Synthesis Revision

PSLE English | Synthesis Revision: 7 Tricky Sentence Structures

Happy post-National Day! We hope that everyone had a great time celebrating Singapore’s birthday yesterday. It is definitely time for our children who are taking the PSLE to go full steam ahead with no more public holidays from now until the big P! We have had readers requesting for various topics to be covered on our blog to help prepare them for the upcoming exam and to start, we are going to look at the must-know sentence structures for sentence synthesis.

Here are 7 tricky structures that have stumbled children during their synthesis revision. How many of these do you already know?

Try and see if you can answer the questions picked from various school papers before you look at the answers below. We have provided some tips on answering and on the common errors for some of these questions. Here we go!

1. *No sooner had… than..
Synthesis Revision

MGS 2015 Prelims

Ans: No sooner had the police left the scene than trouble started brewing again.

Tip/ Common Errors: “No sooner had…” is used to show two events that happened almost immediately after each other.
1. “than” and not “then” should be used to show the comparison of these two events taking place after each other.

2. Remember to change the verb form to the -en/-ed past participle to agree with “had” e.g. had eaten, had gone, had become.

2. It is only… that…


It is only... that...

Tao Nan School 2014 Prelims

Ans: It is only after the national anthem is sung that the awards will be presented.

Tip/ Common errors: using “when” as a connector in the answer.

3. Had she (past participle verb)…, she would (not) have…


Had she (past participle verb)…, she would (not) have...

Maris Stella High School (Primary) 2014 Prelims

Ans: Had Mary attended the party, she would have met her idol.

Tip/ Common errors: Had = If in this type of questions.

Remember to change the verb form to the -en/-ed past participle to agree with “had” e.g. had eaten, had gone, had become.

4. Having (past participle verb )… 

Having (past participle verb )… 


SCGS 2013 Prelims

Ans: Having run too fast during the race, Victor fell and sprained his ankle.

Tip/ Common Errors: “Having” has a similar meaning to after.

Remember to change the verb form to the -en/-ed past participle to agree with “having” e.g. having eaten.

5. In order to/ To (base verb)… ,


In order to/ To (base verb)... ,

Pei Chun Public School 2015 Prelims

AnsIn order to deliver medical supplies to the villagers easily, a road must be built.

Tip/ Common errors: “In order to” = With the aim to. 

A verb in the base form (no -s, no -ed, no -ing) must be used after “to” e.g. In order to deliver

6. No matter…

No matter…

Rosyth School 2013 Prelims

Ans: No matter how hard Aziz’s friends tried to persuade him, he did not want to go to the party.

Tip/ Common errors: “No matter” = Regardless of.

It is used to show emphasis of something. Hence, words like “very” in the above example must be omitted in the answer.

Other pronouns that can follow “No matter” can be “where”, “when” and “what. These are the few that are commonly tested e.g. No matter where you are, I will deliver the parcel to you.

7. … provided that…

... provided that...

NYPS 2014 Prelims

Ans: Karen is allowed to use the computer provided that she fulfils the conditions set by her parents.

Tip/ Common errors: “provided that” = if or only if.

Similar to using “if” and “unless”, we omit words like “must” that shows obligation since the connector already expresses a condition that must be fulfilled.

How many did you manage to answer correctly? I hope that you have a clearer idea on how to answer the types of questions above after this post and it will help you with your synthesis revision. In the upcoming Part 2 of synthesis revision, we will look at types of sentence structures that require a change in the word forms to nouns e.g. Much to his annoyance, the children had dirtied carpet again.

Stay tuned!



Synthesis Revision

Synthesis Skill-wers

1. 30 over bite-sized video lessons! (On Golden Rules for synthesis and focused question types)

2. Unique strategies to tackle a wide range of synthesis question types e.g. Active/Passive voice, Direct/Indirect Speech, No sooner had… than…, Not only… but also etc.

3. Topical worksheets accompanying each video consisting of at least 5 questions + A bonus 20-question quiz upon completion of course! (over 150 practice questions in total)


Are you a Wooden, Bronze, Silver or Golden Skill-wer?


Try the Synthesis and Transformation Quiz consisting of 5 questions and determine your skill level.


Become a Golden Skill-wer today!


Synthesis Revision

Mrs Chew

With her passion to create relevant and easy-to-understand materials for the lil’ ones, Mrs Lily Chew works alongside her team of teachers to design the Lil’ but Mighty curriculum. Constantly looking at best educational practices and thinking of ways to improve the curriculum, Mrs Chew finds pure joy in unlocking creative and different ways of helping each child achieve his or her personal best.

Have something to share? Drop us a comment below!

Leave a Reply

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

Other related posts

Let’s Go On A Learning Journey | Two Awesome Places To Visit During the December Holidays!
The First Write Recipe Workshop at Greenridge Primary School!
Understanding IF Conditionals!
Fans of Fiction: 3 Websites to Check Out This Holiday
NYT Copy-Edit This: Free Editing Resource
3 Writing Skills to Start Nurturing from Primary 2
5 Ways to Start a Primary School Composition
2 Common Errors to Avoid When Sharing Oral Stories
4 Lively Literary Devices to Use in Your Compositions
Comprehending Comprehension: 3 Pitfalls to Avoid When Understanding Questions
3 Composition Techniques You Can Reap From Reading
Conquering Correlative Conjunctions in Sentence Synthesis: 3 Commandments to Comply with
Drawing From Your Own Experiences To Write Well In Primary School Compositions
Proud of Singlish But 4 Mistakes You Should Avoid in Formal Assessments
3 Fun Ways to Foreshadow in a Primary School Composition
I Love Reading | 3 Tips for Reluctant Readers
Steps to Score Well in Situational Writing for PSLE English
5 Commonly Confused Pairs (or is it Pears?)
Activities for the Holidays!
Between Two Commas: How to Deal with Extra Information
Continuous Writing: 3 Specific Things to Check For!
PSLE English Specialist Teacher Wanted!
Paper 2: Don’t Lose the Marks Everyone is Getting!
5 Graphic Novels To Check Out This Holiday
Authentic Learning Activity | Editor on the Move!
Free News Sources for Kids
Holiday + Learning = Fun!
Primary 4 Marching Onto Primary 5: Changes You Need to Know for English
Continuous Writing | 4 Tips to Address the Topic
Reading | Video: A Totto-ly Delightful Read!
4 Fun & Interactive Classroom Display Tools!
Teachers Who Love English, We Want You!
Comprehension Cloze: Let’s Collect Common Collocations
3 Tips to Stop Run-On Sentences in Creative Writing
Killing 2 Birds with 1 Stone: Revise Synthesis and Grammar With These 4 Question Types!
Primary School Vocabulary: Confuse, Confused, Confusing? Which is Which?
Introducing: Mighty Monsterella!
Study Smart! | 3 Revision Tips for Primary School Students!
Announcing the Winner of our ‘Queen of Your Heart’ Mother’s Day Contest!
Accuracy in Situational Writing: Check for These 3 Things!
Comprehension | 6 Steps to Tackle “Support With Evidence” 2-Part Questions
Last Comprehension Question (3 Types) in your Primary School Examination Paper
3 Ways to Express Appreciation Using English (Father’s Day Special)
3 Good Study Habits for Primary School Students
Announcing the Winner of our ‘A Poem for Dad’ Father’s Day contest!

Like what you are reading?

Subscribe now to receive news and tips hot off the press!

Primary School English Tuition| Lil' but Mighty English