Grade 3 Grammar

Discover Grade 3 grammar standards

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At Grade 3 level, your child will be experimenting with creative writing and trying to emulate their favorite authors. In order to fully express themselves through written language, they need to excel in their use of grammar. This is something that children need to spend a lot of time practising at third-grade level to ensure that they structure their sentences and paragraphs clearly.

Below is a list of grammar skills that all third-grade students should try to master:

  • Use abstract nouns
  • Use simple verb tenses
  • Use correct subject-verb agreement
  • Use correct pronoun-antecedent agreement
  • Use Comparative and Superlative Adjectives and Adverbs
  • Use Coordinating and Subordinating Conjunctions
  • Write in simple, compound and complex sentences
  • Use possessive nouns correctly

We’ll take you through each concept and provide some ideas for how you can practice these skills with your child.

Abstract Nouns

Nouns are naming words. Nouns that name people, animals, places, and things are sometimes called concrete nouns because they name things that can be touched.

Abstract nouns name ideas, feelings, or qualities. They cannot be touched. Examples of abstract nouns are:

  • friendship
  • love
  • satisfaction
  • hope
  • opinion
  • greed
  • justice

Practice Tip: Create flashcards with a mixture of abstract and concrete nouns written on one side. On the opposite side, place the words “abstract” and “concrete”. Lay out the flashcards and challenge your child to collect all of the abstract nouns in the shortest possible time. Alternatively, you could compete with your child to collect the concrete nouns faster than they can collect the abstract nouns.

Simple Verb Tenses

The simple tense has three forms: past, present, and future. Future actions are expressed by adding the auxiliary verbs will/would.

Subject-Verb Agreement

The verb needs to agree with the subject in a sentence. If the subject is singular, the verb should be singular. If the subject is plural, the verb should be plural.

Examples:

  • Singular subject & verb: I am | she/he is
  • Plural subject & verb: they are | we are

Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement

Pronouns are used to replace nouns; they help to make sentences less repetitious. It is important to make sure the pronoun agrees with the antecedent.

Example:

Some of the penguins squawked and flapped their little wings excitedly.

  • Antecedent - penguins (plural)
  • Referent - their (plural pronoun)

Comparative and Superlative Adjectives & Adverbs

We use comparative and superlative adjectives to compare things and see how they are different from each other.

Adjective:

  • Sam is tall.

Comparative Adjective - compares two things:

  • Sam is taller than Will.

Superlative Adjective - compares more than two things describing the most or least of a quality:

  • Sam is the tallest.

Adverb:

  • Riya runs quickly.

Comparative Adverb - compares two actions:

  • Riya runs quicker than Will.

Superlative Adverb - compares more than two actions describing how they are carried out:

  • Riya runs the quickest.

Practice Tip: Your child can develop their understanding of comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs by playing different quizzes and games on nightzoookeeper.com. In the challenge pictured below, children have to unscramble the sentence that includes a superlative adverb.

Coordinating and Subordinating Conjunctions

Conjunctions are linking words that join parts of sentences together. These parts of a sentence are sometimes named clauses.

Coordinating conjunctions join together two ideas where each idea is an independent clause. An independent clause is a complete thought that can stand alone as a sentence.

Example:

Sam is funny, and he likes to eat bananas.

  • Independent clause - Sam is funny
  • Coordinating conjunction - and
  • Independent clause - he likes to eat bananas

The most commonly used coordinating conjunctions are:

  • for
  • and
  • nor
  • but
  • or
  • yet
  • so

Subordinating conjunctions join together an independent clause and a dependent clause within a sentence. A dependent clause does not make sense on its own; it adds additional detail to the sentence.

Example:

Although his vision was blurry, Will thought he saw a dark shape moving rapidly through the trees.

  • Subordinating conjunction - Although
  • Dependent clause - his vision was blurry
  • Independent clause - Will thought he saw a dark shape moving rapidly through the trees

Subordinating conjunctions include:

  • unless
  • because
  • until
  • if
  • while
  • when
  • before

How Night Zookeeper can help

Nightzookeeper.com is home to hundreds of grammar challenges. Children can play their way through these interactive quizzes, practising and developing their confidence in a wide variety of grammar skills. They can then directly put these new skills into practice using our many creative writing prompts. This will help to consolidate their learning and boost their writing level.

Related articles:

Grade 3 Reading

Grade 3 Writing

Grade 3 Spelling

Grade 3 Punctuation

Grammar Resources

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