What Makes a Complex Sentence?
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Everybody in the last lecture we looked at simple sentences and some common errors in this lecture. We are going to the next step and we’re thinking about complex sentences. So we’re looking at how we use the type of sentences which will improve your score to a band 7 level and above without complex sentences. You’re going to struggle to get that band 7. Why. Well that’s what we’re going to look out first. We’re going to think about the band descriptors again. Now a variety of complex structures you can see that above. This is an extract from the eilts task to writing band descriptives under the criteria for a grammatical range in accuracy band 6 says uses a mix of simple and complex sentence forms. Already even a band 6. You can see complexity is required. Band servando uses a variety of complex structures and if we look at band 8 uses a wide range of structures So quite simply the greater your variety of grammatical complexity the higher your score in your exam at least as long as your accuracy is also high. Okay so thinking about how to create a complex sentence. Let’s first of all think about dependent clauses. One of the best ways to improve your complexity of grammar is to use dependent clauses with independent clauses. This creates what is known as a complex sentence but what are dependent clauses. I have a dog. This is one independent clause. The idea is complete. This is like the simple sentences we were looking at on the previous in the previous lecture. I have a dog and you have a cat. Here we have two independent clauses linked by a coordinate in conjunction which is and each idea would make sense alone. I have a dog you have a cat. They both make sense. They’re linked with hand. Now here you can see a sentence which is incomplete although I have a dog. Now this is why it’s called a dependent clause. It is dependent on another part of the sentence to make sense. The idea is incomplete. It requires the addition of another clause for it to be complete. Let’s have a look at that. Although I have a dog you have a cat. Now we have one dependent clause linked with an independent clause here. The independent clause is you have a cat and these clauses are linked by a subordinating conjunction. In this case that conjunction is although now the idea is complete although I have a dog. You have a cat complex sentence so the key word here which turns this into a complex sentence is all though and this is what we call. So just mentioned a subordinating conjunction. So subordinating conjunctions are key to creating complex sentences. So we’re going to look at these here to create a complex sentence which is a sentence with at least one dependent clause. You need to use subordinating conjunctions now. There are many more of these conjunctions than you are about to see here. So I would recommend looking them up after this lecture so that you can get a little bit more knowledge on these. Ben is a subordinated conjunction. You can see that I’ve left part of the sentence. Out of this example. This just highlights the fact that the idea is incomplete. When teachers gave more discipline is clearly an incomplete idea here we need more information for this to make sense. In order to keep children from eating unhealthy food again incomplete. Although although people who live abroad face some difficulties unless unless the government imposes a congestion charge even if even if the government invested in tourism and before before moving abroad so you can see here that each one of these clauses is a dependent clause. It’s dependent on another part of the sentence to make sense. That’s what we’re going to look at now. Now our sentences make sense. Grades improved when teachers gave more discipline in order to keep children from eating unhealthy food. Advertising should be more strongly regulated. And you can read the rest these sentences in your own time if you’d like to pause the video. But what I want to focus on here is the ordering of the subordinating conjunctions. If you use subordinates in conjunction at the beginning of a sentence. In order to. Although. Or even if. As we’ve done here. Then notice we will use a comma after that dependent clause and before we begin the independent clause is very important and it’s something we’re going to return to when we think about punctuation in a later lecture. Now combining conjunctions if you want to shoot for even higher band scores moving up to not just the sevens but above seven point five eight etc. then you can think about increasing the complexity of your sentence by combining subordinating and coordinating conjunctions. For example in order to reduce crime rates the government should provide greater funding for the police and punishment should be made stricter in order to subordinating coordinating and unless emergency services are given more financial support. The number of fatalities will continue to rise even if other measures are adopted here. We’ve got to subordinating conjunctions. Fatty and sugary foods need to be taxed or regulated so that children are not tempted by these unhealthy options. Beginning with a coordinating conjunction and moving to a subordinate in conjunction so as to protect children who may be influenced by the powers of peer pressure the government must educate children about the danger of drugs and clamp down on drug abuse by minors. Now this is a very complex sentence. There’s quite a lot of things going on here. First of all we have a subordinating conjunction so as to protect children that introduces the dependent clause. This is followed by something we haven’t really looked at yet and that is a non defining relative clause which uses the relative pronoun who don’t worry about that for now. Something going going to look at later and then we have the independent clause. The government must educate children about the danger of drugs which is connected to another close by way of a coordinating conjunction and and clamp down on drug abuse by minors. Okay so a nice complex sentence here using a mixture of conjunctions. Now just to think about that purple text there who as I said this is what’s called a relative pronoun and it is something we’re going to focus on later in the course. Election 26. So be prepared for that. He’s just another way that we can improve the complexity of our grammar and therefore move ourselves up to a band 7 and above. But there’s plenty of advice here on how you can do so with complex sentences. Just remember subordinating conjunctions dependent clauses linking to independent clauses. Okay hopefully that gives you a little bit more confidence. With complex sentences and in the next lecture we’re going to take a closer look at punctuation and some common mistakes there.
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