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Learner Guide

Complex Sentences


Learning Objective: To understand what a complex sentence is and to be

                                        able to recognise them.



5th grade English tutor can help with explaining the definition of a complex


A complex sentence is a sentence made up of two different types of clauses.

It contains a main clause (a simple sentence) and a subordinate clause (a

sentence which does not make sense by itself).




The main clause provides the topic of the sentence, the subordinate clause

adds extra detail and information afterwards.



Lucy understood her work when her online tutor helped her.



This complex sentence can be broken down into a main clause or simple

sentence “Lucy understood her work” and the subordinate clause “when her

online tutor helped her”. Remember you can check if it is a subordinate clause

by seeing if it makes sense when read alone. “When her online tutor helped

her” does not make sense on its own so we know it is a subordinate clause

and so the whole sentence is a complex sentence.



Activity 1

Can you think of any examples of a complex sentence? Try and write

three below:





1. Adam was excited to go to school because he enjoyed maths.

2. Peter liked the man who was doing magic tricks.

3. Lucy only wanted chocolate if she could have milk too.



Question 1: What is a complex sentence?



(A complex sentence is a sentence made up of two parts, a main clause which

is a simple sentence and a subordinate clause which is a second sentence

but which does not make sense by itself.)

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