These worksheets give English learners the building blocks to create sentences. Once students have had some practice, they should be able to generate cohesive sentences on their own. These worksheets can be printed out and used in class.
What Makes a Good Sentence
A good sentence can be thought of as an answer to some or all of the following question words:
Take a look at the role answering each of these questions plays:
- Who? - Subject -> Who performs/performed/ will perform an action (can also be things)
- What? - Verb -> Which action
- Why? -> Reason -> Phrase explaining the reason for the action
- Where? -> The place -> Where the action happens/happened/will happen
- When? -> Time -> When the action happens / happened / will happen
It's important to note that each sentence must contain at least who and what, but can also include why, when and where. Keep the order of who, what, why, when, and where when using the sentence worksheets--even when not using all five categories--and you'll always write a perfect sentence!
Sentences Worksheets - Practice
Exercise 1: Does the section in italics tell the reader 'who' did something, 'what' they did, 'why' they did it, 'where' it happened, or 'when' it took place?
- My friend bought a purse at the mall yesterday.
- Jennifer had eaten dinner before her friend arrived.
- The told us about the situation in order to warn us about the thieves.
- I decided to enter the contest in Denver next month.
- John and Alan flew to Boston to meet their clients.
- Susan asked for help at school last week.
- when - 'yesterday' expresses when the action happened
- what - 'had eaten dinner' expresses what was done
- why - 'in order to warn' gives the reason for the action
- where - 'Denver' tells us where something will take place
- who - 'John and Alan' are who did something
- where - 'at school' tells us where something happened
Exercise 2: Provide appropriate information to fill in the gap in these sentences following the who -> what -> why -> where -> when format.
- _________________ travelled to Boston for an interview last week.
- The children _________________ because they had the day off from school yesterday.
- My boss wrote a memo to ________________ two weeks ago.
- Susan took a cab to get to work on time _________________.
- _______________ decided to take the day off three days ago.
- I bought two new books _______________ on vacation next week.
- I hope you'll be able to join me for lunch _________________ tomorrow.
- The car ______________ to avoid the dog in the road.
- My friend / Peter / Susan / etc. - WHO
- slept in late / played outside / had some fun / etc. - WHAT
- staff / Mary / Peter / etc. - WHY
- yesterday / two days ago / last week / etc. - WHEN
- I / My colleagues / Susan / etc. - WHO
- to read / to enjoy / for entertainment / etc. - WHY
- downtown / at the restaurant / in the lunchroom / etc. - WHERE
- swerved / accelerated / slowed down / etc. - WHAT
Exercise 3: Take one entry from who and what and add other elements (in the same order) to create well-formed English sentences. Not all combinations make sense or are grammatically correct. It's also not necessary for all categories.
Try writing down the five categories and creating your own sentence worksheets. Notice that all verbs are in the past tense on this practice worksheet. You can create sentence worksheets using any variety of tenses. Keep the same order and you will always create well-formed sentences using this exercise.
A business person
The school principal
for a raise
about a job
to ask some questions
for an hour
from our home
in the arena
on the coast
in the suburbs
two years ago
at three o'clock
- My dog ran away from our home on Wednesday. The school principal telephoned to ask some questions.
- Lady Gaga sang for an hour in the arena. Jennifer asked for a raise two years ago in Chicago.
- A business person telephoned to ask some questions at work last Saturday.
Jennifer asked for a raise on Wednesday.
- The school principal asked some questions for an hour at school yesterday morning.