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Complex Sentences
Although her brakes weren't working, she rode her bike.

Complex Sentences

You can create complex sentences in English by joining two simple sentences together. If you take these two sentences: 'Alec was happy' and 'It was Alec's birthday', you can create this complex sentence: 'Alec was happy because it was his birthday.' If you join the sentences with 'and', 'but', 'so', 'yet', 'nor', 'or' or 'for', you've made a compound sentence, rather than a complex sentence.

See if you can tell the difference by trying this English quiz.

  1. Which of the following is NOT a complex sentence?
    4 - 'The dog had been for a long walk, it curled up for a nap' is an example of a comma splice - a comma has been used to join two sentences. This is an incorrect use of the comma
  2. Choose the complex sentence.
    2 - 'The sun was shining in our eyes, we closed the blinds' is another example of comma splicing. 'We closed the blinds because' is not a complete sentence
  3. Which of the following is NOT a complex sentence?
    1 - 'I was sleeping and my mum made me a cup of tea' is an example of a compound sentence - two simple sentences have been joined by the word 'and'
  4. Choose the complex sentence.
    4 - Two simple sentences can be joined by 'but' to make a compound sentence
  5. Which one of the following is NOT a complex sentence?
    3 -
  6. Choose the complex sentence.
    3 - 'Would like to have a horse?' is not a complete sentence
  7. Join these two sentences to make a complex sentence: Her brakes weren't working. She rode her bike.
    2 -
  8. Join these two sentences to make a complex sentence: It hadn't rained for three weeks. The seedlings wilted and died.
    4 -
  9. Join these two sentences to make a complex sentence: Jenny is coming to visit me. Jenny is my oldest friend.
    1 - Watch out for comma splices! 'Jenny is coming to visit me, she is my oldest friend' is an example of a comma splice. Remember that a comma on its own can't join two sentences
  10. Join these two sentences to make a complex sentence: He wasn't the fastest runner in class. He won the race.
    3 - Remember that using 'but' creates a compound sentence

Author: Sheri Smith

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