Topic: Clause

These resources relate to clauses. Understanding how clauses work is useful for appreciating the different kinds of effects that writers achieve by using different structures, and also for developing writing skills.

Present participles in composition

This activity involves working with nonfinite clauses to do some sentence-splitting and sentence-joining. The purpose is to develop your awareness of the different kinds of structures that are available to you as a writer.

Present participles in composition: Activity 1

Returning to the area after the War, Pissaro largely retained the same fiction about Louveciennes. →

Pissaro returned to the area after the War. He largely retained the same fiction about Louveciennes.

Having fallen completely from view since May, he finds another window suddenly beckoning. →

Present participles in composition: Activity 2

I arrived just before lunch. I looked for Harry Frampton in the dining room. →

Arriving just before lunch, I looked for Harry Frampton in the dining room.

The ZR-1 looked little different from the normal Corvette. It performed like a Ferrari or a Lamborghini. →

Relative clauses in composition

In this activity, students will look at examples of sentences and turn them into one sentence that incorporates a relative clause with a relative pronoun. You can review relative clauses and relative pronouns using the Englicious glossary and 'Professional development' pages, found in the 'Content type' menu to the left.

Sentence building

In this activity, students ask the question: what is a sentence? Then, they answer it using an interactive smart board sentence generator.

Goals

  • Identify sentences and non-sentences.
  • Create some examples of sentences and non-sentences using an interactive smart board sentence generator.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will answer the question: what is a sentence?

Sentence generator

What did you and your family do on the holidays? In this activity you will experiment with our fun sentence generator which reports on some unusual holiday happenings!

Sentence generator: Activity

Click on each column to scroll up and down, and make different combinations.

Click on the dice at the top of the columns to get a new random ordering of elements.

In slide 2, re-order elements by clicking within a column and dragging to left or right (or by clicking on the arrows at the tops of the columns).

Sentence types: Simple, compound or complex?

Simple, compound or complex? Look at each of the following examples, and click on the right sentence type. Remember that the current National Curriculum prefers single-clause and multi-clause instead of the simple / compound / complex distinction.

Sentence types: simple, compound, complex

This unit further explains simple sentences, compound sentences and complex sentences, which were introduced in the unit 'Clauses: main and subordinate'. Simple sentences contain one clause, while compound and complex sentences contain more than one clause.

National Curriculum note: The National Curriculum now refers to sentences that contain one clause as single-clause sentences, and those that contain more than one clause as multi-clause sentences.

Sentences with 'because'

In this activity, students practise composing sentences with the word because.

Goals

  • Identify the causal relationship that underlies use of because.
  • Compose some reasonable sentences using because.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will practise using the word because.

Sentences with 'because': Activity

I'm wearing wellies.
Why?
Because it's raining.

I'm wearing wellies
because
it's raining.

You're it.
Why?
Because I tagged you.

Sentences with 'if'

In this activity, students practise composing sentences with the word if.

Goals

  • Rehearse an implicit understanding of the conditional meaning of if.
  • Practise composing sentences using if.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will practise writing sentences with the word if.

Sentences with 'if': Activity

If you're wearing red, raise your hand.

If you're wearing blue, stomp your feet.

If you're wearing velcro, scratch your head.

If you have a zipper on your clothes, scratch your ear.

If you're the tallest one, wiggle your nose.

Statement, question, command and exclamation: discourse functions

In this starter activity we will look at text examples drawn from our corpus and think about how the clause types statement, question, command, and exclamation function within authentic discourse.

Click on the interactive whiteboard icon (top right) and work through the following slides with students. Read each extract and analyse it by answering the accompanying questions. After each extract, there are some suggestions and pointers.

Subject-Verb Agreement

In this lesson, students select the correct verb to compose an acceptable sentence.

Goals

  • Practise composing sentences with appropriate Subject-Verb agreement.
  • Identify acceptable patterns in Standard English.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will select the correct verb on the smart board, to construct acceptable sentences.

Subject-Verb Agreement: 'Be' verbs

Telephones
are
is
am
really weird.

Subordinate clauses in sentences

The Activity page appears in the menu entitled 'This Unit' in the upper right corner of this page. The slide in the Activity page can be displayed on a projector or smart board.

On the slide are several subordinate clauses, including finite and nonfinite clauses. Ask your students to compose 10 new sentences, each containing at least one of the subordinate clauses. Encourage them to use more than one subordinate clause in a sentence.

There are some strong grammatical patterns that guide us. For example, compare:

Subordinate clauses in sentences: Activity

Try to construct 10 new sentences, each containing one or more of these subordinate clauses.

Subordinate or main clause?

Try to identify which clauses can stand on their own (click Main) or those which can’t (click Subordinate). The capitals and punctuation marks have been removed to make this slightly less obvious.

Tag questions

Questions like ...isn’t it?, ...haven’t they? and ...wouldn’t you? that sit on the end of a statement are called tag questions in linguistics. There’s a range of different tag questions most people call on, varying by verb, tense, person and whether the tag is positive or negative.

Using multi-clause sentences in writing

In this lesson, students explore the effects of using multi-clause sentences.

This terminology is now preferred in the National Curriculum, rather than simple sentence, compound sentence and complex sentence

Word salads (primary)

In this lesson, students arrange words on the smart board in order to create acceptable sentences.

Goals

  • Use implicit grammatical knowledge to arrange word tiles on a smart board into sentences.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will arrange words to make sentences. All of the example sentences here have been drawn from our corpus.

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