The complex sentences are those components of the English language that contain an independent clause and at least one or more than one dependent clause. An independent clause can stand alone as a complete sentence whereas the dependent clause has a subject and a verb, still, it can’t stand as a sentence. 

Complex sentences are most important in IELTS Writing task 2 because without their usage you are unlikely to get a band 6.5 or above. You will end up getting a band of 5 for grammatical range and accuracy if you cannot write complex sentences or demonstrate limited ability to write. 

A complex sentence is also known as multiple clause sentence.

 Eg: Valerie sipped on her tea.

This is an independent clause as it is a complete sentence conveying the whole meaning and having a subject and a verb. The sentence conveys the full information.

Eg: As Valerie sipped on her tea

Now this sentence does not convey the whole meaning, it looks incomplete. So it is a dependent clause although it contains a subject and a verb, yet it does not fully express the thought. The sentence requires more information to complete it.

So a complex sentence is an assortment of an independent and a dependent clause used in either order. But interestingly the independent clause and the dependent clause are not of equal rank, so in order to equalize them, you have to use the coordinating or subordinating conjunctions such as:

  1.  For
  2. But
  3.  Nor
  4. Or
  5.  Yet
  6.  So
  7. And
  8.  After
  9. While
  10. Since
  11. Because
  12. If
  13. When

Let us take an example to understand the relationship between two clauses using conjunction:

Eg: My mother scolded me when I didn’t complete my homework.

Here, if we take out the conjunction ‘when’ we get two independent clauses “My mother scolded” and “I didn’t complete my homework”. But when we use the conjunction “when” it joins the two clauses to establish a relationship between them.

Here are a few examples to help you understand a complex sentence completely:

  • Because my food was cold, I heated it in the microwave.
  • Although she was tall, she was still unhappy.
  • As he was intelligent and ambitious, he became a Head of the department in no time. 
  • Tina was excited she got a role in the school play, even though the role was a small one.
  • After the wind storm hit the city, many trees lay broken in the streets.
  • Because it was raining, the cricket match was cancelled.  Or The cricket match was canceled because it was raining.
  • When the onions are golden brown, turn off the flame.
  • You will not succeed if you do not try.

Why are complex sentences important?

The complex sentences show a relationship between two unequal clauses or thoughts. And the overall information conveyed by the complete sentence is more valuable than the thought behind the dependent clause or two independent clauses. So the complex sentence is an efficient way of expressing useful information using different fragments in a single sentence. Instead of using many short simple sentences, complex sentences are helpful in combining different sentences into one bigger sentence. You are able to express complicated thoughts in one sentence using short parts. You can master them by practicing and you can use the online IELTS Writing Practice Tests for the same.

Let’s practice complex sentences:

Complete the sentences with the correct form of the verb:

  1. I waited for nearly an hour to be served, but my meal, _____________, was amazing.

Answer: when it arrived

  1. My sister, __________________, has decided to learn French.

Answer: who is a teacher

  1. The house _______________  she lives is opposite a big park.

Answer: In which

  1. You can go to the concert as long as you ____________ home before 11 pm.

Answer: come

  1.  If they left now, they ____________ in New York by dinner time.

Answer: would be

  1.  Had I known you were bringing your friends, _____________prepared more pasta.

Answer: would have 

Select the correct answer from the given set of words and complete the sentences:

However   whatever   whichever whoever    wherever whenever

  1. Do______________________ you want to do, just don’t come to me for advice if something goes wrong.

Answer: whatever

  1. Go ________________ you like for your vacations. 

Answer: wherever

  1. ______________________ hard I try, I still can’t get a grip on mathematics. 

Answer: However

  1. There are two shirts inside my cupboard, you can choose __________________ one you like. 

Answer: whichever

  1. My sister can help you in Biophysics, you can come to my home ______________________ you want.

Answer: whenever

  1. It’s your birthday bash, you can invite ______________ you like. 

Answer: whoever

To sum it up, complex sentences are a useful language tool to establish a valid connection between two thoughts. You can derive a complex sentence from a simple sentence too but it requires practice. 

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