Examples of a complex sentence

This article is going to shed light on a very important type of sentence: a complex sentence. As well, it will provide you with a list of examples so as to clarify this grammatical structure.

What is a complex sentence?

A complex sentence is a sentence that combines two simple sentences i.e. each sentence respects the grammatical structure of a sentence (subject+ verb + complement). One of these simple sentences contains a subordinating conjunction (like when, before, if…) or a relative pronoun (like where, which…) and thus the sentence becomes subordinating or dependent whereas the other simple sentence is called independent as it completes the dependent sentence meaning.

For example:

When Mum arrived, I was having a shower

Sub. Con.     Dependent sent.       Independent sent.

Note: an independent sentence can precede the dependent sentence

I was having a shower when Mum arrived.

What are simple sentences?

A simple sentence is the one that has a subject, a verb, and a complement. As well, such sentence can stand by itself and thus expresses a complete thought. Simple sentences include neither subordinating conjunctions nor relative pronouns.

Examples of simple sentences:

  • I dislike soccer
  • I’m thinking about traveling abroad

Examples of a complex sentence

  • Even though it was rainy, I went for a walk
  • I didn’t work today because I was sick
  • Every time we meet, we argue
  • Whenever you have spare time, try to read something
  • Since He is smart, he could solve complex mathematical equations
  • Here is the café where I used to meet my girlfriend
  • If you are weary, you can go and have some rest
  • By the time I finish my work, I will call you
  • In case you are busy, try to text me
  • As Peter was reading the newspaper, I was speaking on the phone
  • The teacher allowed him to enter although he was late

Here is the list of relative pronouns and subordinating conjunctions:

Relative pronouns

Where Who Whom Whose Which What When Whenever Whomever wherever That

Subordinating conjunctions

As long as, As soon as, Although, After As, As if, Because, In order that, Unless Until, If, when, Every time, By the time, Before, In spite of, Provided that.

A Dependent sentence

A dependent sentence also referred to as a subordinating sentence, is a sentence that begins with a subordinating conjunction (see above) and it is a sentence that cannot stand by itself; meaning it is dependent on another sentence called the independent sentence.

Example of a dependent sentence

After I had had lunch, I took a nap

Dependent sentence   ,  independent sentence

An independent sentence

This sentence, as its name suggests, is independent by itself I.e. it doesn’t need another sentence to complete its meaning unlike the dependent one. Look at the previous example: I took a nap is a sentence that is independent because it is complete.

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