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How to Make Complex Sentences In IELTS: What is Complex Sentence With Example

Updated on 27 February, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

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. Let us find out more about complex sentences in IELTS Writing task.

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

How to Make Complex Sentences in IELTS Writing Section

 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.

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ielts sample essays

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 – norforandyetorbut 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.

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

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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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How to Write Complex Sentences in IELTS

How to make complex sentences in IELTS? This question hovers in the mind of every aspirant preparing for the IELTS exam. To deal with this question, a candidate must know the answer to the question ‘what is a complex sentence?’ Complex sentences are nothing but two or more simple sentences joined together in different combinations to serve a purpose. It is important to use a mix of both complex and simple sentences in your writing as well as speaking tasks. In doing so, you will be showcasing your grammatical range which would enable you to achieve a good band score. It is also to be kept in mind that along with grammatical range you need to be good with punctuation as well. Punctuation will help you deliver a meaningful sentence.

Many people confuse complex sentences with sentences that make use of advanced vocabulary which is not the correct approach. In an actual sense, the complex sentences are cohesive and informative. These sentences speak volumes about the depth of knowledge a candidate encompasses.

Complex Sentence Structure

Complex sentences make use of sophisticated devices to join subordinate (dependent) clauses with a main (or independent) clause.

There are three main ways to construct complex sentences by joining the clauses and these are as follows:

  • By making use of relative pronouns – that, which, who, whose. For example, I bought a pen the color of which is black
  • By using conjunctions (subordinating) – while, as, where, when, until, before, because, although, unless, since, whenever, if, through, etc. For example, You will excel in your task only if you work hard
  • By making use of verb structures verb forms like gerunds (-ing verb form) or an infinitive verb form such as to go, to become, to see. For example, It is very risky to drive on road during the rainy season

The following activity will help you get a stronghold of the topic in concern i.e., complex sentences:

  • Start by identifying the sentence structure and its components like the subordinate clause and the independent clause
  • Take two simple sentences and convert them into a compound sentence
  • Do the above exercise by taking several sentences in question and constructing a single complex sentence
  • Make your sentence an interesting one by adding adjectival clauses to describe the nouns 
  • Modify the verb using adverbial clauses to make the sentence more appealing

Now that you know the role of complex sentences in IELTS Writing section, you should also acquire information on IELTS essays, vocabulary, spellings, etc. Below are some important resources you can check out to better understand the 2024 IELTS exam preparation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a complex sentence?

A complex sentence is made up of two or three simple sentences to expand an idea or a situation. They are of different types, for example, relative sentences, compound sentences, subordinate sentences, and conditional sentences. Various words used in complex sentence construction include commonly used conjunctions (unless, and, whereas) and relative pronouns( that, who, which). They form an important aspect of the IELTS writing task to showcase the grammatical range.

How to make complex sentences in IELTS writing?

Complex sentences are formed in many different ways using conjunctions like so, and, yet in case of compound sentences or using relative pronounces such as who, which in case of relative sentences or using subordinate conjunctions such as because, while, whereas, although. Provided below are some of the complex sentence examples are as follows: 

  • If all the nations adopt renewable sources of energy then the menace of air pollution can be curbed.
  • If the people from that region had taken the warnings of the impending storm seriously then many lives would have been saved.

How to make complex sentences in IELTS speaking?

Constructing complex sentences is relatively easy and it also gives you a chance to showcase your grammatical range. The use of complex sentences helps you in getting the desired band score. 

  1. To make complex sentences, knowledge of various conjunctions (simple or subordinate), and relative pronouns become important.
  2. Start with constructing complex sentences that are not hard to understand. 
  3. Memorize some important conjunctions and use them in your daily conversations.
  4. Accuracy is equally important and plays an important role in scoring good bands.

How to use complex sentences in IELTS?

A complex sentence has two components; an independent clause and a dependent clause. You should keep a few points in mind while using complex sentences. 

  1. There needs to be a mixture of simple and complex sentences 
  2. Accuracy plays an equally important role when you are showcasing your grammatical range, therefore a good idea of the usage of punctuation is important. 
  3. There has to be a variety in the complex sentence construction by incorporating subordinate pronouns, relative pronouns or simple conjunctions, etc.

Given below are some of the complex structure examples for IELTS:

  1. Because his work was structured and organized, it was easier for him to meet the target set by his team leader.
  2. The driver crashed into the house after the car lost its balance.

What are five examples of complex sentences?

Five examples of complex sentences are as follows:

  1. The content delivered by the writers was the same as I expected.
  2. Some nations have relaxed the COVID restrictions while others struggle with rising cases.
  3. Although there is a warning issued on the cover of cigarettes on cancer yet some people continue to smoke.
  4. Plastic Pollution has adversely affected the marine ecosystem but no serious action is taken by mankind to prevent it.
  5. Heatwave warnings have been issued in some states as the temperature soared high.

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