Complex Sentences: Structure and Examples

Complex Sentences

So we can fully understand what complex sentences are, we need to understand two important concepts:

  • A dependent clause is a group of words that has both a subject and a verb but cannot stand alone as a sentence. For Example: Where there is smoke
  • An Independent Clause is a group of words made up of a subject and a predicate, it can stand alone as a sentence. For example. I have to buy food from the Supermarket

Now we understand what dependent and independent clauses are , we can define what a complex sentence is

In grammar, Complex Sentences is a sentence with one independent clause and at least one dependent clause.

A complex sentence is often used to make clear which ideas are most important, and which ideas are subordinate.

Complex Sentences and Subordinating Conjunctions

The subordinate conjunction has two jobs.:

  • First, it provides a necessary transition between the two ideas in the sentence
  • The second job of the subordinate conjunction is to reduce the importance of one clause so that a reader understands which of the two ideas is more important.

Subordinating Conjunctions

Complex sentences are often formed by putting these words at the beginning of the dependent clause.

althoughprovided thatwhen
asrather thanwhenever
beforeso thatwhereas
even ifthanwherever
even thoughthatwhether
in order thatunlesswhy

Examples of Complex Sentences

These are 17 examples of Complex Sentences

Complex Sentences from 1 to 10

  1. Wherever you go, you can always find good people.
  2. He studied hard because he wanted to be a surgeon despite the fact he didn’t have enough money for med school.
  3. Even though he didn’t have enough money for med school, he studied hard because he wanted to be a surgeon.
  4. I ate the meal that you cooked.
  5. Although he was rich, he was still unhappy.
  6. When she was younger, she believed in Santa Claus.
  7. Although it was very long, the movie was still entertaining.
  8. I enjoyed the apple pie that you bought for me.
  9. Stay in the bath until the phone rings.
  10. My mom smiled when I made dinner

Complex Sentences from 11 to 20

  1. After I came home,I made dinner.
  2. We visited the museum before it closed
  3. If the dog goes to the county fair, he will eat popcorn.
  4. Stay in the room until the phone rings.
  5. While he waited at the station, Joe realized that the train was late.
  6. The football match was cancelled because it was raining.
  7. Since we are already late, we don’t have time to stop.
  8. If you have found the page, please begin reading.
  9. After being apart for years, he still had feelings for her.
  10. We visited the museum before it closed.

Differences Between Compound and Complex Sentences

One of the main differences between compound and complex sentences is that a compound sentence is made up of two independent clauses and a complex sentence is made of a dependent and independent clause

  • I usually play soccer and my brother plays basketball ( Compound Sentence)
  • I usually play soccer in the yard while my brother is watching TV (Complex Sentence)

As you can see in the examples, I usually play soccer, my brother plays basketball and I usually play soccer in the yard are independent clauses because they can stand on their own.

While my brother is watching TV is a dependent clause because it can’t stand on their own.

Complex Sentences Exercises

Complete the complex sentences with the correct subordinating conjunction:

  1. I’m going to the Supermarket_______ I need to buy some groceries
  2. I prepared dinner _________ I got home.
  3. She decided to trust Mike  ________ he was a reliable guy.
  4. _______ we went to school, she decided to investigate the issue.
  5. Lisa decided to break up with Tom _________ he was too worried about his career.
  6. John bought a new car __________ he had received one as a gift last week.
  7. Derek days that there will be a problem _______ he doesn’t bring the car back.
  8. Sara will have finished the homeowrk ________ the time you get here
  9. ________ it’s raining, she’s going for a walk.
  10. ________ she passes her final exam, she will fail the class.

Simple, Compound and Complex Sentence

In this exercise, you will read the sentences and choose if they are simple, compound or complex sentences

[quiz-cat id=”100840″]

More Information

If you need more information about grammar explanations, exercises and worksheet on other topics, make sure to visit recommends the Cambridge Online Dictionary as a great tools to check unknown words

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