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Mark Independent Clauses Using a Dash

In this worksheet, students will be asked to punctuate embedded and independent clauses using a dash.

'Mark Independent Clauses Using a Dash' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Writing: Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

Curriculum subtopic:   Punctuate Independent Clauses

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

In this activity, you will be asked to punctuate independent clauses using a dash.

A dash is a very important piece of punctuation as it can do the job of brackets, commas or even a colon.

A dash can inject extra, important information into a sentence.

A dash can also add emphasis and give more meaning to a sentence.

Dashes are usually employed in more informal pieces of writing.

 

Example 1:

Upon collecting her stickers from the shop (10 in total) Sarah walked home.

This becomes...

Upon collecting her stickers from the shop - 10 in total - Sarah walked home.

In this example, the dashes took the place of the brackets and punctuated the embedded clause.

 

Example 2:

A dash can also be used once, rather than twice to punctuate clauses.

I could only see one thing - the huge, ancient castle.

 

Now it's over to you!

Look carefully at the sentence below. Choose which word you would insert a dash after.

 

My life had changed forever I was now Captain of the team.

Changed

Captain

Forever

Now

Look carefully at the sentence below. Choose which word you would insert a dash after.

 

You have only one choice leave now while you can.

Choice

While

One

Only

Look carefully at the sentence below.

 

Choose which words you would insert a dash after.

 

The ship which was majestic and new sailed swiftly across the bay.

Majestic and sailed

Ship and swiftly

Ship and new

The and new

Some sentences have been broken up.

 

Are you able to correctly match each one up so that it's punctuated with a dash or dashes?

Column A

Column B

Sally needed more reliable players
- lots of them.
Always fasten your seatbelt
- it is law.
The dog - who was brown and lively -
- what a shame!
School was closed because of the snow
chased the ball.

Some sentences have been broken up.

 

Are you able to correctly match each one up so it is punctuated with a dash or dashes?

Column A

Column B

If you eat too much cake - as I have done today -
- my best friend for life.
You are my best friend
you may feel sick!
The elephants were enormous
- really very large!
I am going to give you £20
- don't waste it!

Read the sentence below, some of the commas could be replaced with a dash. 

 

Can you choose after which words the commas could be replaced with a dash?

 

Suddenly, the polar bear, which was white and powerful, emerged from the gloomy, deep water.

Read the sentence below, some of the commas could be replaced with a dash. 

 

Can you choose after which words the commas could be replaced?

 

 

Quietly, she tiptoed across the room, which was covered in sticky, thick cobwebs, towards the opening in the door.

The sentence below is missing the appropriate use of dashes.

Read it carefully and then choose after which words you would place a dash.

 

 

John took a few steps back came running full speed kicked with all his might and missed the ball!

The sentence below is missing the appropriate use of dashes.

Read it carefully and then choose after which words you would place a dash.

 

If you don't drink enough water as I haven't today you may get a headache.

 WaterDrinkDoneToday
A dash should be placed after

Now, over to you to become the teacher!

 

Carefully, read the sentences below and select the two sentences that you think are correctly punctuated with dashes.

It was the end of the road - a road most treacherous!

Mr Smith was unwilling to extend playtime even for another cup of tea!

I have given you my last £2 - don't waste it.

Her dog the loud, jumpy one was asleep near the fire.

  • Question 1

Look carefully at the sentence below. Choose which word you would insert a dash after.

 

My life had changed forever I was now Captain of the team.

CORRECT ANSWER
Forever
EDDIE SAYS
Great effort. Here, both of the clauses can make sense on their own. Therefore, when joining the clauses, we only need one dash. My life had changed forever - I was now Captain of the team.
  • Question 2

Look carefully at the sentence below. Choose which word you would insert a dash after.

 

You have only one choice leave now while you can.

CORRECT ANSWER
Choice
EDDIE SAYS
How did you find the second question? Again, both of the clauses make sense on their own. Therefore, when joining the clauses, we only need to use one dash. You have only one choice - leave now while you can.
  • Question 3

Look carefully at the sentence below.

 

Choose which words you would insert a dash after.

 

The ship which was majestic and new sailed swiftly across the bay.

CORRECT ANSWER
Ship and new
EDDIE SAYS
This question was a little bit trickier as you had to correctly punctuate an embedded clause. An embedded clause requires two dashes. The ship - which was majestic and new - sailed swiftly across the bay. Is this starting to get easier?
  • Question 4

Some sentences have been broken up.

 

Are you able to correctly match each one up so that it's punctuated with a dash or dashes?

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Sally needed more reliable player...
- lots of them.
Always fasten your seatbelt
- it is law.
The dog - who was brown and livel...
chased the ball.
School was closed because of the ...
- what a shame!
EDDIE SAYS
There were four sentences to create here so don't worry if you found this question tricky. The correctly punctuated sentences are: Sally needed more reliable players - lots of them. Always fasten your seatbelt - it is the law. The dog - who was brown and lively - chased the ball. School was closed because of the heavy snow - what a shame!
  • Question 5

Some sentences have been broken up.

 

Are you able to correctly match each one up so it is punctuated with a dash or dashes?

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

If you eat too much cake - as I h...
you may feel sick!
You are my best friend
- my best friend for life.
The elephants were enormous
- really very large!
I am going to give you £20
- don't waste it!
EDDIE SAYS
There were 4 sentences to create here! The correctly punctuated sentences are: If you eat too much cake - as I have today- you may feel sick! You are my best friend - my best friend for life. The elephants were enormous - really very large! I am going to give you £20 - don't waste it!
  • Question 6

Read the sentence below, some of the commas could be replaced with a dash. 

 

Can you choose after which words the commas could be replaced with a dash?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Suddenly, the polar bear, which was white and powerful, emerged from the gloomy, deep water.
EDDIE SAYS
The commas that could be replaced with a dash, appear after 'bear' and 'powerful' because these commas mark an embedded clause within the sentence. Well done if you spotted this!
  • Question 7

Read the sentence below, some of the commas could be replaced with a dash. 

 

Can you choose after which words the commas could be replaced?

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Quietly, she tiptoed across the room, which was covered in sticky, thick cobwebs, towards the opening in the door.
EDDIE SAYS
The commas that could be replaced with a dash, appear after 'room' and 'cobwebs' because again, these commas mark an embedded clause within the sentence.
  • Question 8

The sentence below is missing the appropriate use of dashes.

Read it carefully and then choose after which words you would place a dash.

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
John took a few steps back came running full speed kicked with all his might and missed the ball!
EDDIE SAYS
In this sentence, dashes can add the pauses needed between clauses and ideas. When appropriately punctuated with dashes, it looks like this: John took a few steps back - came running full speed - kicked with all his might and missed the ball! You’re making great progress, two more questions to go.
  • Question 9

The sentence below is missing the appropriate use of dashes.

Read it carefully and then choose after which words you would place a dash.

 

If you don't drink enough water as I haven't today you may get a headache.

CORRECT ANSWER
 WaterDrinkDoneToday
A dash should be placed after
EDDIE SAYS
In this sentence, dashes can add the pauses needed between clauses and ideas. When appropriately punctuated with dashes, it looks like this: If you don't drink enough water - as I haven't today - you may get a headache.
  • Question 10

Now, over to you to become the teacher!

 

Carefully, read the sentences below and select the two sentences that you think are correctly punctuated with dashes.

CORRECT ANSWER
It was the end of the road - a road most treacherous!
I have given you my last £2 - don't waste it.
EDDIE SAYS
There was a lot for you to mark here. Two sentences were correctly punctuated and two sentences were not. The following two sentences needed dashes to be added in: Mr Smith was unwilling to extend playtime - even for another cup of tea! Her dog - the loud, jumpy one - was asleep near the fire. Great work, you've completed another activity! How about attempting another one so you feel super confident?
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