Writing Complex Sentences
#1: Simple Sentence
A simple sentence has one subject
and one verb
I like to study grammar.
A simple sentence is also called an
An independent clause ends with a
period or semicolon.
I love you.
Independent clause: only one subject and one verb
#2: Compound Sentence
A compound sentence is made up of
two or more simple sentences joined by
one of the following:
A comma and one of the FANBOYS
I like to study grammar, and I love this class.
I like to study grammar; I love this class.
A semicolon and a transitional
I like to study grammar; therefore, I love this class.
I love you, and you love me.
Two independent clauses joined together
#3: Complex Sentence
A complex sentence is a simple
sentence (independent clause) to which
a part of a sentence (dependent clause)
has been added.
Because I like to study grammar, I
love this class.
I love this class because I like to study
Because you love me, I love you.
A dependent clause joined to an independent clause.
(The dependent clause needs the rest of the
sentence for support.)
Because you love me.
A dependent clause contains a subject and verb. It begins
with a subordinating conjunction, and thus it does not express
a completed thought. A dependent clause is also called a
Dependent clauses, like babies, cannot stand alone.
A Tip on Punctuation
Since dependent clauses are only part
of a sentence, you can never connect
them to another sentence with a
semicolon. Semicolons are only used
between two independent clauses.
I have loved you for years ; although I
never admitted it.
I have loved you for years, although I
never admitted it.
Common Subordinating (Dependent)
rather than unless
because in order
in case while
A compound/complex sentence is the
last and most complicated type of
It contains at least one dependent
clause and at least two independent
Because we are a family, I
love you, and you love me.
2 independent clauses
A dependent clause added to two or more independent clauses
Since every sentence in English fits into
one of these four categories,