard or non-standard English.

 

Janey and Paula was trying really hard to finish their homework.

standard English

non-standard English

Read the following sentence and decide whether it is in standard or non-standard English.

 

We were hoping to go to Paris last summer.

standard English

non-standard English

For the next five questions you need to rewrite the sentences in standard English.

 

They was late for school yesterday.

Rewrite the following sentence in standard English.

 

I were looking for my pen everywhere.

Rewrite the following sentence in standard English.

 

You was mean to me yesterday.

Rewrite the following sentence in standard English.

 

We was really excited about the party.

Rewrite the following sentence in standard English.

 

I were really scared in the thunderstorm.

  • Question 1

Read the following sentence and decide whether it is in standard or non-standard English.

 

They was looking for their lost cat.

CORRECT ANSWER
non-standard English
EDDIE SAYS
In standard English we use 'they were'.
  • Question 2

Read the following sentence and decide whether it is in standard or non-standard English.

 

I were disappointed that we didn't win.

CORRECT ANSWER
non-standard English
EDDIE SAYS
In standard English we use 'I was'.
  • Question 3

Read the following sentence and decide whether it is in standard or non-standard English.

 

The puppies were trying to jump out of the car.

CORRECT ANSWER
standard English
  • Question 4

Read the following sentence and decide whether it is in standard or non-standard English.

 

Janey and Paula was trying really hard to finish their homework.

CORRECT ANSWER
non-standard English
EDDIE SAYS
In standard English we use 'Janey and Paula were'.
  • Question 5

Read the following sentence and decide whether it is in standard or non-standard English.

 

We were hoping to go to Paris last summer.

CORRECT ANSWER
standard English
  • Question 6

For the next five questions you need to rewrite the sentences in standard English.

 

They was late for school yesterday.

CORRECT ANSWER
They were late for school yesterday.
  • Question 7

Rewrite the following sentence in standard English.

 

I were looking for my pen everywhere.

CORRECT ANSWER
I was looking for my pen everywhere.
  • Question 8

Rewrite the following sentence in standard English.

 

You was mean to me yesterday.

CORRECT ANSWER
You were mean to me yesterday.
  • Question 9

Rewrite the following sentence in standard English.

 

We was really excited about the party.

CORRECT ANSWER
We were really excited about the party.
  • Question 10

Rewrite the following sentence in standard English.

 

I were really scared in the thunderstorm.

CORRECT ANSWER
I was really scared in the thunderstorm.
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