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University of VictoriaIntroduction to IT English
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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 new scanner works well because the new scanning software has been improved.

The new scanner works well (independent clause) because the new scanning software has been improved (dependent clause).


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.