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3.1d Year 3: extending the range of sentences with more than one clause by using a wider range of conjunctions, including when, if, because, although (subordinate clauses)

image of 3.1d Year 3: extending the range of sentences with more than one clause by using a wider range of conjunctions, including when, if, because, although (subordinate clauses)
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This resource is part of our grammar curriculum
Real Grammar
  • Covers every objective for years 1-6
  • Five-step sequence ensures deep understanding
  • Includes asssessment and revision tools

This Real Grammar KS2 resources pack provides everything that you need to successfully explore how subordinate clauses are used in complex sentences with pupils in Year 3 or to revisit this learning. Teaching slides, worksheets, games and an opportunity to apply the new learning in a writing task are all included to create a complete resource to teach pupils how subordinate clauses are formed using a subordinating conjunction and how they are used with a main clause to form a multi-clause or complex sentence in KS2. This builds on pupils’ knowledge of subordinating conjunctions, first introduced in KS1.

Real Grammar resource packs are available on subordinating conjunctions: Year 2 ‘because’ and ‘if’; Year 2 ‘when’ and ‘that’; Year 2 subordinating conjunction; and Year 3 subordinating conjunctions.

What is a subordinating conjunction?

A subordinating conjunction introduces a subordinate clause to add information to a main clause. In Year 3, pupils are introduced to a wider range of subordinating conjunctions building on the four learnt in Year 2 (because, if, when and that).

Examples of subordinating conjunctions are:

  • after
  • although
  • as
  • because
  • before
  • even though
  • if
  • once
  • since
  • that
  • though
  • unless
  • until
  • when
  • whenever
  • whereas
  • wherever
  • while

What is a main clause?

A main clause (also known as an independent clause) is a clause that makes sense on its own as a simple sentence.

  • We took an umbrella.
  • Can I have a lift?
  • I loved horse riding.
  • Greta walked home.
  • I have not seen my brother!
  • Sam had to feed the puppy.
  • They waited.
  • Hassan is very loud.

What is a subordinate clause?

A subordinate clause is introduced by a subordinating conjunction and includes a noun or pronoun (subject) and a verb. It is not as important as the main clause and cannot be a sentence on its own.

  • We took an umbrella because it looked like it might rain.
  • Can I have a lift if it is raining?
  • I loved horse riding when I was young.
  • Greta walked home although it was dark.
  • I have not seen my brother since he got his new games console!
  • Sam had to feed the puppy before she left.
  • They waited until everyone had arrived.
  • Hassan is very loud whereas his brother is much quieter.

The subordinate clause can be placed before, after or within the main clause to create a complex (also known as multi-clause) sentence.

The writer can vary their sentence structure by deciding where to place the subordinate clause within a complex sentence. The subordinate clause is in bold in the examples below. Note where commas are used when the subordinate clause is placed before, or within, the main clause.

  • We took an umbrella because it looked like it might rain.
  • Because it looked like it might rain, we took an umbrella.
  • We, because it looked like it might rain, took an umbrella.

  • Can I have a lift if it is raining?
  • If it is raining, can I have a lift?
  • Can I, if it is raining, have a lift?

What is included in this resource pack?

This pack is divided into five parts:


This section includes PowerPoint teaching slides and teaching notes with an optional script to introduce subordinate clauses. It can also be used to revisit this aspect of grammar with pupils.


An independent activity for pupils to practise using what they have been taught, allowing teachers to assess understanding.


A series of short, 10-minute activities that can be used following the TEACH session to revisit and rehearse what has been taught. These may be short writing tasks, grammar games or editing/proofreading activities.


A short writing task where pupils can use the grammar skills taught in context to produce independent writing.


Five SATs style test questions, including cloze activities and multiple choice quiz questions, based on the grammar that has been taught.

Teachers can choose which section of the resource pack to use according to their pupils’ needs and could use the activities over a series of lessons or weeks

Teacher notes are provided to show how these quality resources could be used with pupils.

How is this resource differentiated?

The PRACTISE and REVISE sections include three activities differentiated for three levels of ability:

  • Worksheet 1 for pupils who may need support. Questions will have a lower cognitive domain (what is being asked of pupils) and/or vocabulary used may be simplified where possible.
  • Worksheet 2 for pupils working at age related expectations.
  • Worksheet 3 for pupils who may need an additional challenge and may be working at a greater depth in this area. Questions will have a higher cognitive domain with more challenging vocabulary.

SUPPORT and CHALLENGE ideas are also included in the teacher notes of each section where relevant, with ideas of how to support pupils working towards the expected standard or at greater depth in this area.

What pupil-facing resources are included?


    PPT slides; model text ‘Ancient Greek Myths: Medusa’; subordinating conjunctions word mat


    Practise 1, Practise 2 and Practise 3 worksheets


    Game 1, game 2


    Planning sheet, image cards


    PPT slides; Revise 1, Revise 2 and Revise 3 worksheets

Answer sheets for all worksheets are provided, where appropriate.

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