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Complex Sentences KS2 Worksheet

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This worksheet is an excellent way for KS2 pupils to revise and practise recognising and using complex sentences. It contains examples of the writing feature and five different challenges, which can be tackled during one lesson or spread over a number of teaching sessions.

Questions encourage creative responses as well as revision, and include interesting images to stimulate ideas.

  • Understand
    Rewrite the simple sentences, adding detail so that they become complex sentences. Rewrite the sentences so that the underlined subordinate clause is in a different place.
  • Challenge
    Look at the picture and write three complex sentences based on it.
  • Test
    Choose whether the examples are complex sentences or compound sentences. Circle the independent clause and underline the subordinate clause in the example sentences.
  • Explain
    Write an explanation of the difference between simple, compound and complex sentences. Write an example for each one.
  • Apply
    Imagine that a drive home takes you through a dimly lit and mysterious forest. Write a short passage about the journey. Make it sound as spooky as possible. Use a mixture of sentence types to increase tension.

This 15-minute challenge features activities that include SATs-style questions and opportunities for creative writing responses, with eye-catching images as prompts.

What is a complex sentence?

A complex sentence consists of a main clause (a simple sentence) and one or more dependent clauses. Dependent clauses can be created via subordinating conjunctions or by using relative clauses to add extra information.

Classifying sentences as ‘simple’ or ‘complex’ can be confusing, because a ‘simple’ sentence may be complicated, and a ‘complex’ one may be straightforward. The terms ‘single-clause sentence’ and ‘multi-clause sentence’ may be more helpful.

Complex sentence examples

  • Harry, even though he knew he was going to miss it, raced towards the train.
  • Lara slowly opened the door, feeling a shiver down her spine.
  • She went shopping but took back everything she had bought because she didn’t like any of it.

National Curriculum English programme of study links

Using relative clauses beginning with who, which, where, when, whose, that or with an implied (i.e. omitted) relative pronoun.

Using semi-colons, colons or dashes to mark boundaries between main clauses.

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