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Sentences (Complex) 01
"He couldn't play his violin, because a string was broken" is an example of a complex sentence because it contains two separate clauses.

Sentences (Complex) 01

In English, complex sentences have two or more clauses. A clause has a subject and verb. In the sentence "She was late, because the bus had stopped everywhere", the subjects are "she" and "bus" and the verbs are "was" and "stopped".

Take care to learn the difference between simple, compound and complex sentences. A simple sentence has a single clause: "She was late". A compound sentence has two clauses joined by a simple connective such as "and", "but" or "or". Here is an example of a compound sentence: "She was late and the bus stopped everywhere". A complex sentence has two clauses and also explains the relationship between the two: "She was late BECAUSE the bus had stopped everywhere". The type of word needed to explain this relationship is a connective.

You can test your understanding of connectives in the quizzes devoted to the topic. Here you can test your ability to distinguish between simple, compound and complex sentences. Remember that a phrase is not the same as a clause, but is instead a cluster of words used for a single function. In the previous sentence "a cluster of words" is a noun phrase (you can see there is no verb in that group of words, so it cannot be a clause).

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1.
Select the correct term for the following.
The sky was blue, however, it was starting to rain.
Complex sentence
Compound sentence
Phrase
Simple sentence
Connectives such as "because" and "although" introduce subordinate clauses
2.
Select the correct term for the following.
After he had mended his violin, he played it.
Complex sentence
Compound sentence
Phrase
Simple sentence
A subordinate clause adds to the main clause
3.
Select the correct term for the following.
Before he could play his violin, he had to mend it.
Complex sentence
Compound sentence
Phrase
Simple sentence
A subordinate clause (such as "Before he could play his violin") doesn't make sense by itself
4.
Select the correct term for the following.
She had injured her hand but she played on.
Complex sentence
Compound sentence
Phrase
Simple sentence
When two simple sentences have been joined you have a compound sentence. "She had injured her hand" is a simple sentence, as is "She played on". The two can be joined with the connective "but"
5.
Select the correct term for the following.
Although she had injured her hand, she played on.
Complex sentence
Compound sentence
Phrase
Simple sentence
Mark clauses off with commas to separate them
6.
Select the correct term for the following.
The rain poured down.
Complex sentence
Compound sentence
Phrase
Simple sentence
This sentence has one subject, "rain", and one verb, "poured"
7.
Select the correct term for the following.
....... her injured hand .......
Complex sentence
Compound sentence
Phrase
Simple sentence
A phrase is a group of words which can't stand alone as a sentence. "Her injured hand" is a noun phrase
8.
Select the correct term for the following.
He couldn't play his violin, because a string was broken.
Complex sentence
Compound sentence
Phrase
Simple sentence
Complex sentences have two or more clauses
9.
Select the correct term for the following.
They had to stay indoors, because of the rain.
Complex sentence
Compound sentence
Phrase
Simple sentence
"Because" often begins a subordinate clause. Simple sentences do not have subordinate clauses
10.
Select the correct term for the following.
....... the pouring rain .......
Complex sentence
Compound sentence
Phrase
Simple sentence
A phrase is a group of words, often lacking a verb

 

Author:  Sue Daish

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