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    #1

    Complex sentences

    This morning I took a writing test and was interviewed by an English teacher.
    She said that I had quite good speaking and writing skills but I still only used simple sentences, and I needed more complex sentences as well as complex ideas(?).

    Could you please explain to me what are complex sentences and ideas?
    Also could you show me the way to achieve that?

    Thank you in advance.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Complex sentences

    Quote Originally Posted by Pepperoni Papaya View Post
    This morning I took a writing test and was interviewed by an English teacher.
    She said that I had quite good speaking and writing skills but I still only used simple sentences, and I needed more complex sentences as well as complex ideas(?).

    Could you please explain to me what are complex sentences and ideas?
    Also could you show me the way to achieve that?

    Thank you in advance.
    A complex sentence is one with subordinate clauses, such as: "This morning I took a writing test and was interviewed by an English teacher who said that, while I had quite good speaking and writing skills, I still only used simple sentences."

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Complex sentences

    Quote Originally Posted by Pepperoni Papaya View Post
    This morning I took a writing test and was interviewed by an English teacher.
    She said that I had quite good speaking and writing skills but I still only used simple sentences, and I needed more complex sentences as well as complex ideas(?).

    Could you please explain to me what are complex sentences and ideas?
    Also could you show me the way to achieve that?

    Thank you in advance.
    I assume that she meant that you use relatively basic structures and (perhaps) vocabulary, although you use them well.

    I will give an example, though please note that I am exaggerating the basic nature in the first example:

    1) I am John. I am from England. I like football. I have two brothers. I live in a big house. My dog is called Rover. I want to be an astronaut.

    2) My name is John and I am English. I live in a big house with my two brothers and my dog, Rover. I am a football fan and I would like to be an astronaut.

    3) I'm John and I'm English. At the moment, I live in a huge house with my two brothers and we also have a great dog called Rover! I love football but in the future I want to be an astronaut.

    3) I'm John and I hail from beautiful England. Home, for me, is a rambling great house where I have to share my space with my two very annoying brothers, but also with our fantastic hairy hound, Rover! My current passion is football and I have lofty ideas about my future - in later life, I'd love to become an astronaut.


    I think you'll agree that these paragraphs differ in complexity from the fairly basic structures you would expect from a beginner, to a much more complex paragraph, with more extensive vocabulary, longer sentences and much more description.

    It's easy, once you're comfortable with a language, to stick to what you know! You'll be easily understood and people will be impressed that you can hold a conversation in a foreign language. However, if you want to improve, then making things more complicated for yourself is a good start! When you read English, make a note of structures which you understand but which you are unlikely to use yourself by choice. Study them, write a few examples of your own and then try to use them the next time you have a conversation.

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