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Revise the Structure of Complex Sentences

In this worksheet, students revise how to identify the main clause, the subordinate clause and the conjunction in complex sentences.

'Revise the Structure of Complex Sentences' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Grammar and Vocabulary

Curriculum subtopic:  Extend and Apply Grammatical Knowledge

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

A complex sentence links two or more ideas within one sentence. The two parts, or clauses, are usually linked by a conjunction. In the following sentence the conjunction because is used to link the two clauses.

Mr Jones forgot to collect his suitcase because he was in a hurry.

 

The main clause in a complex sentence makes sense on its own.

Mr Jones forgot to collect his suitcase because he was in a hurry.

 

The subordinate clause begins with the conjunction and does not make sense on its own.

Mr Jones forgot to collect his suitcase because he was in a hurry.

 

A subordinate clause can be at the beginning of a sentence as well as at the end. Moving the clauses around can make your writing more varied and interesting to read.

Because he was in a hurry, Mr Jones forgot to collect his suitcase.

 

If the subordinate clause is at the beginning of the sentence we usually use a comma to separate the clauses.

Identify the conjunction used to link the two clauses in the following sentence and write it in the answer box.

 

The dog barked all day long because it was lonely.

Identify the conjunction used to link the two clauses in the following sentence and write it in the answer box.

 

Andrew went out on his bike after he finished his homework.

Decide whether the underlined part of the following sentence is the main clause or the subordinate clause.

 

Peter didn't revise last night although he had a test today.

subordinate clause

main clause

Decide whether the underlined part of the following sentence is the main clause or the subordinate clause.

 

Because you were late, we missed the bus.

subordinate clause

main clause

Decide whether the underlined part of the following sentence is the main clause or the subordinate clause.

 

Whenever I drink coffee, I get a headache.

main clause

subordinate clause

Decide whether the underlined part of the following sentence is the main clause or the subordinate clause.

 

Sanjay passed his driving test even though he was very nervous.

subordinate clause

main clause

This time, rewrite the sentence so that it begins with the subordinate clause. Put a comma between the clauses.

 

We went to the beach even though it was raining.

This time, rewrite the sentence so that it begins with the main clause. You don't need a comma between the clauses when the main clause comes first.

 

Unless he oversleeps, Mr Miller catches the 8.15 train every morning.

Rewrite the sentence so that it begins with the main clause.

 

After they played in the snow, the children warmed themselves in front of the fire.

Rewrite the sentence so that it begins with the subordinate clause.

 

James couldn't remember his words in the school play because he was so nervous.

  • Question 1

Identify the conjunction used to link the two clauses in the following sentence and write it in the answer box.

 

The dog barked all day long because it was lonely.

CORRECT ANSWER
because
  • Question 2

Identify the conjunction used to link the two clauses in the following sentence and write it in the answer box.

 

Andrew went out on his bike after he finished his homework.

CORRECT ANSWER
after
  • Question 3

Decide whether the underlined part of the following sentence is the main clause or the subordinate clause.

 

Peter didn't revise last night although he had a test today.

CORRECT ANSWER
main clause
  • Question 4

Decide whether the underlined part of the following sentence is the main clause or the subordinate clause.

 

Because you were late, we missed the bus.

CORRECT ANSWER
subordinate clause
  • Question 5

Decide whether the underlined part of the following sentence is the main clause or the subordinate clause.

 

Whenever I drink coffee, I get a headache.

CORRECT ANSWER
main clause
  • Question 6

Decide whether the underlined part of the following sentence is the main clause or the subordinate clause.

 

Sanjay passed his driving test even though he was very nervous.

CORRECT ANSWER
subordinate clause
  • Question 7

This time, rewrite the sentence so that it begins with the subordinate clause. Put a comma between the clauses.

 

We went to the beach even though it was raining.

CORRECT ANSWER
Even though it was raining, we went to the beach.
  • Question 8

This time, rewrite the sentence so that it begins with the main clause. You don't need a comma between the clauses when the main clause comes first.

 

Unless he oversleeps, Mr Miller catches the 8.15 train every morning.

CORRECT ANSWER
Mr Miller catches the 8.15 train every morning unless he oversleeps.
  • Question 9

Rewrite the sentence so that it begins with the main clause.

 

After they played in the snow, the children warmed themselves in front of the fire.

CORRECT ANSWER
The children warmed themselves in front of the fire after they played in the snow.
  • Question 10

Rewrite the sentence so that it begins with the subordinate clause.

 

James couldn't remember his words in the school play because he was so nervous.

CORRECT ANSWER
Because he was so nervous, James couldn't remember his words in the school play.
Because James was so nervous, he couldn't remember his words in the school play.
---- OR ----

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