Clauses and Phrases
He ran. This sentence is also a clause.

Clauses and Phrases

This KS2 English quiz looks at clauses and phrases. Sentences are made up of collections of words called 'clauses' and 'phrases'. It is easy to recognise a clause because it could be a complete sentence on its own. This sentence is a clause, too: 'He ran.' The subject is ‘he’ and the verb is ‘ran’. In this sentence, ‘he ran’ is still a clause: 'Although exhausted, he ran.' Phrases have no subject / verb pair. 'Although exhausted' is a phrase.

Understanding clauses and phrases helps you use commas properly. Our next two quizzes are all about commas, so it would be a good idea to play this quiz first.

Challenge yourself with this English quiz on the subject.

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  1. Find the clause in the sentence. Remember, a clause could make a complete sentence on its own.
    Over the fields and through the woods, the deer ran.
    Although it is made up of only three words, 'the deer ran' is the clause of this sentence.
  2. Find the clause in the sentence. Remember, a clause could make a complete sentence on its own.
    The sun was shining on the pitch, blinding the team.
    'The sun' is the subject and 'was shining' is the verb.
  3. Find the clause in the sentence. Remember, a clause could make a complete sentence on its own.
    The goalkeeper eyed the striker, leaning forward intently.
    Subject / verb = 'The goalkeeper eyed'.
  4. Find the clause in the sentence. Remember, a clause could make a complete sentence on its own.
    Tired of practising, she quietly closed the lid of the piano.
    Subject / verb = 'she closed'. 'Tired of practising' is a phrase.
  5. Find the clause in the sentence. Remember, a clause could make a complete sentence on its own.
    The dog, not altogether unsurprisingly, hates having a bath.
    Often clauses are interrupted by phrases. When a phrase such as 'not altogether unsurprisingly' is used to add extra information, it needs a pair of commas to separate it from the main clause.
  6. Find the clause in the sentence. Remember, a clause could make a complete sentence on its own.
    Coming home, I could smell the delicious scent of spaghetti bolognese, my favourite meal.
    'Coming home' and 'my favourite meal' are both phrases.
  7. Find the clause in the sentence. Remember, a clause could make a complete sentence on its own.
    Before lunch, I will finish reading my book.
    'Before lunch' is a phrase - it does not include a subject/verb pairing.
  8. Find the clause in the sentence. Remember, a clause could make a complete sentence on its own.
    She walked up the stairs, laughing softly.
    'She' is the subject and 'walked' is the verb.
  9. Find the clause in the sentence. Remember, a clause could make a complete sentence on its own.
    Edna, my Nan's best friend, asked me if I like gooseberries.
    The phrase 'my Nan's best friend' is set off from the rest of the sentence with a pair of commas.
  10. Find the clause in the sentence. Remember, a clause could make a complete sentence on its own.
    Despite being dark and gloomy, the weather made him happy.
    'The weather' is the subject and 'made' is its verb.

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