Year 6 Punctuation

Discover Year 6 punctuation standards

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Now that your child has reached Year 6, they'll have a good understanding of all the basic punctuation rules. For example, they’ll be able to correctly structure and punctuate a simple sentence, write a well formed question, and properly punctuate dialogue in their stories. They'll also be ready for new challenges and to explore more interesting forms of punctuation and sentence structure.

This guide will take you through a variety of different ways to use punctuation (commas, parentheses, and dashes) to vary sentence structure. Let's get started!

Nonrestrictive Clauses

Sometimes your child may want to add extra information into their sentences. This little bit extra is named a nonrestrictive clause. The sentence will make sense if the extra information is taken out.

They can use three different types of punctuation when adding extra information to our sentence:

Commas

Commas are used to punctuate a nonrestrictive clause when we want the sentence to flow with little interruption.

Example

Sentence: The Professor makes the best hot chocolate.

Nonrestrictive clause: who lives in Igloo City

Combined: The Professor, who lives in Igloo City, makes the best hot chocolate.

N.B. Include a comma before and after the nonrestrictive clause.

Parentheses

Parentheses are used when a nonrestrictive clause is an interruption to an original sentence or thought.

Example

Sentence: Eek the mouse leads the Igloo City Resistance.

Nonrestrictive clause: a plucky, brightly dressed fellow

Combined: Eek the mouse (a plucky, brightly dressed fellow) leads the Igloo City Resistance.

N.B. Use parentheses around a nonrestrictive clause.

Dashes

Dashes are used to punctuate a nonrestrictive clause when the extra information your child is adding is a big interruption to their original sentence or thought.

Example

Sentence: Will’s injury caused him to crumple to the floor.

Nonrestrictive clause: a deep gash

Combined: Will’s injurya deep gashcaused him to crumple to the floor.

N.B. Use dashes before and after a nonrestrictive clause.

Practice Tip

Challenge your child to unscramble sentences that include dashes to punctuate a nonrestrictive clause. Just like the challenge below that can be found on Nightzookeeper.com:

Sentence rearrange activity on Nightzookeeper.com, displayed on laptop screen.

How Night Zookeeper can help

Nightzookeeper.com is a full reading & writing program created by experts to make learning fantastically fun for children. Our wide range of gamified educational content targets all literacy topics, including spelling, grammar, punctuation, reading, and writing!

Here are some of the thousands of resources available on our program right now:

  • Punctuation games
  • Interactive lesson series
  • Vocabulary word games
  • Printable worksheets for offline learning
  • Pre-made lesson plans to take the work off your shoulders

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Related articles

  • English - Years 1 to 6
  • Punctuation (overview)
  • Year 6 Spelling
  • Year 6 Reading
  • Year 6 Writing
  • Year 6 Grammar
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