Grade 4 Grammar

Discover Grade 4 grammar standards

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In Grade 4, grammar increases in complexity with further rules for children to learn. They also need to be able to follow these rules to ensure their writing is accurate in expressing their ideas, and contains sufficient grammatical variety to retain the reader's interest.

As always with young children, it is important to break down each skill so that they can practise using new them in manageable chunks. To help you navigate Grade 4 grammar, we’ve compiled the following information and tips so that you can help your child attain fourth-grade standards.

Grade 4 grammar covers all of the following:

  • Use of relative pronouns
  • Use of relative adverbs
  • Use of adjectives in the correct order
  • Use of progressive verb tenses
  • Use of prepositions and prepositional phrases
  • Mastering sentence structure
  • Use of modal auxiliary verbs

Relative Pronouns

Pronounscan be used in the place of nouns to avoid repetition and provide a short way to refer to someone or something that has already been introduced in a sentence.

These are some of the most commonly used pronouns:

  • she
  • her
  • hers
  • he
  • him
  • his
  • we
  • you

Relative pronouns are used to introduce parts of a sentence (known as clauses) that are connected to the person or thing they refer to. The clauses the relative pronouns introduce are named relative clauses. There are only five relative pronouns:

  • who
  • whose
  • whom
  • which
  • that


  • The Night Zookeeper who arrived in the zoo yesterday will meet everyone today.
  • The animal whose den was destroyed felt very sad.
  • Doctor Florence whom I saw last week is very gentle.
  • The orb, which had rolled out of Will’s hands, was cracked.
  • The cave that Will found looked very messy.

Practice Tip: Challenge your child to complete quizzes, like the one pictured below, on that test their knowledge and understanding of relative pronouns.

Game adding words on Night Zookeeper

Relative Adverbs

Relative adverbs introduce clauses that tell us more about the where, when, or why in a sentence. There are three relative adverbs:

  • when
  • where
  • why


  • Will last saw Grudge a year ago when he travelled to the Mountain in the Sky.
  • The Campfire of Creativity where the animals gathered to tell stories was near.
  • Will explained the reason why the animals must work together.

Progressive Verb Tenses

Progressive verb tenses describe actions that are ongoing. They are formed by adding the suffix -ing to a verb.

Practice Tip: On, quizzes like the below give children the opportunity to practice identifying which progressive tense a sentence uses.

Selecting tenses game

Modal Auxiliary Verbs

Modal auxiliary verbs are used to express the possibility of future actions. They are sometimes known as helper verbs because they help a verb by adding additional meaning. There are ten modal verbs:

  • can
  • could
  • may
  • might
  • must
  • ought
  • will
  • would
  • shall
  • should


  • Will can go to Tusk Temple tonight.
  • Sam may have been splashed by Void tar.
  • The animals must work together to defeat Lord Nulth.

Ordering Adjectives

When describing a noun using a number of adjectives, the adjectives should be in a particular order to help the sentence make sense. Most native English speakers learn this intrinsically when they begin to form sentences as infants.

Word chart

Practice Tip: Sea Lion sentences is a fun game that helps children to learn and practice the correct order of adjectives within a sentence.

Rearranging setence game


A preposition is a word that connects a noun with the rest of a sentence. Prepositions show how the noun and the rest of the sentence are connected. These parts of a sentence are often connected in time (during, after) or space (under, over). These are some examples of prepositions:

  • at
  • during
  • in
  • on
  • after
  • before
  • to
  • over
  • under
  • with
  • by
  • of


  • Sam went fishing with Will.
  • After the battle, Will and Riya slept.
  • Will was given the orb by Grandma Rivers.

Practice Tip: Children can familiarise themselves with prepositions using the Star Search game.

Star Search game

Prepositional Phrases

A prepositional phrase is a group of words that begins with a preposition and ends with the object of the preposition. They tell you more about a noun or a verb within a sentence. They often tell you where or when action is taking place.


Will found the cat hiding under the table.

  • preposition - under
  • object - table
  • prepositional phrase - under the table

How Night Zookeeper can help is a program where children can practise their grammar, spelling and vocabulary skills. There are hundreds of grammar games and challenges for children to use when practising their skills in this area.

Related articles:

Grade 4 Reading

Grade 4 Writing

Grade 4 Spelling

Grade 4 Punctuation

Grammar Resources

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