Complex sentences πŸ€”

In English we use simple, compound and complex sentences and in this post I will write about complex sentences.

If you want to take your English to the next level, using complex sentences instead of only simple or compound sentences is an effective way to do this.

So what are complex sentences and how do we form them? They are sentences made up of an independent clause ( this is part of a sentence which can stand alone – a simple sentence ) and a dependent clause ( part of a sentence which cannot stand alone- it needs some more information for it to make sense ).

Let’s look at an example.

I really enjoy my English lessons because my teacher is fabulous.

Which part of this sentence ( or which clause ) can stand by itself and make sense?

Which part of this sentence ( or which clause) cannot stand by itself or needs some extra information for it to make sense ?

➑️ I really enjoy my English lessons- this can also be a simple sentence as it can stand alone and it is complete.

➑️ Because my teacher is fabulous – this is incomplete; it needs some extra information for it to make sense.

Let’s look at another example:

If you are serious about improving your speaking skills, you should speak English every day.

Can you find the independent and dependent clauses ?

➑️ If you are serious about improving your speaking skills is the dependent clause ( you cannot say/write this by itself)

➑️ you should speak English every day is the independent clause because it can stand alone and make sense. It can also be a simple sentence if you start it with a capital letter.

Note : When you start the sentence with a dependent clause, you can add a comma between the clauses like I have just done in this sentence and in the example above.

Note : A dependent clause is made up of a subordinating conjunction plus the clause. Subordinating conjunctions are joining words and using these makes your language complex. This will take your English to the next level which is important not only for everyday use but for the speaking and writing parts of English proficiency tests.

Just remember to use a variety of sentences when speaking or writing . Mix it up a bit and use some simple , compound and complex sentences 😊

Published by rachelkimschultz

I have been in the ESL industry for over 25 years , first starting out teaching English in Japan after I graduated from university . I have taught English in Australia for about 20 years to many different nationalities which I love and I have also taught TESOL Certificate IV so I am a teacher trainer as well. I have worked as an academic manager for about 8 years, managing, training and supporting teachers. I love teaching all levels of English and enjoy teaching TOEIC ,IELTS and Cambridge Exam (PET, FCE and CAE) preparation courses.

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