It goes without saying, English as a whole whether you see it as a language or a subject or even both do take a lot of practice and patience to learn. As this is one way of communicating with people from around the world. Whether it is in the form of writing, reading, speaking or listening. For this case, learning basic to complex grammar and rules to perfect your sentences is also necessary. But, with patience and perseverance of learning the language, you are able to communicate with others just like a native English speaker. English as a language itself does have rules that need to be followed when writing sentences. Today’s discussion, you would be learning one of the four major types of sentences: the complex sentence. Just how complex can a complex sentence be? While you’re here, check out simple sentences.
What is a complex sentence? A complex sentence is a type of sentence that has both an independent clause and a dependent clause found in the sentence. A complex sentence answers the questions of what, who, when, where and why. A complex sentence can have more than just one dependent clause and independent clause. For a better understanding of what a complex sentence is, use this as an example. You may also see compound sentences. “because she was exhausted from work.” You may notice there is something wrong with this sentence as it is not complete and cannot stand on its own. In addition to that, it does not make any sense. Why is she exhausted from work? To make this sentence complete, you change it and add an independent clause. “She immediately went to sleep, because she was exhausted from work.”
An independent clause is the opposite of a dependent clause. An independent clause can stand alone and does not require any type of grammatical help to make it stand. As this type of clause has its own subject and predicate strong enough to make it stand alone and to make its sentence make some sense. Whether the independent clause is used in a simple sentence or a complex sentence, it can still be able to stand on its own without any issue. Some examples for an independent clause in the form of a sentence would be: “Jane is sleeping.” or “ My teacher likes cooking for her students.”
A dependent clause also known as a subordinate clause is the opposite of the independent clause. In a way that this kind of clause cannot stand on its own in a sentence. In the sentence, it may look like a fragment as it is not complete. It does not have its own subject nor predicate. It needs an independent clause to be complete. The sole purpose of a dependent clause is to complement the sentence but it is not considered a complete thought or sentence if it does not make sense, or cannot stand alone. Hence the term dependent clause.
Here we have a list of your subordinating conjunctions, check them out below:
Here is something you should also take notice of, just because an independent clause is able to stand on its own in a sentence, does not necessarily mean that it cannot be connected with another or more than one independent clause in a sentence. With this, you are now forming a simple sentence to a compound sentence. In addition to that, you may also add another independent clause to your sentence if you already have one in the sentence, and add a dependent clause to make a newer sentence. This is then called as a compound-complex sentence.
Did you know that there are actually four types of sentence structures, and these other three types are the following: You may also see conditional sentences.
The first sentence structure we have is the simple sentence. Simple sentences consists of a simple subject and a simple predicate. One independent clause and no dependent clause. An example for a simple sentence would be: “I passed the English exam.”. You may also see preposition sentences.
The second one would be compound sentences. Unlike a simple sentence, a compound sentence consists of two independent clauses that when separated can both stand alone. Basically a compound sentence would mean two independent sentences mold into one. Two independent clauses mold to one sentence to form a compound sentence. An example: “I passed the English exam but I failed the Math exam.” You may also see periodic sentences.
The third one is a compound-complex sentence. A compound-complex sentence is a mixture of the compound sentence and the complex sentence. This means that this type consists of two or more independent clauses and at least a single dependent clause. An example for a compound-complex sentence would be: “I passed the English exam but I failed the Math exam, but my overall score was still very good.” You may also see topic sentences.
How does one even begin on knowing how to write a complex sentence? As we know there are rules to learn and to understand. To make it sound and look easier, here are some ways, rules or guidelines for you to know when you want to learn how to write a complex sentence.
When you want to turn a simple sentence into a complex sentence, instead of having to use the word “to” in your sentence, for example: “I study to learn something.” You can take out the to in your sentence and replace it with “so that”. This way your sentence would turn into a complex sentence, even if it may look like a simple sentence. So the sentence would turn out this way, “I study so that I can learn something.” The sentence becomes a complex sentence because you changed the to into so that. Your independent clause in the sentence is “I study.” “I can learn something.” Both are connected with the subordinating conjunction so that to make a newer sentence.
We often think that writing Because of the beginning of a sentence may turn it into a complex sentence. However, that is not the case. If you want to write a complex sentence using because at the beginning, I suggest that you change it to Since. Not only does it make your sentence look nicer, it would also make your sentence better. Here is an example for because of and since in sentences. “Because she was sleepy, she did not attend the concert.” This is correct, but it would also be best to use the word “Since” in the sentence. “Since she was sleepy, I did not attend the concert.” If you begin with because, you are giving a reason. If you begin with since, you are making the reason a fact.
Instead of using without when you write a complex sentence, you should instead be using “if or in case.” Using “without is often used for simple sentences. Here’s an example. “Without help, he failed” Simple sentence. But if you use “if” or “in case” it would differ. An example for the word “in case” in a sentence. “In case nobody steps up to help him, he will fail.” Using “if” in a sentence: “If you leave me alone, I would finish this faster.”
Rather than using the preposition “at the time” to state when the action is being done or when the action took place, you can simply write when. Using the subordinating conjunction when to state the specific or the general action taking place turns your simple sentence to a complex sentence. An example for this would be: “He went home at the time the game started.” “We went swimming at the time of the high tide.” It is correct but it makes your readers confused. Using “when” instead: “He went home when the game started.” It is easy to understand as the word states the time the subject did the action.
Instead of using a verb+ing form at the beginning of the sentence, when writing complex sentences, it is best to start with either As, When or Since. For context, here are some examples of these subordinating conjunctions: “Since he was a kid, he wanted to be a pilot. Now he got his wish.” “When I was a child, my favorite food was pasta.” “As we move forward, I wanted everyone to know I was very grateful for their help.”
A complex sentence is a type of sentence that has two or more independent clauses and one dependent clause. It answers the questions of who, what, when, where and why.
The other types of sentences are Simple Sentences, Compound Sentences, Complex Sentences and Compound-Complex Sentences.
Some examples of a subordinating conjunction are the following: After, As if, Before, Even though, Since, Though, Unless, Whenever.
Almost all the sentences we use in everyday speech are complex sentences. This is because complex sentences are more in-depth compared to simple sentences, especially when it comes to describing our thoughts, feelings, and opinions on a given matter. It allows us to expound our emotions and thoroughly describe ideas in a way that others may easily understand. Always keep in mind that communication is the key to success in business and in life. With a bit of effort and practice, you can learn to communicate effectively with your audience in both speech and writing. You may also see imperative sentences.