Complex Sentences


A complex sentence consists of an independent clause and a dependent clause


When the dependent clause begins with a subordinating conjunction, there are two ways to create a complex sentence.

     1) an independent clause followed by a dependent clause

              James failed the test  because he did not study.

              My family went out for pizza  after my sister

                     won her game.

              Katrina missed her flight  although she was

                     only five minutes late.

              Mohamed will attend the banquet  if he

                     finds someone to cover his shift.

              We will drive to Madison tomorrow  unless

                     the weather is bad.          

     2) a dependent clause followed by a comma and an independent clause

              Because James did not study,  he failed the test.

              After my sister won her game, my family went out for pizza.

              Although Katrina was only five minutes late,  she missed her flight.

              If Mohamed finds someone to cover his shift,  he will attend the banquet.

              Unless the weather is bad, we will drive to Madison tomorrow.


A dependent clause that begins with a  relative pronoun  is called a relative clause.  Relative clauses modify nouns or pronouns, and they always come after the nouns or pronouns they modify.  Therefore, relative clauses often interrupt independent clauses.  

     1) Relative clauses that are non-essential, which means they are not necessary

      to understand the overall meaning of the sentence, are set off by commas.

           Sandra Collins,  who will give tomorrow's lecture,  has written six books.

             The Jackson family's house, which sits near the river, was built in 1874.

             Leo decided to take Professor Chang's English class,  which his brother took last year.

             I play tomorrow against Ricky Starkwhom I defeated last year.

            Martin,  whose daughter babysits my children, is moving to Texas.

             Mrs. Kriesman confronted Charlie,  whose dog terrorizes the neighborhood children.

      2) Relative clauses that are essential, which means they are necessary to

      understand the overall meaning of the sentence, are not set off by

       commas.

           The woman  who will give tomorrow's lecture has written six books.

             The house  that sits near the river was in danger of flooding.

             Leo decided to take the English class that his brother took last year.

             I play tomorrow against a boy  whom I defeated last year.

             The man  whose daughter babysits my children is moving to Texas.

             Mrs. Krisman confronted the man  whose dog terrorizes the neighborhood children.    



            

              

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