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Complex Sentences
Year 7 Sentence Starters
Icons key:
For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation
Flash activity. These activities are not editable.
Extension activities
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Web addresses
Teacher’s notes included in the Notes Page
Accompanying worksheet
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Contents
Simple sentences
Compound sentences
The subordinate clause
Relative and adverbial clauses
Writing complex sentences
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Complex sentences: Simple sentences
Simple sentences
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Different types of sentences
Hi Max, do you want to
revise with me for
Friday’s sentence test?
Yeah sure Megan. I want to
test my knowledge to make
sure that I score 100%...
Well I want to do well
too. I’m going to become
a famous novelist, so I
need good writing skills.
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Simple sentences
Let’s quickly recap basic sentences…
Can you remember the differences between simple and
compound sentences?
Simple sentences contain a subject, a verb and an object.
Simple sentences make sense on their own, e.g.
I
like
tea.
Subject
Verb
Object
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Subject, verb, object revision
Read the sentences below:
1. John loves television.
2. My brother eats worms.
3. Norman picks his nose.
verb
subject
object
Decide which words are the verbs, subjects and
objects in the sentences.
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Complex sentences: Compound sentences
Compound sentences
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Compound sentences
Now let’s revise compound sentences…
Compound sentences are simple sentences which have
been joined together by the conjunctions: or, and or but.
I like tea. I like coffee.
These are two simple sentences.
They can be joined to form
a compound sentence:
I like tea and I like coffee.
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Simple and compound sentences
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Complex sentences: The subordinate
clause
The subordinate clause
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The subordinate clause
Now we need to understand the
tricky part – complex sentences...
Look at the three sentences below:
1. Mr Farrell, who is our English teacher, always gives
great lessons.
2. Liverpool, which is where I live, is an amazing city.
3. I hate my woolly jumper that my granny bought for me.
Compare the sentences without the highlighted words…
1. Mr Farrell always gives great lessons.
2. Liverpool is an amazing city.
3. I hate my woolly jumper.
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Do the extra words
make any difference?
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The purpose of the subordinate clause
1. Mr Farrell, who is our English teacher, always gives
great lessons.
2. Liverpool, which is where I live, is an amazing city.
3. I hate my woolly jumper that my granny bought for me.
The extra words provide us with additional
information about the subject, verb or object…
They tell us that…
Mr Farrell is an English teacher
the speaker lives in Liverpool
the jumper was bought by the subject’s granny.
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Types of clauses
The sentence below is a complex sentence.
Mr Farrell,
Farrell,who
who
whois
is
isour
our
ourEnglish
English
Englishteacher,
teacher,
teacher,
always
always
always
gives
gives
gives
great
great
great
lessons.
lessons.
The main and most important idea in the sentence is called
the main clause. This makes sense on its own.
The additional information is called the subordinate clause.
This clause would not make sense on its own.
When the subordinate clause splits the main clause down the
middle, commas are used to show the boundaries between
them.
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Spotting different clauses
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Complex sentences: Relative and adverbial
clauses
Relative and adverbial
clauses
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Complex sentences
Okay, so a sentence with a main clause
and a subordinate clause is known as a…
complex sentence
e.g. John walked by the canal that was full of barges.
main clause
subordinate clause
Do you know what sort of word ‘that’ is?
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The functions of subordinate clauses
Subordinate clauses can be used for different purposes:
Relative clauses are used to provide more detail about
nouns. They are introduced by the relative pronouns
who, which and that.
e.g.
The food that we ate on holiday was delicious.
Relative clauses are used in the middle or at the end of
sentences.
Adverbial clauses describe the verb in more detail. They are
introduced by adverbs such as slowly, before, happily, etc.
e.g.
Before starting work, Roger fed his pet cat.
Adverbial clauses can be used anywhere in the sentence.
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Adverbial and relative clauses
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Complex sentences: Writing complex
sentences
Writing complex sentences
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Different types of sentences
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Writing complex sentences
Look at the picture of Megan. Write five
complex sentences using subordinate
clauses. Use these details:
name: Megan
owns: a pet tarantula called Mogg
species: Mogg is a Chilean Rose
wears: hooded tops, patterned tights and
boots
hair colour: red
ambition: to become a writer.
Remember: introduce relative clauses with relative
pronouns and adverbial clauses with adverbs.
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Using simple, compound and complex sentences
Let’s recap when to use simple, compound
and complex sentences…
Simple and compound sentences are useful to be brief:
in emergency instructions
to teach young children
for someone who can’t read much English.
Complex sentences are useful to be descriptive:
to explain something in detail
to be precise about what you are describing
to keep your reader interested.
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