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Complex sentences

Complex sentences

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Complex sentences are sentences that contain one independent clause and at least one dependent clause. They allow for the combination of main ideas with supporting or subordinate ideas.

Here are some key details about complex sentences:

  1. Independent Clause:

    • A complex sentence includes an independent clause, which is a group of words that can stand alone as a complete sentence.
    • The independent clause expresses a main idea or complete thought.
    • Examples:
      • "She went to the library."
      • "He studied for the exam."
  2. Dependent Clause:

    • A complex sentence also contains one or more dependent clauses, which cannot stand alone as complete sentences.
    • Dependent clauses function as subordinate elements and provide additional information or support for the main idea expressed in the independent clause.
    • Examples:
      • "Because she needed to do research, she went to the library."
      • "Although he was tired, he studied for the exam."
  3. Subordinating Conjunctions:

    • Dependent clauses in complex sentences are usually introduced by subordinating conjunctions.
    • Subordinating conjunctions indicate the relationship between the dependent clause and the independent clause.
    • Examples:
      • "Because," "although," "if," "when," "since," "while," "unless," "where," and "as" are common subordinating conjunctions.
  4. Punctuation:

    • When a dependent clause comes before the independent clause, it is usually followed by a comma.
    • However, if the dependent clause comes after the independent clause and the sentence is clear without a comma, it may be omitted.
    • Examples:
      • "She went to the library because she needed to do research."
      • "He studied for the exam although he was tired."


Complex sentences provide a way to express relationships, conditions, cause and effect, and other nuanced connections between ideas. They allow for the combination of main and supporting thoughts in a structured and coherent manner. Understanding how to construct and use complex sentences enhances the clarity and sophistication of communication.