Grade 5 Grammar

Discover Grade 5 grammar standards

In Grade 5, your child should have a solid foundation in grammar, a broad and varied vocabulary, a range of punctuation tools to use, and good spelling knowledge. It can be difficult to support your fifth grade child with their grammar if you’re unfamiliar with the technical terms associated with it. This page explains each skill and the associated terminology, and gives you lots of suggestions for fun activities your fifth grader can do to develop their grammar skills!

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

Grade 5 Grammar Skills

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


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 Night Zookeeper and challenges children to select the most appropriate interjection for a given context.

Interjections challenge on, displayed on tablet screen.

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 Night Zookeeper requires children to match the correlative conjunctions with the correct partner.

Conjunctions challenge on, displayed on tablet screen.

How Night Zookeeper can help

Night Zookeeper logo, displayed on tablet screen.

Night Zookeeper can help your fifth grader level up their grammar skills in a matter of weeks!

Our award-winning language arts program covers all the grammar rules young learners should understand at this grade level, featuring word games, grammar lessons, exciting challenges, and much more.

Night Zookeeper keeps children engaged and motivated to learn, and we even send out monthly worksheets and printable resources for learning on-the-go. Sign up today to get a FREE 7-day trial and transform your fifth grader’s language arts journey!

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