Sentence-Imitation Exercise: Complex Sentences

Sentence-Imitation Exercise: Complex Sentences

A complex sentence is a sentence that contains an independent clause and at least one dependent clause. This sentence-imitation exercise will give you practice in connecting independent clauses with dependent clauses using subordinating conjunctions.


Use each of the ten complex sentences below as the model for a new sentence of your own.

Original sentence: Whenever I look at a mountain, I expect it to turn into a volcano.
Imitation: Whenever I bite into an apple, I expect a worm to crawl out any minute.

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  1. The air whistled around me as I ran down the dark street.
  2. The dog hid in the bedroom and whimpered while Chris played his violin.
  3. When I was a child, I would place the covers over my head before I went to sleep.
  4. One hot summer evening, my sister and I watched in awe as bolts of lightning from a distant storm lit up the sky.
  5. "It is difficult, when faced with a situation you cannot control, to admit you can do nothing."
    (Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid, 2007)
  6. "When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth."
    (Kurt Vonnegut)
  7. "As she walked down the stairs into the club, she was looking forward to a seething, teeming, wriggling, wiggling throng of dancers."
    (Nick Hornby, Juliet, Naked, 2009)
  8. "There is love enough in this world for everybody, if people will just look."
    (Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle, 1963)
  9. "As Pecola put the laundry bag in the wagon, we could hear Mrs. Breedlove hushing and soothing the tears of the little pink-and-yellow girl."
    (Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye, 1970)
  10. "Miracles are like pimples, because once you start looking for them you find more than you ever dreamed you'd see."
    (Lemony Snicket, The Lump of Coal, 2008)