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Key SPaG Features


When a sentence is in the active voice, the pattern is subject-verb-object. The subject is doing the verb.

E.g. James broke the window.



When a sentence is in the passive voice, the verb is being done to the object, rather than the subject doing the verb.

E.g. The window was broken by James.



A synonym is a word or phrase with the same or similar meaning to another. Synonyms can be found in a thesaurus.

E.g. say = speak = talk



Antonyms are words with opposite meanings.

E.g. young/old, weak/strong, hot/cold



Parenthesis is used to add extra detail to a sentence which is already grammatically correct without it. We can use brackets, dashes or commas to separate this from the main sentence.

E.g. Josh (my friend) has a new bicycle.

The product of four and nine - 36 - is a square number.

Polly, who is in my class, is excellent at music.


Relative Pronoun

Relative pronouns introduce a relative clause. They refer back to a noun or clause we already know.

E.g. who, which, where, when, that


Relative Clause

A relative clause is a type of subordinate clause which adds extra information to another noun or clause.

E.g. Tom, who plays football at the weekend, really enjoys PE lessons.

All of the best seats had gone by the time I arrived, which really annoyed me.



If a phrase, clause or sentence is ambiguous, the meaning is not clear. This can often be solved by re-ordering the sentence or using more precise punctuation.

E.g. Let's eat Grandma. (Do we really want to eat Grandma?!) Let's eat, Grandma.

I walked my dog wearing a bobble hat. (Is the dog wearing a hat?!) Wearing a bobble hat, I walked my dog.


Modal Verb

Modal verbs change or affect other verbs in a sentence. They indicate how possible something is.

E.g. can, will, must, should, could