Conjunctions (Year 3) Explained

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Learning the ins and outs of English grammar is a tricky task... especially when you are in Year 3!

Using conjunctions is an especially confusing task, but with our handy resource to help you along the way, you can be a conjunction and preposition genius in no time at all.  Looking at the KS2 curriculum, Kidadl have compiled everything you will need to learn all about conjunctions, clauses and even prepositions.

From exactly what a conjunction is, to how you can use them, we are here to help!

What Do KS2 Children Learn About Conjunctions?

The National Curriculum for Year 3, the lower stage of KS2, outlines a few different uses of conjunctions for these young students. Conjunctions are not covered in Year 1 or 2.

They must first learn how to extend sentences using conjunctions, some of which are specified in the National Curriculum as 'when', 'if', 'because' and 'although'. However, there are some other conjunctions it may be useful to introduce. Year 3 children will also learn how to express time and cause with these conjunctions. Some examples of these include 'before', 'after', 'while', 'when' and 'so'.

Teaching conjunctions can be a confusing task, as there are many confusing words and long vocabulary that seem daunting. But don't worry, Kidadl will provide you with information and resources to make that all important jump into the world of grammar!

What Is A Conjunction?

A conjunction is a certain word that connects, links or joins two parts of a sentence or phrase together. Having a conjunction stops sentences being too short or choppy, as adding an 'and' or a 'but' into our writing extends the sentences.

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What Are The Four Types of Conjunctions?

There are four different types of conjunctions.

Coordinating Conjunctions: Coordinating clauses link or join two words or phrases together. The two sentences must make sense on their own, and when they are joined together. These are the most common conjunctions.

For Example: 'I went swimming in the sea and it was very warm.'

Subordinating Conjunctions: Subordinating conjunctions  are used to connect two clauses. It will attach a subordinate clause to the main clause using a word such as 'when'. (A subordinate clause is a sentence that adds more information to the main clause.) This conjunction makes a relationship between the two sentences.

For Example: 'The little girl smiled when she found her teddy'.

But watch out! Subordinating conjunctions can also be at the beginning of the sentence.

Correlative Conjunctions: These conjunctions work in a pair to join two equal sentences together.

For Example: 'I like to eat either cakes or biscuits.'

Adverbial Conjunctions: These are very similar to the coordinating conjunctions as they connect two different sentences. An adverbial conjunction is normally followed by a comma and the most common of these are 'also', 'besides', 'next' and 'otherwise'.

However, whilst it is important to know the 4 different types of conjunctions, Year 3 students only need to learn about coordinating and subordinating conjunctions!

Coordinating Conjunctions- What Do You Need To Know?

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The good news is that there are only seven coordinating conjunctions our Year 3 children will need to learn. If you practice these in different sentences and encourage your children to come up with their own examples, it will take no time at all to learn them.

The 7 coordinating conjunctions are:

For

And

But

Nor

So

Or

Yet

What Is A Preposition?

This may seem slightly out of place, however, in the Year 3 English curriculum there is a little bit of overlap between conjunctions and prepositions. Words such as 'before' and 'since' can be used as a conjunction or a preposition... so it is important to know the difference between the two!

A preposition is a word that joins a noun, pronoun or noun phrase to any other word in a sentence or clause.  It will most likely tell you where or when something happened, with words such as 'after', 'under' and 'inside'.

For Example: 'Before Emily went to school she had to eat her breakfast.'

Make sure you tackle conjunctions first! Prepositions can be a little extra piece of information that you learn once you've grasped conjunctions and how to use them in a sentence.  

How Will Year 3 Children Be Tested?

In some schools across the UK, Year 3 children take part in end-of-year tests. However, this is optional for each school and the results are not recorded nationally. This is simply useful to teachers to see the children's progress and to see how they work when placed under exam-style conditions. The next official set of exams for your child are the SATs. Practising tests from Year 3 onward is the perfect preparation for these Year 6 exams.

The SATs are still a long way off in Year 3, so it is important not to worry too much. As long as your child is practising their grammar then you are on track. Grammar takes time to learn, so every small step taken will help towards the final exams.

Kidadl's Grammar Resources

For more information on grammar areas of KS2, and English in general, Kidadl have you covered.

More specifically, you could have a look at the information about noun phrases that can be found here. When working with prepositions, Year 3 students will come across these noun phrases, so perhaps have a read of this to broaden their knowledge.

For a bit of fun and interactive English, why not head over to learn some grammar with a bit of online  grammar rap with MC Grammar and the Grammar Gang. Whilst not specifically for Year 3, this will help to get everyone in the grammar spirit and set you on the path to success!

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