Practise identifying dependent clauses in complex sentences with a dependent clause worksheet.
What is a Dependent Clause? Let’s Find Out!
A dependent clause (or subordinate clause) is a clause that cannot stand alone as a complete sentence because it does not express a complete thought.
Notice how the clauses in bold below could not stand alone as sentences. This is how a dependent clause differs from an independent clause.
- Since my birthday last month, I have sent 482 text messages.
- I am not doing laundry unless Jess helps.
- My family spent the holidays at home, rather than going to the beach like everyone else.
The concept is pretty simple for teachers to teach, but it is a difficult one for students to grasp. It takes practice, practice and more practice. That’s where we come in!
In this worksheet, students identify the dependent clauses in sentences. Twelve examples are provided for students to analyse and they then write a complete complex sentence using both an independent clause and a dependent clause.
Tips for Differentiation + Scaffolding
In addition to independent student work time, use this worksheet as:
- an English Group Activity
- a lesson warm-up
- a lesson wrap-up
- a fast finishers activity
- a homework assignment
- a whole-class review (via smartboard.)
Easily Download & Print
Use the dropdown icon on the Download button to choose between the PDF or Google Slides version of this resource.
Because this resource includes an answer sheet, we recommend you print one copy of the entire file. Then make photocopies of the blank worksheet for students to complete.
Turn this teaching resource into a sustainable activity by printing on thick card and slipping it into a write-and-wipe sleeve. Students can record their answers with a whiteboard marker, then erase and reuse them.
Alternatively, project the worksheet onto a screen and work through it as a class by having students record their answers in their notebooks.
Get more worksheets to have handy!
Don’t stop there! We’ve got more activities to shorten your lesson planning time:
A set of 5 basic worksheets aimed at the lower grades to help introduce the concept of independent and dependent clauses.
A set of 6 worksheets teaching the concept of simple, compound and complex sentences.
Use this poster to show your students the attributes that make up simple, compound and complex sentences.