'After' as subordinating clause or a preposition

(31 Posts)
cakedup Tue 15-Mar-16 18:34:42

Help please! Helping DS with homework but I'm a bit stumped on this one.

Is the word 'after' used as a subordinating conjunction or a preposition in the following sentences:

I ran outside after I had heard Jack shouting
After this, we'll go to the museum
After I had done my homework, I played on the computer.

I don't really get the difference! Please could someone explain?

MrsSteptoe Tue 15-Mar-16 18:47:14

I think the third example might be a subordinating conjunction because it is an essential conjunction to link the two clauses, one of which is subordinate, in a meaningful way. Not sure tho. Watching for other posters!

MrsSteptoe Tue 15-Mar-16 18:47:17

I think the third example might be a subordinating conjunction because it is an essential conjunction to link the two clauses, one of which is subordinate, in a meaningful way. Not sure tho. Watching for other posters!

cakedup Tue 15-Mar-16 18:49:57

Well, nice to know I'm not the only who is unsure!

Whoami24601 Tue 15-Mar-16 19:21:10

The first two are prepositions (relating the verb to a time/ place), and the third is a subordinating conjunction linking two clauses.

Whoami24601 Tue 15-Mar-16 19:21:47

I think...

ifcatscouldtalk Tue 15-Mar-16 19:35:45

My 11 yr old thinks the first and last are subordinating conjuctions and the second sentence is preposition. She's explained this to me twice and it's either been a very long day or I need to go back to school!!

ifcatscouldtalk Tue 15-Mar-16 19:38:04

She may be wrong, she did ponder over the last sentence.grin

Whoami24601 Tue 15-Mar-16 19:41:13

I think your DD is right actually. I change my answer!

BetweenTwoLungs Tue 15-Mar-16 19:47:14

Y6 teacher.

Ifcatscouldtalk's daughter is right smile

First and last are subordinating conjunction, the middle one is a preposition.

The first and last are two ideas that have been joined together. There's two verbs in each one - 'I ran outside' is one idea and 'I heard Jack shouting' is another idea/clause.
Same with the last one - 'I played on the computer' is one idea and 'I had finished my homework' is another idea. They both have verbs - they are both clauses. Conjunctions join clauses.

'After this' does not have a verb. There is only one clause - we will go to the museum. There is only one verb.

The trick with these questions is the verb. Conjunctions join two clauses must both have a verb, so there'll be (at least) two verbs.

Hope this helps!

LuluJakey1 Tue 15-Mar-16 19:48:29

Honestly, does it matter? Why are children being made to do pointless exercises like this? They need to be able to write effectively and appropriately, not unpick sentences out of context.

cakedup Tue 15-Mar-16 20:04:10

I was praying wondering if a yr 6 teacher would drop by (My ds is in yr 6), thank you so much.

I agree LuluJakey1. This question came up in a SATS mock paper today and DS is severely dyslexic so he couldn't even read the question sad

cakedup Tue 15-Mar-16 20:11:47

Thanks for the clear explanation BetweenTwoLungs. I think I was getting confused because I knew a conjunction joined two clauses, but I just thought of clauses as two ideas, and forgot they had to have verbs. So I thought, 'after this' was one clause because it was still an idea.

MrsSteptoe Tue 15-Mar-16 20:24:51

Thanks, BetweenTwoLungs, that's a really clear answer
Though I do really question the usefulness of being able to identify this. I have worked as a copyeditor, sub and proofer for thirty years, and I am absolutely confident in the tiptopness of my grammar for all practical purposes. But I can't name a lot of the parts of speech, and you know what? Couldn't matter less. (Can't write a decent headline either, unfortunately.)

BetweenTwoLungs Tue 15-Mar-16 21:08:03

Cakedup if you're son is dyslexic, he can have a reader for the test to read the questions to him. Happy I could help smile

BetweenTwoLungs Tue 15-Mar-16 21:09:34

Oh this knowledge is completely pointless. We were talking about which careers you might need this knowledge for and the only one we could come up with was y6 teacher in a primary school. Pointless.

Babymamamama Tue 15-Mar-16 21:30:22

The middle one is the preposition. Goodness we spent so much time on grammar when I was at school. Thrilled it's finally had a use!

ifcatscouldtalk Tue 15-Mar-16 21:38:29

Betweentwolungs, thanks for the explanation. My dd has found yr 6 very challenging so am feeling rather proud of her getting the answer right. wink

BetweenTwoLungs Tue 15-Mar-16 22:33:27

You should be very proud of her! It's a tough question and she must have been working really hard in class as it used a fair few bits of grammar. Well done her smile

LuluJakey1 Tue 15-Mar-16 23:47:34

It will set children up for life being able to do this crap. Thank God for the Tory government.

Backingvocals Tue 15-Mar-16 23:57:59

Like Mrssteptoe I'm pretty certain of my ability to craft a sentence. I do a huge amount of writing for publication as well as editing. And I've never needed to know this and now that I do know it, thanks to Between's excellent explanation, I'm not sure if I will ever need to use this knowledge.

G1raffe Wed 16-Mar-16 00:00:50

Do we know if private schools are learning all this mumbo jumbo?

(seriously concerned for my small childrens future if this is the sort of thing they will come home worried about!!)

ifcatscouldtalk Wed 16-Mar-16 00:06:53

Lulujakey1, that's a whole other debate. I do remember a few years back looking at what I considered a rather tricky piece of maths homework ( I am shit at maths in fairness) but my daughter was still struggling to tell the time and we were trying to do algebra sums or something equally grim. I did think it was a bit mad but maybe I was looking at it all wrong. I do however have much respect for teachers.

MrsSteptoe Wed 16-Mar-16 12:51:33

I was a bit hmm when my son's first history test at secondary school didn't go well because, foolishly, I'd assumed he needed to understand the events, cause and effect, context, timeline of events etc., whereas they actually tested shit like dates and how many thousands of men walked up to the top of the hill.
But I did try to take the view that perhaps they were starting off Year 7 by trying to get them to adopt precise habits in their revision and saw dates as a good way of developing memory skills. I don't know.

And there is evidence now that they're beginning to be taught critical thinking.

In English, I'm pretty sure DS, now in year 8, has never needed to articulate the difference between a subordinating conjunction and a preposition. He is expected to write grammatically, obvs, but I'd be much happier if schools focused on teaching pupils to avoid comma splices and fused sentences, which are littered across every piece of writing I see - including, ironically, his school reports (though it's usually only one teacher, who I suspect treats his report comments as a colloquial piece of writing rather than a formal piece of writing, so I forgive him).

cakedup Wed 16-Mar-16 20:18:10

BetweenTwoLungs yes he will be getting a reader for the actual SATS exams although he is not allowed one for the reading paper (ironically?) because it is testing his ability to read. And he can barely read so won't do very well!

I spoke with his teacher recently who was telling me how there are going to be changes in the curriculum (although all SATS related I think) and it will be heavily focused on these kind of technicalities. DS can not write very well due to his dyslexia but his content is good i.e. his use of vocabulary, his expressions, descriptions story-line etc. Sadly, the change is going to be less concerned with content.

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