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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.
The goalkeeper eyed the striker, leaning forward intently.
The goalkeeper
The goalkeeper eyed the striker
leaning forward
leaning forward intently
Subject / verb = 'The goalkeeper eyed'.
2.
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.
Edna
my Nan's best friend
Edna asked me if I like gooseberries
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.
3.
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
Before lunch, I will
I will finish reading my book
finish reading my book
'Before lunch' is a phrase - it does not include a subject/verb pairing.
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.
Tired of practising
of practising
of practising, she quietly closed
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.
Despite being dark and gloomy, the weather made him happy.
Despite being
Despite being dark and gloomy
dark and gloomy, the weather
the weather made him happy
'The weather' is the subject and 'made' is its verb.
6.
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 walked up the stairs
walked up
walked up the stairs
laughing softly
'She' is the subject and 'walked' is the verb.
7.
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
Coming home, I could smell
I could smell the delicious scent of spaghetti bolognese
my favourite meal
'Coming home' and 'my favourite meal' are both phrases.
8.
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 was shining on the pitch
was shining on the pitch
shining on the pitch, blinding
blinding the team
'The sun' is the subject and 'was shining' is the verb.
9.
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.
The dog
not altogether unsurprisingly
hates having a bath
The dog 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.
10.
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.
Over the fields
through the woods
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.

 

Author:  Sheri Smith

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