Students should already be familiar with:

  • parts of speech

  • simple sentence structure

  • linking words

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What Are Clauses?

Before we get into relative clauses, condition clauses, and more, it's a good idea to explore exactly what a clause is.

Understanding clauses helps you avoid a lot of mistakes; it also allows you to create complex sentences.

 
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Printout

coordinating conjunctions diagrams

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Slideshow

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Bonus Notes

e.g.: Run-ons are not necessarily long; they're just missing conjunctions

 
 
 
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Relative Clauses

Relative clauses let you put additional information together in one sentence and can improve the flow of your speech or writing.

Here's an overview of how non-defining Relative Clauses are used, as well as 4 steps to creating them.

 
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Printout

steps to forming relative clauses

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Slideshow

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Bonus Notes

e.g.: Use whose for possession.

 
 
 
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Adverbial Clauses

Time Clauses, Clauses of Purpose and Result, Concession Clauses, Condition Clauses, and all the rest have a lot in common with Prepositional Phrases!

 
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Printout

Subordinating Conjunctions

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Slideshow

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Bonus Notes

e.g.: ‘essential’ refers to meaning, not structure.

 
 
 
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Condition Clauses

These sentences combine possible condition clauses with result clauses; they express the cause and effect together (whether real or unreal).

 
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Printout

table of conditionals

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Slideshow

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Bonus Notes

e.g.: use a comma only when the condition clause precedes the result

 
 
 
 

Technically, Indirect Speech involves complex sentences, so you should check out that series as well!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Related Project

Writing Prompts:  A great way to improve writing is by crafting complex sentences throughout.

See all writing prompts.