Spelling, punctuation and grammar at key stage 2

Covering Adverbial, Apostrophe, Antonyms, Colons, Co-ordinating conjunctions, Dashes, Determiners, Hyphens, Expanded Noun Phrases, Main clause, Passive Voice, Past & Present tense, Past Perfect Tense (had), Possessive pronouns, Prefixes, Present perfect and Present progressive
Provided with permission from Portfields School

KS2 - adverbial

An adverbial is an adverb, adverbial phrase or adverbial clause which gives us additional information about e.g. the time, place, or manner of the action which is described in the rest of the sentence:

We have been living here in this house for over twenty years.
We were sleeping peacefully in our beds when the earthquake struck.

Apostrophe for contraction

You can use contractions to shorten a word by removing one letter or more and substituting an apostrophe in the same spot.

For example, chop wi out of I will, throw in an apostrophe, and you have I'll.

The resulting word is shorter and faster to say, with only one syllable (sound) instead of two.

Antonym

An antonym is a word that is the opposite meaning of another, it can simply have a prefix placed on the front of the word to change the meaning, such as: mature to immature. On the other hand a new word can be used such as straight and curved.

Colons

The colon is used to introduce a list of items or to separate two independent clauses when the second explains or illustrates the first.

The colon can be used to emphasize a phrase or single word at the end of a sentence. An em dash can be used for the same purpose.

Co-ordinating conjunctions

A coordinating conjunction joins parts of a sentence (for example words or independent clauses) that are grammatically equal or similar. A coordinating conjunction shows that the elements it joins are similar in importance and structure: There are seven coordinating conjunctions, and they are all short words of only two or three letters:

  and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so

Dash

A dash is a mark of separation stronger than a comma, less formal than a colon, and more relaxed than parentheses.
They can be used similar to brackets in a sentence.

Determiners

A determiner is used to modify a noun. It indicates reference to something specific or something of a particular type.

  • Definite article : the
  • Indefinite articles : a, an
  • Demonstratives: this, that, these, those
  • Pronouns and possessive determiners : my, your, his, her, its, our, their
  • Quantifiers : a few, a little, much, many, a lot of, most, some, any, enough
  • Numbers : one, ten, thirty
  • Distributives : all, both, half, either, neither, each, every
  • Difference words : other, another
  • Pre-determiners : such, what, rather, quite

Hyphens

Generally, hyphens are used to join two words or parts of words together while avoiding confusion or ambiguity.

  • run-down
  • up-to-date

There are some cases where hyphens preserve written clarity such as where there are letter collisions, where a prefix is added, or in family relations.

  • co-operate
  • bell-like
  • son-in-law

Expanded Noun Phrases

Phrases are groups of words that work together; in a phrase, there will be one word that all the other words modify.

In a noun phrase, the other words will be modifying a noun.

In the sentence above, 'girl' is a noun; 'the girl' is a simple noun phrase.

This can then be expanded with an adjective: 'the tall girl' is an expanded noun phrase, albeit a very straightforward one

Main Clause

Recognise a main clause when you see one.

A main clause, sometimes called an independent clause, must contain a subject and a verb as well as express a complete thought. Look at the examples below:

Diane kicked the soda machine.

Diane = the subject; kicked = the verb.

Passive Voice

Passive voice is used when the focus is on the action. It is not important or not known, however, who or what is performing the action.

Example: My bike was stolen.

In the example above, the focus is on the fact that my bike was stolen. I do not know, however, who did it.

Sometimes a statement in passive is more polite than active voice, as the following example shows: A mistake was made.

Past & Present tense

Things that are happening now are written in the present tense - often ending in 'ing'.

Things that have already happened are written in the past tense.

The clues for verbs written in the past tense are -ed endings.

Past Perfect Tense (had)

The Past Perfect expresses the idea that something occurred before another action in the past.
It can also show that something happened before a specific time in the past. e.g.

I had never seen such a beautiful beach before I went to Cleethorpes.

I did not have any money because I had lost my wallet.

Possessive pronouns

A pronoun is a word that replaces a noun in a sentence, making the subject a person or a thing.
Possessive pronouns are pronouns that demonstrate ownerships.

Possessive pronouns include my, mine, our, ours, its, his, her, hers, their, theirs, your and yours - all words that demonstrate ownership.

Prefixes

Prefixes are sets of letters that are added to the beginning of another word.

They are not words in their own right and cannot stand on their own in a sentence.

Present Perfect

The Present Perfect tense is formed with a present tense form of "to have" plus the past participle of the verb e.g.

  • You have seen that film many times
  • Have you seen that film many times?
  • You have not seen that film many times.

Present Progressive

The present progressive tense indicates continuing action, something going on now.
This tense is formed with the helping "to be" verb, in the present tense, plus the present participle of the verb (with an -ing ending):

  • "I am buying all my family's Christmas gifts early this year.
  • She is working through the holiday break.
  • "The team is arriving in two hours.

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