Complex and Compound-Complex Sentences

May 22, 2021

Definition: A complex sentence is made up of one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses.

Before we arrived at school, we met up at the coffee house across the street.
We met up at the coffee house across the street [independent]
+ before we arrived at school (dependent)
= complex sentence
(Before we arrived at school),[we met up at the coffee house across the street.]

Clara, who has an incredible voice, was asked to sing the school song.
Clara was asked to sing the school song [independent]
+ who has an incredible voice (dependent)
= complex sentence
[Clara, (who has an incredible voice), was asked to sing the school song.]

The book that I had found disappeared after Julia returned it to me.
The book disappeared [independent]
+ I had found that (dependent)
+ after Julia returned it to me (dependent)
= complex sentence
[The book (that I had found) disappeared] (after Julia returned it to me.)

Definition: A compound-complex sentence has two or more independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses.

My father and I went to the movie that I had been wanting to see, and then we went to the restaurant near the theater.
My father and I went to the movie [independent]
+ then we went to the restaurant near the theater [independent]
+ I had been wanting to see that (dependent)
= compound-complex sentence
[My father and I went to the movie] (that I had been wanting to see), and [then we went to the restaurant near the theater.]

Before they were friends, Louisa and Julie knew Aimee, but they didn’t realize that they knew her until they met.
Before they were friends (dependent)
+ Louisa and Julie knew Aimee [independent]
+ They didn’t realize [independent]
+ that they knew her (dependent)
+ until they met (dependent)
= compound-complex sentence
[(Before they were friends), Louisa and Julie knew Aimee], but [they didn’t realize (that they knew her) (until they met).]


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