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English
Year 5
Vocabulary
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Standard and Non-Standard English: How to Differentiate 3

In this worksheet, students practise changing non-standard English to standard English and consider when standard English should be used.

Key stage:   KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Spoken Language

Curriculum subtopic:   Speak with Confidence

Difficulty level:  

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QUESTION 1 of 10

We often use non-standard English when we are with our family and friends but there are times when we are expected to use standard English for speaking and writing.

For adults it is important to be able to use standard English for things like job applications and interviews. In school it is better to use standard English for non-fiction writing and for things like giving talks in assembly.

 

For example:

That book I were reading were well cool!‘ and ‘I really enjoyed the book I was reading‘ are two different ways of saying the same thing, but if you were talking to an important visitor to school it would probably be better to use the standard English version.

Look at the following situations. For which of them would it be better to use standard English rather than non-standard English?

 

Tick three boxes.

writing a letter to the local paper about litter

texting your friend

talking to your mum about your day at school

writing a report about a science experiment

talking to your local shopkeeper about starting a paper round

writing your private diary

Two of the following sentences are written in standard English and one is in non-standard English.

 

Tick the sentence that is in non-standard English.

I went to the cinema last night.

I didn’t want no peas with my dinner.

I love ballet.

Two of the following sentences are written in standard English and one is in non-standard English.

 

Tick the sentence that is in non-standard English.

The play was real good.

I loved the costumes.

The actors were very talented.

Two of the following sentences are written in standard English and one is in non-standard English.

 

Tick the sentence that is in non-standard English.

I’ve got a bicycle.

It ain’t very special.

It’s old and rusty.

Two of the following sentences are written in standard English and one is in non-standard English.

 

Tick the sentence that is in non-standard English.

Paul is wearing a new watch.

I think he nicked it from the shop.

I’m going to tell the teacher.

Read the following sentence in non-standard English.

 

I ain’t got none of them sweets.

 

Which of the following sentences is the equivalent in standard English?

I haven’t got none of them sweets.

I haven’t got none of those sweets.

I haven’t got any of those sweets.

I haven’t got any of them sweets.

Read the following sentence in non-standard English.

 

Me and my mates watched a wicked film last night.

 

Which of the following sentences is the equivalent in standard English?

Me and my friends watched a good film last night.

My friends and me watched a good film last night.

My friends and I watched a wicked film last night.

My friends and I watched a good film last night.

Read the following sentence in non-standard English.

 

We was looking for them kids what knocked on our door.

 

Which of the following sentences is the equivalent in standard English?

We were looking for those children what knocked on our door.

We were looking for those children who knocked on our door.

We were looking for those kids who knocked on our door.

We was looking for them children who knocked on our door.

Read the following sentences in non-standard English.

 

There ain’t no time to waste! The train is coming quick.

 

Which of the following sentences is the equivalent in standard English?

There isn’t no time to waste! The train is coming quick.

There ain’t any time to waste! The train is coming quickly.

There isn’t any time to waste! The train is coming quickly.

There isn’t any time to waste! The train is coming quick.

Read the following sentence in non-standard English.

 

I done the test what my teacher gave me and then I writ down my score.

 

Which of the following sentences is the equivalent in standard English?

I done the test that my teacher gave me and then I wrote down my score.

I did the test that my teacher gave me and then I wrote down my score.

I did the test what my teacher gave me and then I wrote down my score.

I did the test that my teacher gave me and then I writ down my score.

  • ANSWERS
  • Question 1

Look at the following situations. For which of them would it be better to use standard English rather than non-standard English?

 

Tick three boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
writing a letter to the local paper about litter
writing a report about a science experiment
talking to your local shopkeeper about starting a paper round
  • ANSWERS
  • Question 2

Two of the following sentences are written in standard English and one is in non-standard English.

 

Tick the sentence that is in non-standard English.

CORRECT ANSWER
I didn’t want no peas with my dinner.
EDDIE SAYS
‘I didn’t want no peas with my dinner’ includes a double negative. The standard English version is ‘I didn’t want any peas with my dinner’.
  • ANSWERS
  • Question 3

Two of the following sentences are written in standard English and one is in non-standard English.

 

Tick the sentence that is in non-standard English.

CORRECT ANSWER
The play was real good.
EDDIE SAYS
‘The play was real good’ uses an adjective (real) where standard English would use an adverb (really).
  • ANSWERS
  • Question 4

Two of the following sentences are written in standard English and one is in non-standard English.

 

Tick the sentence that is in non-standard English.

CORRECT ANSWER
It ain’t very special.
EDDIE SAYS
The word ‘ain’t’ is non-standard English. In standard English we would say ‘It isn’t very special’ or ‘It’s not very special’.
  • ANSWERS
  • Question 5

Two of the following sentences are written in standard English and one is in non-standard English.

 

Tick the sentence that is in non-standard English.

CORRECT ANSWER
I think he nicked it from the shop.
EDDIE SAYS
The word ‘nicked’ is a non-standard word for ‘stolen’.
  • ANSWERS
  • Question 6

Read the following sentence in non-standard English.

 

I ain’t got none of them sweets.

 

Which of the following sentences is the equivalent in standard English?

CORRECT ANSWER
I haven’t got any of those sweets.
EDDIE SAYS
We would say ‘those sweets’ in standard English.
  • ANSWERS
  • Question 7

Read the following sentence in non-standard English.

 

Me and my mates watched a wicked film last night.

 

Which of the following sentences is the equivalent in standard English?

CORRECT ANSWER
My friends and I watched a good film last night.
EDDIE SAYS
‘My friends and I’ is correct in standard English. The word ‘wicked’ is non-standard.
  • ANSWERS
  • Question 8

Read the following sentence in non-standard English.

 

We was looking for them kids what knocked on our door.

 

Which of the following sentences is the equivalent in standard English?

CORRECT ANSWER
We were looking for those children who knocked on our door.
EDDIE SAYS
‘We were looking’ is standard English, and so is the use of ‘who knocked’ rather than ‘what knocked’.
  • ANSWERS
  • Question 9

Read the following sentences in non-standard English.

 

There ain’t no time to waste! The train is coming quick.

 

Which of the following sentences is the equivalent in standard English?

CORRECT ANSWER
There isn’t any time to waste! The train is coming quickly.
EDDIE SAYS
Standard English would use the adverb ‘quickly’ rather than the adjective ‘quick’.
  • ANSWERS
  • Question 10

Read the following sentence in non-standard English.

 

I done the test what my teacher gave me and then I writ down my score.

 

Which of the following sentences is the equivalent in standard English?

CORRECT ANSWER
I did the test that my teacher gave me and then I wrote down my score.
EDDIE SAYS
We would use ‘I did’ in standard English and we would use ‘that’ instead of ‘what’.
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