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Sentence Structure: Manipulating for Effect 3

In this worksheet, students change the order of the main and subordinate clauses in a complex sentence to alter the effect of the sentence for the reader.

'Sentence Structure: Manipulating for Effect 3' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Writing: Composition

Curriculum subtopic:   Grammar and Vocabulary Awareness

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

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

We carried on walking, although we were exhausted.

 

The main clause (we carried on walking) makes sense on its own; the subordinate clause (although we were exhausted) begins with a connective and does not make sense on its own.

 

The clauses can be switched round so that the subordinate clause comes first.

Although we were exhausted, we carried on walking.

 

This has the effect of changing the emphasis of the sentence, and highlights our exhaustion rather than the fact that we were walking.

 

If the next sentence is about our exhaustion, then the second version works well.

for example:

Although we were exhausted, we carried on walking. My feet were aching and Jessie had a blister on her heel.

 

On the other hand, if the next sentence is about our destination, then the first version works better.

We carried on walking, although we were exhausted. Soon we reached the riverbank, and we knew that we were finally on his trail.

 

Changing the order of clauses in this way helps to vary the structure of writing and make it more interesting.

Change the order of this sentence so that the subordinate clause comes first.

(The clauses are usually separated by a comma when the subordinate clause comes first.)

 

We sat near the back so we could leave early.

Change the order of this sentence so that the subordinate clause comes first.

(Remember to use a comma to separate the clauses.)

 

We'll miss the train if we don't hurry up.

Change the order of this sentence so that the subordinate clause comes first.

(Remember to use a comma to separate the clauses.)

 

You will have to miss the trip because you haven't brought back your permission letter.

This time, change the order of the sentence so that the main clause comes first.

(When a sentence starts with the main clause, a comma isn't always needed. It depends on how the sentence sounds.)

 

Although it was difficult, I got top marks for my maths homework.

Change the order of the sentence so that the main clause comes first.

 

Whenever I hear a seagull cry, I remember our holiday in Cornwall.

Change the order of the sentence so that the main clause comes first.

 

Unless it snows, school will be open tomorrow.

Read these two sentences.

 

1) Katie pushed open the window and climbed in, although she was terrified.

2) Although she was terrified, Katie pushed open the window and climbed in.

 

Which one emphasies Katie's fear?

sentence 1

sentence 2

Read these two sentences.

 

1) Michael didn't play his clarinet very well at the concert because he hadn't practised enough.

2) Because he hadn't practised enough, Michael didn't play his clarinet very well at the concert.

 

Which one highlights the reason why Michael didn't play well?

sentence 1

sentence 2

Read these two sentences.

 

1) Janice loved the cottage although its windows were broken and its paintwork was peeling.

2) Although its paintwork was peeling and its windows were broken, Janice loved the cottage.

 

Which version is more effective if the writer is going on to describe the state of the cottage in more detail?

sentence 1

sentence 2

Read these two sentences.

 

1) Tim enjoyed the film even though he was late and missed the beginning.

2) Even though he was late and missed the beginning, Tim enjoyed the film.

 

Which version is more effective if the writer is going on to describe the film in more detail?

sentence 1

sentence 2

  • Question 1

Change the order of this sentence so that the subordinate clause comes first.

(The clauses are usually separated by a comma when the subordinate clause comes first.)

 

We sat near the back so we could leave early.

CORRECT ANSWER
So we could leave early, we sat near the back.
EDDIE SAYS
Let's do this! The trick is to remember that a subordinate does not make sense on it's own. You need to decide which part of the sentence is the main clause and would make sense on it's own. 'We sat near the back' is the main clause. 'So we could leave early' is the subordinate clause. This is moved to the start of the sentence and separated using a comma.
  • Question 2

Change the order of this sentence so that the subordinate clause comes first.

(Remember to use a comma to separate the clauses.)

 

We'll miss the train if we don't hurry up.

CORRECT ANSWER
If we don't hurry up, we'll miss the train.
EDDIE SAYS
Again look for the part of the sentence that will makes sense by itself. 'We'll miss the train' is the main clause. 'If we don't hurry up' does not make sense by itself so it is the subordinate clause. Don't forget to use your comma to separate them. Keep it up super star!
  • Question 3

Change the order of this sentence so that the subordinate clause comes first.

(Remember to use a comma to separate the clauses.)

 

You will have to miss the trip because you haven't brought back your permission letter.

CORRECT ANSWER
Because you haven't brought back your permission letter, you will have to miss the trip.
EDDIE SAYS
You getting the hang of this yet? The main clause is 'You will have to miss the trip' This sentence makes sense on it's own. Then bring the rest of the sentence to the start as this is your subordinate clause. It gives the reader extra information and does not make sense by itself.
  • Question 4

This time, change the order of the sentence so that the main clause comes first.

(When a sentence starts with the main clause, a comma isn't always needed. It depends on how the sentence sounds.)

 

Although it was difficult, I got top marks for my maths homework.

CORRECT ANSWER
I got top marks for my maths homework although it was difficult.
I got top marks for my maths homework, although it was difficult.
EDDIE SAYS
You've got this! Here you need to do the same thing but this time start the sentence with your main clause. Remember the main clause can make sense on its own.
  • Question 5

Change the order of the sentence so that the main clause comes first.

 

Whenever I hear a seagull cry, I remember our holiday in Cornwall.

CORRECT ANSWER
I remember our holiday in Cornwall whenever I hear a seagull cry.
I remember our holiday in Cornwall, whenever I hear a seagull cry.
EDDIE SAYS
Super effort! Although the sentence is correct with or without a comma, the version without a comma sounds better in this example.
  • Question 6

Change the order of the sentence so that the main clause comes first.

 

Unless it snows, school will be open tomorrow.

CORRECT ANSWER
School will be open tomorrow unless it snows.
School will be open tomorrow, unless it snows.
EDDIE SAYS
Are you getting the hang of this now? Identify the main clause 'School will be open tomorrow'. This should come to the start of the sentence. The subordinate clause should then follow. Remember the subordinate clause does not make sense on it's own.
  • Question 7

Read these two sentences.

 

1) Katie pushed open the window and climbed in, although she was terrified.

2) Although she was terrified, Katie pushed open the window and climbed in.

 

Which one emphasies Katie's fear?

CORRECT ANSWER
sentence 2
EDDIE SAYS
Keep up the great work! The second sentence emphasises Kate's fear. By putting the subordinate clause at the start of the sentence it becomes the focus.
  • Question 8

Read these two sentences.

 

1) Michael didn't play his clarinet very well at the concert because he hadn't practised enough.

2) Because he hadn't practised enough, Michael didn't play his clarinet very well at the concert.

 

Which one highlights the reason why Michael didn't play well?

CORRECT ANSWER
sentence 2
EDDIE SAYS
Again here by placing the subordinate clause at the start the reader focuses on Micheal's lack of practising his clarinet. Keep it up super star!
  • Question 9

Read these two sentences.

 

1) Janice loved the cottage although its windows were broken and its paintwork was peeling.

2) Although its paintwork was peeling and its windows were broken, Janice loved the cottage.

 

Which version is more effective if the writer is going on to describe the state of the cottage in more detail?

CORRECT ANSWER
sentence 2
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get it? By writing the subordinate clause first, the reader has to focus on the state of the cottage. The description is given to us first which highlights it to the reader. Nearly there!
  • Question 10

Read these two sentences.

 

1) Tim enjoyed the film even though he was late and missed the beginning.

2) Even though he was late and missed the beginning, Tim enjoyed the film.

 

Which version is more effective if the writer is going on to describe the film in more detail?

CORRECT ANSWER
sentence 1
EDDIE SAYS
High five for effort! The first sentence would be more suitable to use if continuing to describe the film. As the topic of the film is introduced last, it makes it easy to continue it in the next sentence.
---- OR ----

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