Below are a few hints and tips to help children with their grammar.

Sentence Structure

  • A sentence is one word or a group of words that makes sense by itself (a grammatical unit). Sentences begin with a capital letter and end with a full stop, a question mark or an exclamation point. Sentences usually contain a subject (doing something) and a verb (what is being done).
  • A phrase is a small group of words that does not contain a verb.
  • An adverbial phrase is built around an adverb and the words that surround it, for example: very slowly, as fast as possible.
  • A phrase is a small group of words that does not contain a verb. A noun phrase includes one noun as well as words that describe it, for example: the red shoe.
  • Clauses are the building blocks of sentences, groups of words that contain a subject and a verb. Clauses can be main or subordinate.
  • A subordinate clause needs to be attached to a main clause because it cannot make sense on its own, although it contains a subject and a verb.

Word Classes

  • An adjective is a word used to describe and give more information about a noun, which could be a person, place or object.
  • An adverb is a word which modifies a verb, which means that it tells you how, when, where or why something is being done.
  • A determiner is a word that introduces a noun and identifies it in detail. Determiners can be articles (a, an, the), demonstratives (this, that), possessives (your, his), quantifiers (some, many), numbers (six, sixty).
  • Articles are words which tell us whether a noun is general (any noun) or specific. There are three articles: 'the' is a definite article and 'a' and 'an' are indefinite articles.
  • A conjunction is a type of connective ('connective' is an umbrella term for any word that connects bits of text). Co-ordinating connectives include the words and, but and so; subordinating connectives include the words because, if and until.
  • Prepositions are linking words in a sentence. We use prepositions to explain where things are in time or space.
  • A noun is a naming word. It is a thing, a person, an animal or a place. Nouns can be common, proper, abstract or collective.
  • A common noun describes a class of objects (car, friend, dog); unlike proper nouns it does not have a capital letter (Honda, Jenny, Smudge).
  • A proper noun identifies a particular person, place, or thing (for example, James or Brazil or Monday or Glasgow). Proper nouns always start with a capital letter.
  • A pronoun is a word used to replace a noun. Examples of pronouns are: he, she, it, they. Pronouns can be personal and possessive.
  • A verb expresses a physical action, a mental action or a state of being. Powerful verbs are descriptive, rich words.
  • Non-Standard English is the vocabulary and sentence structure used in informal English; Standard English is the "correct" form of the language used in schools and in written communication.


  • Apostrophes are punctuation marks used to show possession and to show contraction (also known as omission).
  • Direct speech is a sentence in which the exact words spoken are reproduced in speech marks (quotation marks or inverted commas). Indirect speech or reported speech is when the general points of what someone has said are reported, without actually writing the speech out in full.

Useful links to help

BBC Bitesize
Turn grammar into fun with the following games.

Grammar Games and Resources
Fun for all with the following games.