Structure: Complex Sentence Structure II
A complex sentence contains one main clause and at least one subordinate clause.
1. She bought the car even though she had no need for it.
2. He was constipated because he had eaten too much.
3. The boy whose father died has dropped out of school.
4. The tree which fell across the road caused the driver’s death because he was careless.
5. When the principal entered the class, the boy ran away because he had not paid his school fess.
Identification of Clauses
1. She bought the car – main clause
… even though she had no need for it – subordinate clause
2. He was constipated – main clause
… because he had eaten too much – subordinate clause
3. The boy … dropped out of school – main clause
… whose father died – subordinate clause
4. The tree … caused the drivers death – main clause
… which fell across the road – subordinate clause
… because he was careless – subordinate clause
5. … the boy ran away – main clause
… when the principal entered the class – subordinate clause
… because he had not paid his school fess – subordinate clause
Points to Remember
1. A complex sentence may begin with a main clause or with a subordinate clause. For instance, Sentences 1 and 2 above can also read:
- Even though she had no need for the car, she bought it.
- Because he had eaten too much, he was constipated.
2. The subordinate clause may be buried (embedded) in the main clause as in Sentences 3 and 4
1. Oral English Without Tears by I. Udoka
2. New Oxford Secondary English Course for SS 2 by Ayo Banjo et al
3. Intensive English for SS 2 by Benson O. Oluikpe et al
4. School Certificate English Language by I. Udoka