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GRAMMAR & STRUCTURE
Complex Sentences

 
  A complex sentence is a sentence that has two parts:
  1. A main subject (S) + verb (V) part, (called an independent clause) and
  2. A second subject (S) + verb (V) part (called a dependent clause)
The
students
ate
lunch at the beach
+
because
it
was
a beautiful day.
 
subject
(S)
verb
(V)
 
 
 
subject
(S)
verb
(V)
 
Independent clause
 
Dependent clause
The students ate lunch at the beach because it was a beautiful day.
Complex sentence

A complex sentence:

  • joins an independent clause and one or more dependent clauses together in one sentence.

  • has subject and verb agreement.

  • has verb tense agreement to show the same time.

  • can use different verb tenses to show different times.

  • uses a subordinate conjunction to join the clauses together. Subordinate conjunctions are linking words such as: although, while, if, because.

  • can place the dependent clause inside the independent clause.

  • has specific punctuation rules, for example: use a comma after a dependent clause.

Related sections
Adjective Clauses
Adverb Clauses
Independent and Dependent Clauses
Linking Words
Noun Clauses
Punctuation
Sentence Errors — Run-on Sentences: Part B
Sentence Errors — Fragments