Complex Sentences Examples

Complex Sentences

As you know, a sentence is a group of words that has a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought. There are four types of sentence constructions: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex.

Examples of Complex Sentences:

A complex sentence is a sentence that has an independent clause and a dependent clause. This is different from a simple sentence that has one independent clause. What makes a sentence complex is the dependent clause.


The difference between an independent and a dependent clause is whether or not the words express a complete thought.


Independent Clause: I said to go to the store.


There is a subject (I) and a verb (said), and the group of words expresses a complete thought. This means the clause is independent-it can stand alone.


Dependent Clause: When I said go to the store


There is a subject (I) and a verb (said), but the group of words does not express a complete thought. The word "when" has made this a dependent clause-the group of words is dependent on more information for us to make meaning of it.


So, a complex sentence is a sentence that has a dependent clause attached to an independent clause so that the sentence makes sense.


To identify a complex sentence, you are looking for the independent clause and a dependent clause that cannot stand by itself. Be careful! The dependent clause must also have a subject and a verb. It cannot be just any group of words (a phrase).


Examples of Complex Sentences


The complex part, or the dependent clause, is underlined.


1. When I said go to the store, I wanted you to get some milk.
2. We were late to the party because John could not find his shoes.
3. Before you go to bed, brush your teeth.
4. I will help with your homework if you teach me how to play guitar.
5. I want to check out the book that Marie read last week.
6. Lois and Jan live in the house where the big tree with a swing is in the front yard.
7. After I cook dinner, we will play your new board game.
8. You don't have to turn in your homework since you were sick yesterday.

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