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Grade 5 - English Language
Clauses and Phrases

CLAUSES

A clause is a group of words with a subject and a predicate.
Example: We ride our bikes to school.
We is the subject and ride our bikes to school is the predicate in this clause.

  • Independent Clause: An independent clause expresses a complete thought and can stand alone as a sentence.
    Example: We ride our bikes to school.

  • Dependent Clause: A dependent clause does not express a complete thought and cannot stand alone as a sentence.
    Example: when the weather is nice.

    A dependent clause can be combined with an independent clause to form a complex sentence.
    Example: We ride our bikes to school when the weather is nice.

  • Relative Clauses: They are relative pronouns who, which, and that.
    who: used for people
    which: used for animals and things
    whose: possessive case for people, animals and things
    Instead of who or which, you can sometimes also use that.

    • Who Clause: When the subject of two sentences is the same person or people the sentences can sometimes be combined with a who clause.
      Example:
      Allison likes animals. Allison feeds the birds.
      Allison, who likes animals, feeds the birds.
      Note: The who clause is set off from the rest of the sentence with commas.

    • Which clause: When the subject of two sentences is the same thing or things, the sentences can sometimes be combined with a which clause.
      Example:
      These fish have been studied by scientists. The fish actually like dirty water.
      These fish, which have been studied by scientists, actually like dirty water.
      Note: A which clause is set off from the rest of the sentence with commas.

    • That clause: When the subject of two sentences is the same thing or things, the sentences can sometimes be combined with a that clause. We use 'that' instead of 'which' clause when the clause is very important in the sentence.
      Example:
      The store is near our house. The store was closed.
      The store that is near our house was closed.
      Note: A that clause is not set off from the rest of the sentence with commas.

PHRASES

A phrase is a group of related words that does not have a subject, or predicate, or both. Phrases do not make a complete thought, therefore, they are not sentences.
Examples: the fifth graders (This is a noun phrase.)
wrote their reports (This is a verb phrase)
about George Washington (This is a prepositional phrase.)
Note: If you put these three phrases together, they would form a complete sentence:
The fifth graders wrote their reports about George Washington.

Kinds of Phrases: Phrases are named by how they are used in a sentence -- noun phrase, verb phrase, and prepositional phrase.
Example:
Noun Phrase: The fifth graders
Verb Phrase: wrote their reports
Prepositional Phrase: about George Washington


Directions: Combine the sentences using who, which, or that clauses. Write at least two more example sentences for each of who, which, and that clauses. As a homework, read a book and note down sentences containing who, which, and that clauses.
Q 1: A letter came today. The letter is from Eric.
The letter that was from Eric came today.
The letter came today, that from Eric.

Q 2: These fish actually like dirty water. These fish have been studied by scientists.
These fish actually like dirty water which have been studied by scientists.
These fish, which have been studied by scientist, actually like dirty water.

Q 3: Kim drew that picture. Kim is taking art lessons.
Kim who drew that picture. Kim is taking art lessons.
Kim, who is taking art lessons, drew that picture.

Q 4: Harry was late to school. Harry was sorry later.
Harry, who was late to school. He was sorry later.
Harry, who was late to school, was sorry later.
Harry was late to school who was sorry later.

Q 5: The notebook had my homework in it. The notebook is lost.
The notebook had my homework in it, that is lost.
The notebook that had my homework in it is lost.

Q 6: Our teacher is retiring. Our teacher will be 65 this year.
Our teacher is retiring because our teacher will be 65 this year.
Our teacher who is retiring. our teacher will be 65.
Our teacher, who will be 65 this year, is retiring.

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