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What are embedded clauses?

Clauses are groups of words that contain a subject and a verb.

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A main clause contains the idea or action.

Josh walked trang chủ slowly

A subordinate clause contains another idea or action linked to lớn the main clause, but it will never stand alone as a complete sentence. You usually separate the clauses with a comma.

Because he was tired

Josh walked trang chủ slowly, because he was tired.

An embedded clause is another way of using a subordinate clause, but in the middle of a sentence. It becomes embedded in the sentence. Usually, this clause will be separated by two commas, one before & one after.

Josh, who was feeling tired, walked trang chính slowly.

Let”s practice!

Embedded clauses explained

Complex sentences are made up of a main clause và a subordinate clause. The subordinate clause also contains a subject (the thing or the person), & a verb (a doing word). However, a subordinate clause can NEVER st& alone as a complete sentence, because it cannot make sense on its own.

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An embedded clause is simply a subordinate clause which has been embedded or placed in the middle of the sentence. It is usually separated by a comma either side.



Types of embedded clauses

There are two types of embedded clause; nominal clauses and relative clauses.

Nominal clauses create the embedded clause using ‘for’, ‘that’, ‘from’ or ‘being’


Relative clauses create the embedded clause using ‘which’, ‘where’, ‘who’, ‘whom’ and ‘whose’.



Embedded clauses are a useful tool when writing và can create a powerful effect. However, it’s important not to use them too often; they can be more effective sầu when used sporadically.

How lớn help your child use embedded clauses.

Make some coloured cards with nominal & relative sầu conjunctions on them;


Prepare a selection of simple sentences, then using the cards, challenge yourself & your child to turn the simple sentence into lớn a sentence with an embedded clause? Give sầu out points for achieving this, and as they get better, compete against them. Who can make the funniest sentences?

Another key skill is noticing embedded clauses when reading. Try reading together, can you spot an embedded clause? Why might the author have sầu chosen lớn use this here?

Worksheets và Practice

Embedded clauses are a part of our language & can really make a difference in the chất lượng of your writing. We at EdPlace are on hand lớn help and tư vấn you and your child with your learning. We have plenty of great worksheets khổng lồ teach you about embedded clauses as well as relative and nominal clauses.

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Year 1 – Joining words & Clauses 1 2 3

Year 3 – Sentence composition: main & subordinate clauses

Year 4 – Sentence composition: single & multi-clauses

Year 4 – Sentence composition: phrases and clauses

Year 5 – Understanding relative sầu clauses 1

Year 5 – Understanding relative clauses 2

Year 5 – Understanding relative sầu clauses 3

Year 5 – Sentence structure: commas & subordinate clauses 1

Year 5 – Sentence structure: commas và subordinate clauses 2

Year 7 – Revise the structure of complex sentences 

Further Information

If you want khổng lồ get khổng lồ grips with embedded clauses, we have listed below a selection of excellent websites containing information, games and ideas khổng lồ help you.