through writing divorce decided
a lot beat partied isolated
industry celebrate occasionally vandalism
professional pregnant disappointed business
marriage beautiful fabulous imprison
COMPLEX SENTENCES AND COMMAS
In a complex sentence, there is a main clause (the main information of the sentence) and one or
more dependant clauses (which contain other information).
Where the dependant clause comes first, it is separated from the main clause by a comma. This
makes the sentence easier to read.
An example from Captain Underpants:
Whenever anything bad happened, George and Harold were usually responsible.
INSERT COMMAS INTO THESE COMPLEX SENTENCES.
Step One: Underline the main clause. This is the bit of the sentence that can stand alone as a
Hint: the main clause often starts with the subject of the sentence.
Step Two: Put a comma between the dependant and main clauses.
MORE FROM CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS
1. Over the years they had created hundreds of their own comics.
2. Luckily for the boys the secretary at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School was much too busy
to keep an eye on the copy machine.
3. So whenever they got the chance Harold and George would sneak into the office and run off
several hundred copies of their latest Captain Underpants adventure.
4. Soon the football teams took up the field.
5. But when the band began to play steady streams of bubbles began blowing out of their
FROM THE AUDACITY OF HOPE BY BARACK OBAMA
1. A few months later Time Magazine asked if I would be interested in writing an essay for a
special issue on Lincoln.
2. In between meetings I dashed off a few changes.
3. In that sense the episode hinted at a more corrosive aspect of modern media.
4. But most of the time legislation is a murky brew.
5. Not surprisingly there are activists who insist that Democratic senators stand fast against
any Republican initiatives these days.
FROM DEAD FAMOUS BY BEN ELTON
1. Having showered Dervla went to brush her teeth.
2. After a moment she allowed her eyes to flick down again.
3. By the time the show was ending and the final band was being introduced Coleridge fell
4. After David has left the room Layla did indeed take his advice and recite the poem herself.
5. Unbeknown to Dervla Woogle was actually a little hurt by her attack.
FROM HIGH FIDELITY BY NICK HORNBY
1. If I’d given Marie a questionnaire she wouldn’t have hit me with it.
2. In fact it’s so much like my place that it’s depressing.
3. When I was seventeen I used to lie awake at night hoping that women would say things like
that to me.
4. In Bruce Springsteen songs you can either stay and rot or you can escape and burn.
5. When I get there the joke’s on me: they’re not in.