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Embedded clause (Parenthesis) – 6 of the best resources for KS2 SPaG/GPS

Teach your year 5 and 6 students how and when to put an embedded clause in the middle of a main clause with these grammar worksheets, activities, ideas, lessons and more...

  • Embedded clause (Parenthesis) – 6 of the best resources for KS2 SPaG/GPS

What is parenthesis?

Parenthesis is indicated by the use of brackets, dashes or commas.

What is an embedded clause?

An embedded clause is a type of subordinate clause that is placed within another clause (rather than before or after), and is usually marked by commas.

The embedded clause is reliant on the main clause to work. You could remove the embedded clause and the main clause would still work as a complete sentence, but you couldn’t remove the main clause as the embedded clause would not work alone.

Subordinate clause definition

A subordinate clause is one that alone cannot form a sentence, but that can form a sentence when joined to a main clause. They are also sometimes known as dependent clauses because they are dependent on the main clause.

Embedded clause examples

  • Her car, which cost a lot of money, is very nice.
  • The horse, which had been running for a while, looked tired.
  • My friend, the one I told you about, lives near here.
  • Rebecca’s drum kit, which she bought second-hand, had seen better days.
  • The wind, which was getting stronger as the evening went on, was whistling through the gaps around the windows and doors.

If you’re looking for resources on other types of clauses we also have roundups for the following, just click the links:

1 | Embedded clauses, Gangnam style

It takes a little while to get to the actual explanatory part of the song, but this teacher has done a Gangnam Style parody video talking all about embedded clauses and how to use them.


2 | Embedded clauses, regular style

If you prefer videos not relying heavily on/being dated by the zeitgeist from 2012 (that long ago already? Wow!), here’s a simple teacher-and-whiteboard combo. Timeless.

To be fair, this shot is also timeless


3 | Subordinate clauses KS2 resources

What is a subordinate clause? These great activities, resources and lessons for primary pupils will teach children what they are and how to use them in their writing or spot them in reading.

Obviously not all subordinate clauses are embedded, but most of these resources should be easily adaptable to just focus on embedded clauses.

Check out the full list here.


4 | Embedded relative clauses

To confuse matters further (though hopefully not too much), you can also have embedded relative clauses.

We’ve already rounded up a selection of great KS2 resources for teaching relative clauses which, again, should be easily adaptable to focus solely on embedded relative clauses.

Give this list post a look here.


5 | Complex sentences challenge worksheet

This worksheet is an excellent way for KS2 pupils to revise and practise recognising and using complex sentences, such as those that contain embedded clauses.

It contains examples of the writing feature and five different challenges, which can be tackled during one lesson or spread over a number of teaching sessions.

Questions encourage creative responses as well as revision, and include interesting images to stimulate ideas.

Check it out here.


6 | Embedded clauses question sheet

This simple Word doc worksheet has a range of embedded clause questions to work through, asking pupils to underline the embedded clauses, put the commas in the right place or insert embedded clauses into sentences.

Click here to download this resource (134kb).

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