There are three types of sentences in English: Simple, compound and complex sentences. This worksheet focuses on writing complex sentences and is ideal for intermediate to upper intermediate level classes. Teachers can feel free to print-out this page to use in-class.
Complex Sentences - What are They?
Complex sentences are made up of two clauses - an independent clause and and a dependent clause. Independent clauses are similar to simple sentences. They can stand alone and function as a sentence. Dependent clauses, however, need to be used together with an independent clause to make sense. Here are some examples:
We didn't pass the test. Angela won the competition. The doctor will go ahead with the operation.
Although we had studied for a long time Because she had practiced for weeks If he gets positive test results
Notice how the first group of sentences, the independent clauses, can be used as complete sentences. The dependent clauses, on the other hand, are missing an element (the independent clause) to make sense.
Here are the two clauses combined to make complex sentences:
Although we had studied for a long time, we didn't pass the test. Angela won the competition because she had practiced for weeks. The doctor will go ahed with the operation if he gets positive test results.
Complex sentences are written by using subordinating conjunctions to connect the two clauses. These subordinating conjunctions fall into different categories. Here are the most common subordinating conjunctions based on their function. When beginning a sentence with a subordinating conjunction, place a comma at the end of the clause. There is no need for a comma if the subordinating conjunction introduces the dependent clause in the middle of the sentence.
Showing Opposition or Unexpected Results
although / even though / though
Although I felt he was wrong, I decided to trust him.
Sharon started looking for a new job even though she was currently employed.
Though I couldn't understand a word, we had a great time!
Showing Cause and Effect
because / since / as
Since you need some help, I'll come over this afternoon.
Henry felt he needed to take some time off because he had been working so hard.
The parents paid for extra lessons as the children were very gifted.
when / as soon as / before / after / by
By the time you get this letter, I will have left for New York.
I used to play a lot of tennis when I was a teenager.
We had a wonderful dinner after she had arrived.
if / unless / in the case that
If I were you, I would take my time with that project.
They won't come next week unless you ask them to do so.
In the case that he isn't available, we'll look for another consultant.
Complex Sentence Worksheet
Use subordinating conjunctions (though, if, when, because, etc.) to connect the sentences into one complex sentence.
- Henry needs to learn English. I will teach him.
- It was raining outside. We went for a walk.
- Jenny needs to ask me. I will buy it for her.
- Yvonne played golf extremely well. She was very young.
- Franklin wants to get a new job. He is preparing for job interviews.
- I'm writing a letter, and I'm leaving. You will find it tomorrow.
- Marvin thinks he will buy the house. He just wants to know what his wife thinks.
- Cindy and David had breakfast. They left for work.
- I really enjoyed the concert. The music was too loud.
- Alexander has been working sixty hours a week. There is an important presentation next week.
- I usually work out at the gym early in the morning. I leave for work at eight a.m.
- The car was extremely expensive. Bob didn't have much money. He bought the car.
- Dean sometimes goes to the cinema. He enjoys going with his friend Doug. Doug visits once a month.
- I prefer to watch TV by streaming over the internet. It allows me to watch what I want when I want.
- Sometimes it happens that we have a lot of rain. I put the chairs on the patio in the garage when we have rain.
Continue to the next page to check your answers.