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Complex Sentences
Alec was happy because it was his birthday.

Complex Sentences

Get ready for a tricky KS2 English quiz all about complex sentences! Complex sentences are like sentence magicians – you join two simple sentences to make something amazing. For example, 'Alec was happy' and 'It was Alec's birthday' become 'Alec was happy because it was his birthday.'

If you use words like 'while', 'although', 'until', or 'after', you've made a complex sentence. But be careful: using 'and', 'but', 'so', 'yet', 'nor', 'or', or 'for' makes a compound sentence. Test your sentence skills in this quiz – good luck!

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1.
Which one of the following is NOT a complex sentence?
Because the music was too loud, he couldn't hear me talking.
He couldn't hear me talking because the music was too loud.
The music was loud and he couldn't hear me talking.
I wouldn't have had to shout if the music had not been so loud.
This is a compound sentence.
2.
Join these two sentences to make a complex sentence: Jenny is coming to visit me. Jenny is my oldest friend.
Jenny, who is my oldest friend, is coming to visit me.
My oldest friend is coming to visit me.
Jenny is coming to visit me and she is my oldest friend.
Jenny is coming to visit me, she is my oldest friend.
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.
3.
Which of the following is NOT a complex sentence?
I was sleeping and my mum made me a cup of tea.
While I was sleeping, my mum made me a cup of tea.
My mum made me a cup of tea while I was sleeping.
My mum made me a cup of tea because she didn't know I was asleep.
'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.
Would like to have a horse?
I would like to have a horse.
If I had horse, I would ride it every day.
I will ride the horse every day.
'Would like to have a horse?' is not a complete sentence.
5.
Which of the following is NOT a complex sentence?
The dog, which had been for a long walk, curled up for a nap.
Because it had been for a long walk, the dog was tired.
Because it was growing old, the dog needed a nap after its walk.
The dog had been for a long walk, it curled up for a nap.
'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.
6.
Join these two sentences to make a complex sentence: Her brakes weren't working. She rode her bike.
Her brakes weren't working, but she rode her bike.
Although her brakes weren't working, she rode her bike.
Her brakes weren't working and she rode her bike.
Her brakes weren't working, she rode her bike.
The word 'although' tells you this is a complex sentence.
7.
Choose the complex sentence.
I don't like detective stories, I read that one.
I don't like detective stories but I read that one.
I don't like detective stories.
Although I don't like detective stories, I read the book anyway.
Two simple sentences can be joined by 'but' to make a compound sentence.
8.
Join these two sentences to make a complex sentence: It hadn't rained for three weeks. The seedlings wilted and died.
It hadn't rained for three weeks, the seedlings wilted and died.
It hadn't rained for three weeks and the seedlings wilted and died.
It hadn't rained for three weeks, but the seedlings wilted and died.
Because it hadn't rained for three weeks, the seedlings wilted and died.
Complex sentences are slightly more complex than compound sentences!
9.
Choose the complex sentence.
The sun was shining in our eyes.
We closed the blinds because the sun was shining in our eyes.
The sun was shining in our eyes, we closed the blinds.
We closed the blinds because.
'The sun was shining in our eyes, we closed the blinds' is an example of comma splicing. 'We closed the blinds because' is not a complete sentence.
10.
Join these two sentences to make a complex sentence: He wasn't the fastest runner in class. He won the race.
He wasn't the fastest runner in class, but he won the race.
He wasn't the fastest runner in class, for he won the race.
Although he wasn't the fastest runner in class, he won the race.
He wasn't the fastest runner in class, he won the race.
Remember that using 'but' creates a compound sentence.
You can find more about this topic by visiting BBC Bitesize - Writing longer sentences

Author:  Sheri Smith

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