It may be confusing at first, but these worksheets will help your students learn about clauses.

Clauses are the building blocks of good, clear writing. In prevailing theories of English grammar, the hierarchy is: words (parts of speech), phrases, and then clauses. Clauses are a word group that contain two parts of speech a subject and a verb. The subject is the person, place, or thing in the sentence. The verb tells you what the subject is doing or being. There are clauses that are complete sentences and those that are not. We have a complete section on the classification of clauses found in our Independent and Dependent Clause worksheets. There are also adjective and adverbial clauses that function as an adjective or adverb in a sentence. There are also noun clauses that complement the subject in a sentence. There are clauses where words are purposeful left out to create a pattern or form of logic for a sentence called elliptical clauses.

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Print Clause Worksheets

Click the buttons to print each worksheet and associated answer key.

Subordinate Worksheet

Find the Subordinate

Underline the subordinate clause in each sentence below. Box in the coordinating conjunction.

Elements Worksheet

Commas and Introductory Elements

An introductory element is a word, phrase, or clause that begins a sentence, appearing before the main clause.

Identification Worksheet

Identification Worksheet

Identify the subjects and predicates in each clause. On the line, indicate the number of clauses in each sentence.

### Worksheet

Find Them

A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a predicate. The main (independent) form expresses a complete thought and can stand alone as a sentence.

Joining Worksheet

Joining Them

Join the sentences below into single sentences by turning one or more independent clauses into subordinating or coordinating form. Do not remove any information as your transform the sentences.

Subordinates Worksheet

Finding Subordinates

Where is that pesky subordinate hiding? You may need to read them several times.

Story Time Worksheet

Fill in the Blank Story Time

The story below is missing important clauses. Fill in the blanks with thoughts to complete the sentences.

Adjectives Worksheet

Act Like Adjectives

Rewrite each set of sentences so that it is a single sentence using a relative clause.

Modifying Worksheet

What is the Relative Modifying?

Each sentence below contains a relative clause. Underline it and make it stand out. Then circle the noun that it modified.

Subordinates Worksheet

Creating Subordinate Clauses

On a separate page, join the sentences below into single sentences by turning one or more independent clauses into subordinating or coordinating forms.

Adverb Worksheet

Adverb Clauses

Like all clauses, an adverb form has a subject and a verb, but because it contains a subordinating conjunction, it cannot stand alone as a sentence.

Identifying Worksheet

Identifying Clauses

A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a predicate. The main (independent ) form can be used to express a complete thought and can stand alone as a sentence.

Introductory Worksheet

Introductory Clauses

Add commas where needed to set off the clauses in the sentences below.

What they Modify Worksheet

Relative Clauses and What they Modify

Each sentence below contains a relative clause. What does this bad boy modify? Write the word on the line.

Quiz Worksheet

Quick Quiz

This is more like a flash flood quiz.

You will start by identifying where these groups of words reside within sentences. You will learn how to connect these groups of words to form new sentences. We will look at how you can move these around to your advantage when writing or editing your own work to help them have more punch and keep readers engaged in what you are saying. The following collection of worksheets offers activities to help teach your students how to construct, identify, and punctuate the different types of clauses. Answer keys have been provided for the instructor, but please note that in many cases the students' answers will vary, so those answer keys should just be used as a rough guideline rather than as a definitive answer. Instructors may want to structure their lesson plans accordingly.

What Is the Difference Between Phrases & Clauses?

Every sentence is composed of either phrases, clauses, or a combination of both. Simply put, the two categories are groups of words that help writers avoid fragments and punctuate sentences correctly. There’s also a fair bit of overlap, which makes it tricky to differentiate between them at times.

A phrase is a set of words that can include a partial verb or subject but not both. It can also exist without a subject and verb. Moreover, the subject in a phrase doesn’t carry out the action of a verb. In short, you can think of a phrase as any collection of words that doesn’t combine a verb and a subject.

Types of Phrases

In general, a phrase includes information that makes a sentence more engaging. It can describe actions, locations, nouns, and other stuff to give the reader a clearer idea of what a particular sentence is about.

Noun Forms:

As the name suggests, a noun phrase works like a noun within a sentence. It contains a noun along with adjectives to describe that noun. Below is an example.

Many beautiful little flowers are blooming in my backyard.

Verb Forms:

In this type of phrase, a verb is accompanied by its modifiers. It functions similar to how a noun phrase works. Consider the example below.

She has been working non-stop since the morning.

Prepositional Phrases

Standalone prepositions have the responsibility of describing a noun or pronoun. In the same way, a prepositional phrase carries a preposition that describes a particular noun (or pronoun) and any actions that it might take. The following example will make it clearer.

The new coffee shop is going to be set up close to my place.

A clause can simply be defined as "a group of words that includes both a subject and a verb." There can be multiple clauses (and phrases) within a sentence. You can think of clauses as being the main portion of any sentence. In the absence of a proper clause(s), a sentence is nothing more than a random arrangement of words that doesn’t have any meaning on its own. To put it another way, a sentence is just a phrase when there’s no clause around!

Types of Clauses

Below are the various types of clauses.

Main/Independent

Any clause that can make sense and convey some meaning to the reader on its own is called a main or independent clause. You can consider any independent clause as a proper and complete sentence. Take a look at the example below.

I love chocolate chip cookies.

Dependent Form

Also called "subordinate clauses," dependent clauses are a major reason why so many people tend to confuse phrases and clauses. These things rely on the independent clause(s) to make any sense to the reader.

Despite containing a verb and subject, dependent clauses cannot express a complete thought on their own. To do that, they have to connect to an independent clause that includes a coordinating or subordinating conjunction.

Below are the major types of dependent clauses.

Relative - Relative clauses usually start with a relative pronoun like who, what, which, where, whose, whom, etc.

Adjective - An adjective clause works like an adjective. It functions by describing a noun through its verb and subject.

Noun - Similar to an adjective clause, a noun clause works like a noun in a sentence. However, in contrast to a noun phrase, it carries both a subject and a verb.

Adverbial - Verbs in a sentence can be altered by an adverbial clause. It starts with a subordinating conjunction. An adverbial clause also has the ability to act like an adverb.

Phrases vs. Clauses - A single clause can be considered a sentence, though there are exceptions. However, you can’t make up a sentence from just one phrase. Even though phrases are crucial in adding meaning to a sentence, they cannot create one on their own!