Complex sentence

Complex Sentence | Definition and Examples


According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the term ‘complex’ means difficult to understand or find an answer to because of has many different parts. But the complex sentence is not too difficult to understand, and we need to understand it carefully. Let us know the definition of the complex sentence.

Definition of a Complex Sentence

A complex sentence is a type of sentence that contains one independent or principal clause and one or more subordinate clauses. In other words, we can say, a simple sentence consists of one independent clause, whereas a complex sentence consists of one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses.

Now you may have a question ‘where do we need to use a complex sentence’? The simple answer is whenever you need to explain a thing elaborately; then, you can use complex sentences. For example:

  • I was reading the book when everyone was leaving the library.

Note: ‘I was reading the book’ is an independent or principal clause and it depicts the complete meaning though. But after adding the subordinate clause (when everyone was leaving the library) it’s more elaborate.

Difference Between Simple & Complex Sentences

It’s easy to assume the difference between simple and complex sentences. A simple sentence contains only one independent clause, and a complex sentence contains one independent clause and more subordinate clauses. The most common subordinating conjunctions are; Though, although, since, as, when, where, till, until, after, before, who, which, that, if, unless, as if, as though, because, etc.

We can easily make a complex sentence by combining two simple sentences with a subordinate conjunction. For example:

  • I missed you after you had left me.

Note: ‘ I missed you‘ and ‘you had left me‘ these two are simple sentences converted to a complex sentence by adding a subordinate clause (after).

Difference Between Complex and Compound Sentences

Sometimes we become confused to differentiate between complex and compound sentences because they consist of two clauses. But it’s not too much complicated to identify a complex and a compound sentence.

A compound sentence contains two independent or principal clauses with a coordinating conjunction like and, but, or (I have a car, and I take care of it). On the other hand, a complex sentence contains an independent and dependent clause (I have a car that I buy from the local market).

Examples of Complex Sentences

Let us see some examples of complex sentences:

Examples of Complex Sentences
  1. If you support me, I will help you.
  2. When he gets enough time, he meets with his friends.
  3. Though she felt sick, she attended the meeting.
  4. He reads attentively so that he can pass the examination.
  5. I will wait for you if you come here.
  6. Since I was nervous, I enjoyed the program.
  7. They knew you because you met them before.
  8. I had enjoyed the party before you came.
  9. She cooked delicious foods after she had got the recipes.
  10. He wore a dress as if he became the king.
  11. We had good memories when we stayed together.
  12. Although he is poor, he is a broad minded-person.
  13. If you accept my request, I will go for the agreement.
  14. She waited for the train until it came to the station.
  15. When she suffered from a fever, she did not go to her campus.
  16. I accepted her request because she needed my assistance.
  17. Your boss promoted your position when you approached him.
  18. Though it’s the winter season, I feel a warm atmosphere.
  19. She waited for you till you came.
  20. I think that he is a brilliant student.

Note: If a complex sentence starts with a subordinate or dependent clause then a comma (,) is placed right before the independent or principal clause. If a complex sentence starts with an independent or principal clause then no need to place a comma (,).

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