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Complex Sentences. There are 2 basic kinds of clauses:. Independent Clause Subordinate ( Dependent ) Clause. Independent Clauses. An Independent Clause has a SUBJECT and VERB and CAN stand by itself as a COMPLETE SENTENCE . These are also known as simple sentences .

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There are 2 basic kinds of clauses

There are 2 basic kinds of clauses:

Independent Clause

Subordinate (Dependent) Clause

Independent clauses
Independent Clauses

  • An Independent Clause has a SUBJECT and VERB and CAN stand by itself as a COMPLETE SENTENCE. These are also known as simple sentences.

    Ex: The airvibrated.

    In the morning, hebegan to play the cello.



Subordinate clauses
Subordinate Clauses

  • (also known as a DEPENDENT Clause)

  • Has a SUBJECT and a VERB but CANNOT stand by itself as a complete sentence because it starts with a SUBORDINATING CONJUNCTION.

What is a subordinating conjunction
What is a subordinating conjunction?

We will refer to them as the


  • The number of letters tells you how many words begin with that letter.


    For example 5 words begin with the letter A, 6 words begin with the letter W, etc..

Subordinate clause
Subordinate Clause

Subordinate or Dependent Clause =

Subordinating conjunction (AAWWWUUBBIIS word) + S + V.

It cannot stand alone.

  • Example: After we had dinner

Subordinating clause
Subordinating Clause

  • A dependent (subordinate) clause has to be ATTACHED to an independent clause (simple sentence).

  • We will let I = independent clause (simple sentence)

  • We will let D = dependent clause (subordinate clause)

Complex sentences1
Complex Sentences

So the formula for a complex sentence is:

D, I



Complex sentences2
Complex Sentences


Dependent clause Independent Clause

After we ate dinner, we played cards.


Independent Clause Dependent Clause

We played cards after we ate dinner.


Underline the independent clause once and the subordinate clause twice. Some sentences have no subordinate clauses.

  • The football game was exciting.

  • Everyone stood and cheered as the team left the field.

  • After we won the game, we celebrated by going to eat.

  • We left the restaurant; we paid the bill.

Examples of complex sentences
Examples of Complex Sentences

Since you want to go to the movies, you will have to eat quickly.

You will have to live at home until you get a job.

Notice: If the dependent clause comes first, then a comma is used to introduce the independent clause.

Practice use each of the subordinate dependent clauses below to write a complete sentence
Practice:Use each of the subordinate (dependent) clauses below to write a complete sentence.

  • so that we can go to the store

  • unless we win the lottery

  • after a song is recorded

  • until your room is clean

  • before we went home

    Insert a comma after the dependent clause if that begins the sentence.

Clauses review
Clauses Review

  • How are independent clauses and dependent (subordinate) clauses different?

    An independent clause (simple sentence) can stand on its own, BUT

    A subordinate clause needs to be attached to a independent clause; it cannot stand alone.

Complex sentences andclauses review
Complex Sentences andClauses Review

What do independent clauses and dependent (subordinate) clauses have in common?

They each have a SUBJECT and a




Complex sentence review
Complex Sentence Review

  • How does a complex sentence differ from a compound sentence?

    A compound sentence has 2 or more independent clauses.

    A complex sentence includes a subordinating (dependent) clause.