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Subordination: The Complex Sentence


Complex Sentence:

       One independent clause

       One or more dependent clauses


*Use a comma after a dependent clause that is before the main clause

Ex: Because I was late, I did not eat breakfast.

I did not eat breakfast because I was late.


*A relative clause can be the dependent clause in a complex sentence.

Ex: The juice that I brought had expired.


Creating Complex Sentences:


A complex sentence combines two ideas of unequal value:

       Main idea= independent clause

       Subordinate idea= dependent clause


To Do:

       Select the subordinating conjunction that will best show the relationship between the two clauses: See page 425

       Decide where the dependent clause should be: before, after, within

       If dep. clause comes before indep. clause, set it off with a comma:


Ex: After I taught my class, I got an apple fritter at Starbucks.



Complex Sentences with Relative Clauses:


If the relative clause is necessary to the meaning of the sentence, do not set it off.

If it is not necessary for meaning, set it off.


That: The clause is necessary to the meaning of the sentence.


Ex: The soda machine that is out by the MTs often eats your money.


Which: The clause is not necessary for meaning.


Ex: It is often out of Vanilla Pepsi, which is my favorite.


Who: May be necessary or unnecessary, depending on the sentence.


Ex: The man who is standing by the car looks suspicious.

Ex: The man, who was more honest than most, lied.