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GRAMMAR & STRUCTURE
Complex Sentences

 
 

Definition

A complex sentence is a sentence that has two parts: a main subject (S) + verb (V) part (called an independent clause), and a second subject (S) + verb (V) part (called a dependent clause).

Example

The

 students

 ate 

lunch at the beach

 

S

V

 

+

because

 it 

was 

a beautiful day.

 

S

V

 

independent clause

 

dependent clause

 

The students ate lunch at the beach because it was a beautiful day.

complex sentence with two parts

 

Explanation

A complex sentence --

  • joins an independent clause and one or more dependent clauses together in one sentence.
    • An independent clause is a complete thought: "I watched the movie."
    • A dependent clause is an incomplete thought: "after I ate supper".
    • A dependent clause needs more information to make it complete.
  • has subject and verb agreement.
  • has verb tense agreement to show the same time, or can use different verb tenses to show different times.
  • uses a conjunction to join the clauses together. Conjunctions are words like: "although, while, if, because, after".
  • has specific punctuation rules. For example: When a dependent clause comes at the beginning of a sentence, it should be followed by a comma.

Related Sections

Compound Sentences
Punctuation
Simple Sentences