Practice Combining Sentences

One skill that we learn in Essentials grammar program (of Classical Conversations) is to combine sentences using who-which clauses.



Sample from worksheet DOWNLOAD

Technically speaking, these clauses are relative adjective clauses using the relative pronouns who or which.  But the IEW curriculum simply calls these “who-which” clauses, to make the idea approachable to students.

So, how do we teach this concept?

Have students notice repeated words (particularly a repeated subject) from one sentence to the next.   Once this skill is mastered, try combining sentences that don’t have a repeated word, only a word and then a pronoun.

Here are a few examples:

Kim reads a book.  Kim sits on the couch.

Combine the sentence in two possible ways.

Kim, who reads a book, sits on the couch.

Kim, who sits on the couch, reads a book.


The same idea applies when a pronoun is used.

Kim reads a book.  She sits on the couch.

These sentences can be combined exactly as the above example. 

Kim, who reads a book, sits on the couch.

Kim, who sits on the couch, reads a book.


For more advanced options, try combining sentences where the repeated word is not the subject of both sentences.  In these cases, there will be one option that is easier than the other.


Kim reads a book.  The book is scary.

Kim reads a book, which is scary.

The book, which is read by Kim, is scary.

Notice that in the second option the clause becomes passive.



Kim reads about princesses.  The princesses are fictional. 

Kim reads about princesses, who are fictional.

Princesses, about whom Kim reads, are fictional.

Notice that in the second option the clause begins with a preposition and seems awkward.


How can your students learn to do this?  Through PRACTICE!!

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FREE DOWNLOAD of 16 who-which clause practice sentences

– several from each of the sections mentioned above.   This download also includes an answer key.


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