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Complex sentences in English language

Complex sentences - definition

Complex sentences are clauses joined by different words. Complex sentences contain at least two clauses: one main clause (also called independent clause) and at least one dependent clause.

Complex sentences - classification

Dependent clauses are divided into three categories: adjective clauses, adverb clauses, and noun clauses.

Adjective clauses

Example:
Everyone who worked in Lunar New Year needs a short vacation.
“Everyone ... needs a short vacation.” – is the main clause
“... who worked in Lunar New Year ...” – is the dependent clause

Adverb clauses

Example:
After we have finished the project, we will take a short vacation.
“We will take a short vacation” – is the main clause
“After we have finished the project.” – is the dependent clause

Noun clause

Example:
My wife said that we should take a short vacation.
“My wife said” – is the main clause
“we should take a short vacation.” – is the dependent clause.

Connecting words

Connecting words used in Adjective Clauses

For animals and things use one of the following connecting words: which and that.
For people use one of the following connecting words: who, whom, and that.
For places use the connecting word: where.
For possessives use the connecting word: whose.
For reasons use one of the following connecting words: why and that.
For time use the connecting word: when.

Connecting words used in Adverb Clauses

For comparison condition use one of the following connecting words: if, unless as long as, provided that, whether or not, more ... than, less ... than, etc.
For contrast use one of the following connecting words: although, even though, despite the fact that etc.
For opposition use one of the following connecting words: while, where, or whereas.
For manner, use one of the following connecting words: as, as if, or as though.
For place use one of the following connecting words: where or wherever.
For purpose use one of the following connecting words: so that or in order that.
For reason use one of the following connecting words: as, because, or since.
For result use the expressions so ... that, or such ... that.
For time use one of the following connecting words: after, as long as, as soon as, before, once, since, until, when, whenever, or while.

Connecting words used in Noun Clauses

For reported speech use the connecting word that (or sometimes no conjunction).
For embedded questions use one of the following connecting words: how, if, when, whether, why, and all other question words.


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