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Year 3 Subordinate Clause SPaG Worksheets

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This bright, appealing PDF grammar worksheet is an excellent way to practise and revise using subordinating clauses in Y3. It is divided into five sections: understand, challenge, test, explain and apply.

Activities include SATs-style questions and opportunities for creative writing responses, with eye-catching images as prompts.

What is a subordinate clause?

A subordinate clause contains a subject and a verb, and often begins with a conjunction, but it cannot make grammatical sense on its own, so it has to be attached to a main clause. Therefore, it is subordinate to the main clause.

in The apple that I ate was sour, the clause that I ate is subordinate to apple (which it modifies). Subordinate clauses contrast with co-ordinate clauses as in It was sour but looked very tasty. (Contrast: main clause)

Subordinate clause examples

  • That’s the street where Ben lives.
  • He watched her as she disappeared.
  • When she saw my dress, she said that it was very nice.
  • She had not noticed an hour had passed because she had been so busy.

Not subordinate:

  • He shouted, “Look out!”

This is because clauses that are directly quoted as direct speech are not subordinate clauses.

National Curriculum English programme of study links

Joining words and joining clauses using ‘and’

Extending the range of sentences with more than one clause by using a wider range of conjunctions, including when, if, because, although

Using relative clauses beginning with who, which, where, when, whose, that or with an implied (i.e. omitted) relative pronoun

Understand that a main clause may contain any number of subordinate clauses

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