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Complex sentences

Complex sentences consist of one main clause and at least one secondary clause. As their names
indicate, they are not of equal rank. The secondary clause is introduced by a particle that is
called a subordinating conjunction. The main clause and the secondary clause do not have to
follow a fixed order: one can start the sentence with anyone of them. The main clause can also
be called independent clause, while the secondary clause is also known by the names of
dependent clause and subordinate clause. In the examples that will follow, the subordinating
conjunctions will be printed in boldface.

Examples of complex sentences beginning with the main clause


Main clause
I will come,
He wants to do it,
They told us,
She passed the exam,
She couldn't come to the party,

Secondary clause
if I have time.
when she's ready.
that Mike wont be able to come.
though she hadnt studied much.
because she was busy.

Examples of complex sentences beginning with the secondary clause


Secondary clause
In case you decide to come,
After the game finished,
While she was fixing breakfast,
Unless we get some fresh capital,
If you dont train,

Main clause
call me beforehand.
we went to have dinner.
he got the kids ready to leave.
our company will have to close.
you will surely lose the fight.

Complex sentences with a relative clause


Some complex sentences contain one special type of subordinate clause. It is the one called
relative clause. The subordinating particle of a relative clause is a pronoun, which is called a
relative pronoun. It refers to a noun phrase present in the main clause. The relative pronoun
must necessarily be placed just after this noun phrase of the main clause. The second and third
examples in the table below should read respectively: The girls, who failed the test, wont have
more chances, and The firm, whose plane crashed, gave a press conference. The relative
pronouns in the examples below, will be shown in boldface.

Examples of complex sentences with a relative clause


Main clause
She is the woman,
The girls, (RC), wont have more chances.
The firm, (RC), gave a press conference.
They study at a university,
Jones mentioned the name of the manager,

Relative clause
that bought the Ferrari.
who failed the test,
whose plane crashed.
which was founded in 1721.
to whom the company gave the award.

Compound sentences
Compound sentences consist of two or more main clauses. The clauses are joined by a
particle that is called a coordinating conjunction. The two clauses are of equal rank. In
the examples that will follow, the coordinating conjunctions will be printed in boldface.

Examples of compound sentences


Main clause
I can repair your car
Water the plants often
We can go to the movies
It rained very much,
You can cancel it all now

Coordinating
conjunction

but
and
or
but
or

Main clause
it wont be ready before Friday.
they will grow fast.
we can stay home watching TV.
he went for a walk anyway.
you can pay it in four installments.