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What Is a Complex Sentence? (Examples of complex sentences)

A complex sentence is a sentence that has an independent clause (also known as a main clause) and at least one dependent clause. A complex sentence can also be described as a long sentence, because such sentences tend to have longer phrases and clauses than simple sentences.

Complex sentences are not hard to create or understand; they simply contain more information than standard sentences.

A complex sentence almost always has two clauses: the independent clause, which stands on its own as a complete sentence, and the dependent clause, which can’t stand alone as a complete sentence. A dependent clause is usually introduced by “if”, “and”, “or”, “nor”, or some other similar conjunction.

It often begins with subordinate conjunctions like prepositions or relative pronouns; these are called subordinating conjunctions because they subordinate one clause to another.

Examples of complex sentences.

The complex sentence example above is a rather straightforward sentence, but it contains both an independent clause and a dependent clause, so it’s a good example of a complex sentence.

The second sentence above is a good example of a sentence that’s almost entirely dependent clauses. It’s a long sentence, but it’s not a complex sentence, because it only contains one clause – the dependent clause.

The third sentence above is another long sentence, but it’s also a complex sentence, because it has two clauses. The fourth sentence above is a complex sentence despite its brevity, because it has two clauses.

The fifth and sixth sentences above are good examples of sentences that contain one clause that is both an independent and a dependent clause.

The fifth sentence is a complex sentence because it has two clauses, but the first clause is an independent clause that can stand on its own as a sentence.

The sixth sentence is also a complex sentence because it has two clauses, but the second clause is a dependent clause that can’t stand alone as a sentence.

Sentence with an independent and dependent clause.

The most common type of complex sentence has two clauses: an independent clause and a dependent clause.

The independent clause is the main part of the sentence, and the dependent clause is a clause that expands the main part of the sentence in some way.

For example, “The city council decided to build a new school” is a simple sentence consisting of one independent clause.

“The city council decided to build a new school, despite many protests from parents,” is a complex sentence consisting of one independent clause (the first part) and one dependent clause (the second part).

Sentence with just a dependent clause.

Another type of complex sentence contains just a dependent clause, with no independent clause preceding it.

Such sentences are sometimes known as complex-compound sentences, compound-complex sentences, or compound-compound sentences.

For example, “Because the city council decided to build a new school, parents protested” is a complex-compound sentence consisting of two clauses. The first is a dependent clause that expands on the second clause, which is an independent clause that can stand on its own as a sentence.

What is an Independent Clause?

An independent clause is a clause that can stand alone as a sentence. It has a subject, a verb, and a complete thought.

If you remove the dependent clause from a complex sentence, the independent clause remains as a complete sentence. For example, “The city council decided to build a new school” is an independent clause because it can stand alone as a sentence – no other information is required.

Similarly, “Parents protested because the city council decided to build a new school” is also an independent clause. In both cases, you can remove the dependent clause and still have a complete sentence.

What Is a Dependent Clause?

A dependent clause cannot stand alone as a sentence; it needs an independent clause to complete it. It does not have a subject or a verb, or it has only a fragment of a subject and/or verb.

For example, “Because the city council decided to build a new school” is a dependent clause because it can’t stand alone as a sentence. Similarly, “After the city council decided to build a new school” is also a dependent clause.

In both cases, you can’t remove the independent clause and have a complete sentence.

When to Use a Complex Sentence.

Complex sentences are useful in many situations, and they are especially useful when you want to create a longer sentence that contains more information than a simple sentence.

Complex sentences are often used to add more details to the main part of the sentence, or they might be used to list a series of related events or items.

When you are listing events, people, or things in a sentence, it’s often best to use a series of short, dependent clauses rather than one long, complicated clause.

Complex sentences can also be used to create a pause in the flow of a sentence.

When you put a dependent clause before the independent clause, you can create a pause before getting to the main part of the sentence. This can be useful in many situations, but it’s often used to emphasize the main part of the sentence.

Watch also: Heavy in a Sentence and Meaning, Sentences with Heavy

Conclusion.

Complex sentences are often used in writing and speech to communicate more information than simple sentences can. They are also useful in situations when you want to list events, people, or things in a sentence.

A complex sentence has two clauses: the independent clause, which stands on its own as a complete sentence, and the dependent clause, which can’t stand alone as a complete sentence.

A complex sentence can also be described as a long sentence, because it has longer phrases and clauses than simple sentences.

When you are creating a sentence with two clauses, you can either use a complex sentence or a compound sentence.

A compound sentence has two independent clauses, while a complex sentence has one independent clause followed by one or more dependent clauses.

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