Grade 5 Grammar

Discover Grade 5 grammar standards

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In order for your child to excel at writing, they will need to have; a solid foundation in grammar, a broad and varied vocabulary, a range of punctuation tools to use, and good spelling knowledge. In this article, we are going to address the grammar skills your child will need to learn to attain fifth-grade standards.

Before we jump into fifth-grade grammar, you might like to download this checklist of skills that your child should know by the time they reach this level.

It can be difficult to support your child with their grammar if you’re unfamiliar with the technical terms associated with Grade 5 grammar. This page explains each skill and the associated terminology in a child-friendly way.

Grade 5 Grammar Skills

  • Use conjunctions and explain their function
  • Use prepositions and interjections
  • Form and use the perfect verb tense
  • Use verb tense to display time, sequence and conditions
  • Recognise inappropriate shifts in verb tense
  • Use correlative conjunctions
  • Expand, combine and vary sentence length


Interjections are words that we use to express sudden strong emotions, such as joy, pain, and excitement. They often stand alone and should be followed by punctuation. Strong interjections are usually followed by an exclamation point. Mild interjections are followed with a comma or period.


  • Yuk! Don’t lick me again, Sam. - strong interjection that shows disgust
  • Really? I don’t believe you. - interjection that expresses doubt
  • Oh, I didn’t realise you weren’t coming. - interjection that shows surprise

Practice Tip: Challenge your child to complete interactive games and quizzes using interjections. The example below can be found on and challenges children to select the most appropriate interjection for a given context.

Interjections game

Perfect Verb Tenses

The perfect tenses connect actions in time and use a form of the verb to have (has, have, had, will have) plus a past participle (verb form usually used to express a completed action).

The past perfect tense connects two past events and clarifies which event came first.

Will had been working on his painting when the portal at the zoo opened.

  • had - form of the verb to have
  • been - past participle of be

The present perfect tense connects events in the past to the present.

Sam and Will have been friends since they first met.

  • have - form of the verb to have
  • been - past participle of be

The future perfect tense connects events to the future.

Sam will have been a spying giraffe in training for a year by the winter.

  • will have - form of the verb to have
  • been - past participle of be

Inappropriate Shifts in Verb Tense

An inappropriate shift in verb tense is when a writer changes tense within a sentence or text without valid reason. The more familiar a child is with different verb tenses, the more able they are to identify when there has been an incorrect shift in tense and avoid these in their own writing.

Here are some examples that you can show to your child:

Example 1)

  • Incorrect: In response to her question, James shrugged and looks over his shoulder.
  • Correct: In response to her question, James shrugged and looked over his shoulder.

Example 2)

  • Incorrect: She cooks a delicious meal, and then afterwards I washed the pots.
  • Correct: She cooked a delicious meal, and then afterwards I washed the pots.

Example 3)

  • Incorrect: My legs ached after my run, so I stretches for five minutes.
  • Correct: My legs ached after my run, so I stretched for five minutes.

Correlative Conjunctions

Correlative conjunctions are pairs of conjunctions that work together within a sentence.

  • either/or
  • both/and
  • whether/or
  • neither/nor
  • not/but

Either we have spaghetti or pizza for dinner.

Both my dog and my cat love to play.

Practice Tip: This quiz on requires children to match the correlative conjunctions with the correct partner.

Conjunctions game

How Night Zookeeper can help

Our program helps your child master the grammar skills they will need in order to excel with their writing. There are hundreds of grammar challenges and games designed to help your child practise the necessary skills they’ll need to meet fifth-grade standards. We also enable children to put their newly acquired knowledge into practice by writing their own stories and articles directly onto the website.

Related articles:

Grade 5 Reading

Grade 5 Writing

Grade 5 Spelling

Grade 5 Punctuation

Grammar Resources

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