Identify the phrase required to complete a sentence

This post is part of a series relating to the Minimum Standards for Grammar and Punctuation in the NAPLAN tests. For the first post in this series, click here.

At Year 7 level, the students are expected to be able to:

  • identify the phrase required to complete a sentence

Where to start? The example test of course.


Answering the above questions correctly requires the student to apply a range of skills including: choosing the correct preposition, identifying the correct verb form; and, making sure the subject and verb agree. These last two (identifying the correct form of the verb and subject-verb agreement) have been covered in previous posts. Prepositions are covered below.


Prepositions are tough. They account for a large number of the common grammatical errors used by both native and non-native English speakers because there are no real rules that govern their use.

Academic English Online suggests the following strategies:

  • read a lot to internalise the correct associations,
  • use a dictionary with example sentences to find common associations; and,
  • memorise lists of words.

Note that: all of these strategies need to predate sitting down to the test (no, students are not allowed a dictionary in the test) so if you hear students misusing prepositions or read a mistake in their work, make sure you pass on this advice and then follow up with them to see if they need any further help.



About timthelibrarian

Tim Harwood is a Teacher Librarian and eLearning enthusiast.
This entry was posted in Grammar, NAPLAN, Punctuation. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Identify the phrase required to complete a sentence

  1. Pingback: Grammar and punctuation | Tim the Librarian

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