teaching resource

Identifying Dependent Clauses Worksheet

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 2 pages | Grades: 2 - 4

Practice 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 bold clauses 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 spring break 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!

This worksheet is designed to allow for additional practice identifying dependent clauses in sentences. Students will identify the dependent clause in twelve sentences, and write a complete complex sentence using both an independent clause and dependent clause.

Tips for Differentiation + Scaffolding 

In addition to independent student work time, use this worksheet as an activity for:


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 cardstock and slipping it into a dry-erase sleeve. Students can record their answers with a whiteboard marker, then erase and reuse them. 

Additionally, project the worksheet onto a screen and work through it as a class by having students record their answers in their notebooks. 

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