Complex Sentence

Complex Sentence – Definition with Examples

A Complex Sentence is a sentence which combines an independent clause with at least one dependent clause. An independent clause, as we know is a sentence which can stand alone and has a meaning. Dependent (Subordinating) clauses on the other hand which cannot stand alone and to be meaningful they needed to be joined by an independent clause. To understand the dependent (Subordinating) clauses, go through the following sentences-

1) After we reached the venue.

2) So that we don’t get delayed.

3) As it was raining.

4) If the teacher agrees.

5) Because I like cheese.

The above sentences are complete but they lack a meaningful inference; that is, the sentence cannot stand alone and the reader/listener will be left confused.

Like in the first clause- “After we reached the venue”. Then what? What happened after we reached the venue? Unless a separate independent clause is added which clarifies these questions; the sentence will remain an independent clause. Now go through the below sentence-

  • We were given a grand reception, after we reached the venue.

The above sentence is a Complex Sentence having an independent as well as a dependent clause-

Independent Clause- “We were given a grand reception”

Dependent Clause- “After we reached the venue”

We will now complete the remaining dependent clauses by adding with independent clauses to make a Complex Sentence-

  • We left early so that we don’t get delayed.
  • He took the umbrella as it was raining.
  • We will go for picnic if the teacher agrees.
  • I am happy because I like cheese.

It is not necessary that the Independent clause should always be placed before the Subordinate Clause; rather, a Complex Sentence may well be started with a Dependent Clause, followed by an Independent Clause. For Ex-

  • After we reached the venue, we were given a grand reception.
  • As it was raining, he took the umbrella.
  • If the teacher agrees we will go for picnic.

Structural Formula for Complex Sentence

  • Complex Sentence = Independent Clause + Nil + Subordinate Clause
  • Complex Sentence = Subordinate Clause + Comma (,) + Independent Clause

The words those join the Independent Clause to the Dependent Clause like- so that, as, if, because etc are called Subordinating Conjunctions. Below given are few more Subordinating Conjunctions list-

 

Rules For Punctuations

Rule 1

Be very careful while deciding on the placement of punctuation marks in a complex Sentence. There is no need to place a Comma (,) in between if the Independent clause is written first. For example-

  • We will reach office on time before the scheduled meeting.

The independent clause “We will reach office on time” appears before the subordinate clause “before the scheduled meeting”; therefore, no comma (,) separation is needed. Some more Examples-

  • He was informed after the flight departed.
  • He will oblige whenever you ask him for a favor.
  • Oliver will pay all his dues once he gets his pay cheque.
  • Samantha is worried about you since she was informed about your health.
  • I will approve the project provided that I am assured of a good progress.

Therefore, if a Complex Sentence starts with an Independent Clause then there is no need to place a Comma (,) between an Independent and a Dependent Clause.

Rule 2

If the Subordinate (Dependent) Clause is written before then the two clauses need to be separated by a Comma (,). For Example-

  • After the flight departed, he was informed.
  • Whenever you ask him for a favor, he will oblige.
  • Once he gets his pay cheque, Oliver will pay all his dues.
  • Since she was informed about your health, Samantha is worried about you.
  • Provided that I am assured of a good progress, I will approve the project.

Subordinating Conjunctions List-

After, before, so that, although, whenever, even though, though, as, where, if, whereas, unless, until, whether, because, since, while, when, even if, in order that, once, rather, provided that,    than, wherever, why.

 

Relative Clauses

Like as with subordinating Conjunctions, a subordinating Clause may also begin with a Relative Pronoun- that, which, whichever, who, whoever, whom, whose, whosoever, whomever.  The Subordinating Clause beginning with a Relative Pronoun is called a Relative Clause.

There are certain rules to be followed while forming Complex Sentences with an Independent Clause and a Relative Clause.

Rule 1

If the relative clause clarifies a general noun then no comma is used. Go through the below example-

  • The warden called the boy who was standing at the entrance of the hostel building.

The above sentence has-

Independent Clause- The warden called the boy

Relative Clause (Subordinate Clause beginning with a Relative Pronoun)- Who was standing at the entrance of the hostel building.

In the sentence, the Relative pronoun ‘who’ clarifies a general noun ‘boy’; therefore, there is no Comma (,) between the clauses. We will go through some more examples of Complex Sentences with Relative Clauses clarifying a general noun with help of Relative Pronouns.

  • He plucked the flower which was red and bigger.
  • Nick gave his friend the book which was lying on the table.
  • She gave food to the boy who was sitting across the street.
  • Everyone was looking at the boy whose hairs were brown.

Rule 2

If the Relative Clause clarifies a proper/specific noun then the two clauses are separated by a Comma (,). For Example-

The warden called John, who was standing at the entrance of the hostel building.

In the above sentence the Relative Pronoun ‘who’ clarifies a specific noun; therefore the sentences are separated by a Comma (,). Below given are some more examples of Complex Sentences with Relative Clauses clarifying a specific noun with help of Relative Pronouns.

  • He plucked the Rose, which was red and bigger.
  • Nick gave Oliver the book, which was lying on the table.
  • She gave food to Tom, who was sitting across the street.
  • Everyone was looking at Oliver, whose hairs were brown.

Exercises/Worksheet/Activities on Complex Sentences with Answers

True or False Exercises/Worksheet/Activities on Complex Sentences with Answers:

State whether the following statements are True or False, with regard to Complex Sentences. Check the answers provided in the end of the exercise-

1) A Complex Sentence is formed by joining two independent clauses.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

2) A Complex Sentence has an Independent clause and one or more Dependent clause.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

3) Dependent Clause is also known as Subordinate Clause.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

4) An independent clause cannot stand out as a complete sentence.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

5) A Dependent Clause must be added with a Independent Clause to be meaningful.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

6) In the statement- “If he comes to the school, he will conduct the assembly.”

“If he comes to the school” is an Independent Clause.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

7) In the statement given in Q6) “if he comes to the school" is a subordinate clause and “he will conduct the assembly” is an Independent Clause.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

8) If the Independent Clause is written first in a Complex Sentence, then comma (,) is used between two clauses.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

9) Subordinating Clause begins with a Subordinating Conjunction.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

10) After, before, so that, although, whenever, even though- are some examples of Subordinating Conjunctions.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

11) Subordinating Clause may also begin with a Relative Pronoun.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

12) That, which, whichever, who, whoever, whom, whose, whosever, whomever are Relative Pronouns.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

13) Subordinating Clauses beginning with a Relative Pronoun are called Relative clauses.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

14) After he called me I left immediately.

The sentence is correct and there is no need of placing a Comma (,).

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

15) “I left immediately after he called me” is a right formation.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

16) “After he called me, I left immediately is also a right formation.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

Answers- 1)b, 2)a, 3)a, 4)b, 5)a, 6)b, 7)a, 8)b, 9)a, 10)a, 11)a, 12)a, 13)a, 14)b, 15)a, 16)a

MCQs Exercises/Worksheets/Activities On complex Sentences with Answers

Complete the given complex sentences by choosing from the choices given. Refer to the Answers provided in the end of the exercise.

1) __________ he is done with his home work, he will join you for the game.

  1. a) so that
  2. b) after
  3. c) rather

2) I am saving money __________ I don’t have to ask for it while in need.

  1. a) since
  2. b) while
  3. c) so that

3) I was driving fast ________ I was getting late for office.

  1. a) because
  2. b) rather
  3. c) than

4) _________ he had money, he was still not satisfied.

  1. a) while
  2. b) although
  3. c) provided that

5) She prepared the table _________ he got the dishes ready.

  1. a) whom
  2. b) than
  3. c) while

6) He will definitely come ________ he is not invited.

  1. a) even if
  2. b) because
  3. c) since

7) Policeman chased the man ________ was acting suspicious.

  1. a) which
  2. b) who
  3. c) whoever

8) Officer called Oliver, __________ purse was found on road.

  1. a) while
  2. b) which
  3. c) whose

9) ________ the officer calls him, he starts looking for excuses.

  1. a) whoever
  2. b) whenever
  3. c) whichever

10) I will book your ticket __________ you give me the details.

  1. a) once
  2. b) than
  3. c) wherever

11) I will agree to your demands ____________ you agree to mine.

  1. a) in order that
  2. b) than
  3. c) provided that

12) I don’t like milk _______ I will have coffee.

  1. a) either
  2. b) rather
  3. c) whether

13) ____________ the road takes him, he will go.

  1. a) where
  2. b) when
  3. c) though

14) ________ he was sick, he still managed to attend the meeting.

  1. a) in order that
  2. b) though
  3. c) wherever

15) He cleaned his room ________ you entered.

  1. a) so that
  2. b) whether
  3. c) before

16) Julia ate the pizza __________ it was cold.

  1. a) even though
  2. b) wherever
  3. c) why

17) I will not relent ______ you concede to my demands.

  1. a) although
  2. b) whereas
  3. c) unless

18) _________ you like it or not, he is going to give his opinion.

  1. a) before
  2. b) whether
  3. c) whereas

19) The medal will be given to the student ___________ wins the race.

  1. a) whosoever
  2. b) whichever
  3. c) whom

20) Tom gave his pen to Mike, _______ was sitting beside him in the examination.

  1. a) which
  2. b) whoever
  3. c) who

Answers- 1)b, 2)c, 3)a, 4)b, 5)c, 6)a, 7)b, 8)c, 9)b, 10)a, 11)c, 12)b, 13)a, 14)b, 15)c, 16)a, 17)c, 18)b, 19)a, 20)c

Fill in the Blanks Complex Sentence Exercises/Worksheet/Activities With Answers

Complete the following sentences by using the proper words so as to form complex Sentences. Cross check your answers with the answers provided in the end of the exercise.

1) _______ my visit to New York, I will visit my parents.

2) She has to get the meal ready ___________ the guests arrive.

3) He will pick up the best man _________ fits in for the job.

4) _________ the train was delayed, he reached office on time.

5) She sang well ________ she is suffering from infection.

6) I informed class teacher about the injury________ it was the first thing we were told to do.

7) _________ it started raining, everyone scuttled for cover.

8) _______ I am done with my pending work, I will request a leave.

9)  He was reading the book ________ was given to him by his friend.

10) ________ plays well will be selected for the tournament.

11) I will not go there today ________ I will stay and study.

12) Oliver will ask for leave _______ he feels the time is right for it.

13) She was calling Julie, ________ she wanted to meet.

14) I thought she would like to see you ________ going to meet her parents.

15) The children are future of the nation _________ they are nurtured well.

16) _________ it is comfortable for you, pass on that book to me.

17) Police were looking for the man _________ the car belonged.

18) He is performing well in exams _________ his grades are not too good.

19) I will do the dishes ________ she does the cooking.

20) Children loved the cake ________ it was not that good.

Answers- 1) After, 2) Before, 3) Whoever, 4) Even though, 5) Though, 6) Because, 7) Since, 8) Once, 9) which, 10) Whoever, 11) Rather, 12) Whenever, 13) Whom, 14) Than, 15) Provided that, 16) If, 17) Whom, 18) Whereas, 19) Until, 20) Though

Correct/Incorrect Exercises/Worksheet/Activities On complex Sentences with Answers

State whether the following complex sentences are correct or incorrect; also verify your answer with the answers provided in the end.

1) He was going to college, because he had exams.

2) Before he gets here you have to finish all your work.

3) He will come even though he is not feeling well.

4) When he arrives here, he will be given a grand reception.

5) I will take a break while the manager is out.

6) Life provides enough opportunities to whoever looks for it.

7) He studied with dedication, until he excelled in exams.

8) While you slept, she was calling your name.

9) Provided that you complete your work, he will consider your leave application.

10) He congratulated Oliver whom the award was given.

Answers- 1)Incorrect, 2)incorrect, 3) correct, 4) correct, 5) correct, 6) correct, 7) incorrect, 8) correct, 9) correct, 10) incorrect

Correct answers of Incorrect ones are as follows:

1) He was going to college because he had exams. (No comma required)

2) Before he gets here, you have to finish all your work. (Comma required as the sentence begins with Subordinate Clause)

7) He studied with dedication until he excelled in exams. (No Comma required)

10) He congratulated Oliver, whom the award was given. (Comma required as the Relative Pronoun-‘whom’ elaborates a specific noun-‘Oliver’.