How to make complex sentences in IELTS- Tips and Examples

How to make complex sentences in IELTS- Tips and Examples

Updated on 18 January, 2022

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

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Complex sentences are not those which are exhausting or long-winded! They are the ones that make absolute sense despite the inclusion of multiple ideas. While learning how to make complex sentences in IELTS, students often write lengthy and indecipherable sentences. Students try to include three or four concepts and ideas into a single paragraph, resulting in incorrect sentences. In trying to do this, they also lose control over the final meaning and grammar of the sentences. 

What are complex sentences? They are sentences with two or more simple sentences joined together. 

 So, how to make complex sentences in the IELTS writing section? Let us learn now:

 Suppose we have four main ideas to articulate at the start. These can be: 

● Environmental pollution is a big issue these days. 

● Global warming is leading to severe environmental pollution. 

● Numerous challenges are arising from global warming. 

● Global warming has disastrous consequences for the planet. 

 In this case, what is your complex sentence going to look like?


Global warming creates massive environmental pollution, which is a big issue these days. Several problems are arising from global warming, and it may have disastrous future consequences. 

This is only one example. In general, use complex sentences when stating the core points and usually while starting a paragraph. They expand the main point of your essay while providing a supporting instance. The first sentence will be the one establishing the logic behind the argument and the main point. It will be a simple sentence, and the follow-up sentence will explain the first one, using and connecting both. 

The third sentence will come with an example and use phrases like for-example as tools for linking. The final sentence states the concluding argument and will be a complex sentence that connects multiple ideas. 



Complex Sentence Types and Examples

Subordinate Clause Sentences

It is an independent clause at the start, and information will automatically be logical, followed by a dependent clause. The independent clause may be Urbanization is changing rural areas, while the dependent clause may be – It helps create more trade and commerce opportunities. Now, you can bring them together in a complex sentence- Urbanization is changing rural areas since it helps create more trade and commerce opportunities

Another example could be – Pollution is taking place because of human ignorance and neglect. One more example could be – Smugglers should be imprisoned, even if it is their first criminal offense

You do not always have to insert the dependent clause after the independent clause to demonstrate your hold over grammar in IELTS. You can even start with a subordinate or dependent clause in some cases. Hence, for any of the above sentences, you can follow this format as well. An example could be: Even if it is their first criminal offense, smugglers should be imprisoned

Relative Clause Sentences

Relative clauses help to provide added details about any place, individual, or thing. They help in lowering the word count in the essay for IELTS. It will help you gain a better understanding of how to make complex sentences in IELTS Writing. 

An example could be: The destruction of the Nemo starship, which the warlords protest against, continues unabated to date

One more example could be: Automation, which takes away employment opportunities, is leading to poverty in several regions.

Remember that the clause will follow the noun, and the independent clause should function independently, possessing a verb, subject, and object. Verb agreements are necessary, both in the plural and singular forms. 

An example is- Celebrities who uphold the law get a lot of positive attention. The comma is absent after the first word in this case. Yet, there are sentences where comma usage is indispensable, i.e., Alibaug, where many holiday homes have come up, is located in the State of Maharashtra

Compound Sentences

Compound sentences connect two independent clauses with conjunctions. They include – nor, for, and, yet, or, but and others. An example would be: Urbanization is increasing rapidly, and it is harmful to rural traditions. Another example would be: Public transportation costs are the government’s responsibility, but the sector is cash-strapped.

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Complex Sentence Fusion 

If you wish to use complex sentences in further combinations, here are some more examples: 

Governments are elected for running countries and collecting taxes from all citizens, but they are often non-transparent

You can add more elements and create this sentence: Governments, democratically elected in most countries, are designed to run countries and collect taxes from all citizens, although they are often non-transparent 

You can also add the contrast angle with sentences like- Sales of music apps have increased rapidly, while the sales of audio CDs have dropped. Another example could be- Advocates of organic cultivation state that it will enhance food quality However, others feel that it will ultimately disrupt the natural growth cycle

You can also display a sense of purpose with sentences like: The shed was demolished so that another house could be built. 

Many people speak in favor of repairing and keeping classic cars because by doing this, our automotive heritage will be maintained

Concessional approaches mean sentences like- Although we are aware of the growing dangers of pollution, we end up ignoring it. Another example could be: Despite knowing about his hamstring injury, the team management still fielded him for the crucial game

Conditional approaches mean sentences like this- You won’t get a distinction in your course unless you score well in the philosophy examination. Another example could be: If the authorities had taken action quickly, the scenario could have been different

There are time-bound approaches that you can use too. An example would be: When considering the upcoming proposal, we need to list down the core pointers in advance. Another example could be: As soon as this law is introduced in the market, the entire situation will get better

Do keep an eye on how many clauses you are adding while focusing on overall readability. Complex sentences may neatly integrate into your IELTS essay and leave a lasting impression on the examiner regarding your hold over grammar and sentences. This would surely help in your study abroad or immigration fascination.

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