Three Basic Rules for Writing. Be as interesting as possible. Be clear. Know your audience. Simple Sentences. Never discount the beauty of a clearly stated simple sentence. Patterns: S V S V and V S and S V S and S V and V
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Note: A dependent clause always has a
subject and a verb.
The [bracketed] phrases in the following sentences add information to the base sentence but cannot stand alone: [If the temperature stays close to freezing], we can join the polar bear club for a dip in the lake.
Certain words traditionally start off the subordinate, or dependent, parts of the complex sentence:
The complex sentence is an effective way to show that one idea takes precedence over another. The idea in the complete sentence base is more important than the idea in the dependent phrase.
In the following example from one student's proposal to implement a county fire investigation team, see how he downplays certain information [in the dependent phrases] while highlighting his own ideas in the complete sentence base:
[While the effectiveness of investigations by the Sheriff's Department is not questioned], the investigations are very costly both in the amount of time personnel are taken away from other police work and the cost of paying the personnel who conduct the investigations.
[With the movement of fire investigation from the Sheriff's Department to a county fire investigation team], the investigation of fires determined to be accidental in nature could be completed by volunteer members of the team who at the most would be reimbursed mileage expenses.
Here are some simple rules to remember when combining simple sentences into complex sentences:
Don't repeat words. Change words if necessary. Add words to connect ideas.
Complex Sentence Exercise
Combine the following sentences into complex sentences. Remember that a number of answers may be correct.
His name is Peter.He's a famous professional athlete.He's a baseball player.
He has a large house in Miami.The house is beautiful.
He often travels around the US.He plays away games in different cities in the US.
He travels by airplane.
He usually sleeps on the plane.He stays up late after games.
He is an excellent pitcher.Fans love his abilities.Coaches love his abilities.
Every week he plays a home game.The game is played in Glover Stadium.The game is usually sold out.
Glover Stadium is old.Glover Stadium doesn't have enough seats for all the fans.
The fans wait in line to buy tickets.The fans often pay more than $60 dollars for a ticket.
The fans are unhappy about the ticket prices.The fans love Peter.