Complex Sentences

Every sentence contains one main clause. A complex sentence contains one main clause and one or more subordinate (less important) clauses.

Example: Milo is happy when he rides his bicycle.

A complex sentence has an main or independent clause (a clause in a sentence that can stand on its own) and a subordinate or dependent clause ( a clause that is not a complete sentence; it cannot stand on its won). Observe the sentence below and you will notice that a dependent clause starts with so, because, since, etc.

Example: The boy is happy because he got a new bicycle.

The dependent clause “he got a new bicycle” starts with because.

A conjunction like and, or, so and but also connects two clauses.


  1. Milo likes riding his bicycle but hates roller blading.
  2. Milo rides down the hill and then around the savannah.
  3. Milo can decide to ride his bicycle around the park or across the village.
  4. A storm was coming so Milo rode is bicycle quickly.

Now, it is time for some exercises.