A complex sentence is an independent clause combined with one or more dependent/subordinate clauses using a conjunction. Whereas the compound sentence is a combination of two or more independent clauses combined with the help of a co – ordinate conjunction.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COMPLEX AND COMPOUND SENTENCE
Major difference between the compound and the complex sentence is that each independent clause holds equal importance in the compound sentences where the coordinate conjunction used to join the clauses of the compound sentence doesn’t change the rank of either of the clauses. Whereas, in the complex sentences which contains one dependent clause; the conjunction will change the type of the clauses.
Example: The basketball match was cancelled, because it was raining.
The sub ordinate conjunction, because, says why the match was cancelled. So the clause, “because it was raining “, is an adverbial clause of reason.
INDEPENDENT CLAUSE: When a sentence holds a meaning and makes sense all by its self it is an independent clause or subordinate clause
DEPENDENT CLAUSE: When a sentence doesn’t make sense all by itself without a supporting sentence, it is called a dependent clause. For example, in the above-mentioned example the second part of the sentence ‘because it was raining’ doesn’t actually makes much sense if the clause, ‘The basketball match was cancelled’ is not stated. In simple words the dependent clause gives the reason or the extra information in the mentioned statement.
As dependent clauses are part of a complex sentence, it is essential to have good knowledge about them
TYPES OF DEPENDENT CLAUSES
The subordinate clauses in the complex sentences can be an adjective clause, an adverb clause, or a noun clause.
Just like adverbs answer questions like when, why, what and where; the adverbial clauses also answer those questions. Thus this dependent clause modifies the verb.
Sometimes it is possible for the subordinate clause to appear before the independent clause in such cases a ‘comma’ must be used before the conjunction.
Example: When the food arrived, the children ate everything.
Adjective clause modifies or describes the noun in the complex sentence. Relative pronouns like who, which, that and where are used in such cases.
Example: The President chose people who would help him make good decisions.
The dependent clause ‘who would help him made good decisions’ acts as an adjective clause and modifies the noun ‘people’.
Noun clauses are the most difficult to understand in a complex sentence. Let’s try simplifying the same with an example.
Example: I believe that corruption is wrong.
A noun clause always answers the question ‘who’ or ‘what’. In the above example, the dependent clause, “that corruption is wrong”, is the object of the verb ‘think’. Objects are nouns. Here the subordinate does the work of a noun. Therefore it is a noun clause. In complex sentences the dependent clauses will not make sense on their own and hence the independent clause ‘I think’ is used.
Let’s see a few examples of Complex sentences.
- I agree that capital punishment must be abolished.
- Priya went to the fair after she smelled freshly baked coconut buns.
- After I wash the vessels, we will play caroms.
- Before you go to bed, brush your teeth.
- I will help you with your assignment if you teach me to drive the car.
- Ram and Raj play in a park, where there is a huge pond nearby.
- Earth metal puzzles are good and look tough.
- I went to the market after sunset.
When a sentence is made up of one or more independent clauses and one or more subordinate classes the sentence is called complex-compound sentence.
- Ramya cried when her dog got sick, but she soon got better.
- They asked him how he received the wound, but he refused to answer.
- He says what he means, and he means what he says.