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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.

Which part of this sentence is the subordinate clause?

 

We sat near the back so we could leave early.

We sat near the back

so we could leave early.

Kate has changed the order of the following sentence 

 

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

 

 

She thinks that she has put the subordinate clause at the start, is she correct?

 

We'll miss the train unless we hurry up.

 

Correct

Incorrect

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

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

 

You missed the trip because you didn't bring your letter.

Which of the two clauses is the main clause in the sentence below?

 

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

Although it was difficult,

I got top marks for my homework.

Which word is the conjunction in this sentence?

 

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

Which part of this sentence is the subordinate clause?

 

We sat near the back so we could leave early.

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

Kate has changed the order of the following sentence 

 

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

 

 

She thinks that she has put the subordinate clause at the start, is she correct?

 

We'll miss the train unless we hurry up.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Incorrect
EDDIE SAYS
What did you think? Kate was wrong! She's re-worded the sentence but the subordinate clause is still at the end. To be correct she should have checked which part of the sentence 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. The correct sentence would have been: If we don't hurry up, we'll miss the train. Keep it up, superstar!
  • 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 missed the trip because you didn't bring your letter.

CORRECT ANSWER
Because you didn't bring your letter, you missed the trip.
Because you didn't bring your letter you missed the trip.
Because you didn't bring your letter, you missed the trip
EDDIE SAYS
Are you getting the hang of this yet? The main clause is 'You missed the trip' This sentence makes sense on its 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

Which of the two clauses is the main clause in the sentence below?

 

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

CORRECT ANSWER
I got top marks for my homework.
EDDIE SAYS
You've got this! Remember the main clause makes sense on its own and can go at the end of a sentence.
  • Question 5

Which word is the conjunction in this sentence?

 

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

CORRECT ANSWER
Whenever
EDDIE SAYS
Super effort! Did you spot the conjunction was at the start? We get used to seeing it in the middle of two clauses but sometimes it can be found at the start of the sentence if the subordinate clause is first.
  • 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 its 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
Did you get this right? 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. Are you feeling more confident now?
  • 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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