Complex Sentences – Free Exercise

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Exercises

Look at the underlined sections of the sentences and decide which type of clause they are.

  1. J’aimerais t’aider mais je n’ai pas le temps.two independent clauses connected by the conjunction mais|each clause makes sense aloneI would like to help you, but I don’t have time.
  2. Sabrina aimerait partir à la montagne alors que sa sœur préfèrerait partir à la mer.subordinate clause introduced by the conjunction alors que|the clause alors que sa sœur préfèrerait partir à la mer does not make sense without the preceding clauseSabrina would like to go to the mountains whereas her sister would prefer to go to the coast.
  3. Pierre demande au professeur s’il peut lui expliquer le théorème de Pythagore.main clause: it is followed by a subordinate clause introduced by si|this subordinate clause does not make sense without the main clause Pierre demande au professeurPierre asks the teacher if he can explain Pythagoras’ theorem to him.
  4. Nous avons raté le bus, nous devons attendre le prochain.independent clause: this clause can stand alone and still make sense|two independent clauses can be linked by a commaWe missed the bus, we have to wait for the next one.
  5. Bien qu’ils n’aiment pas prendre l’avion, Monsieur et Madame Tilleul ont acheté leurs billets pour aller visiter New York.subordinate clause introduced by the conjunction bien que|the clause Bien qu’ils n’aiment pas prendre l’avion does not make sense when it stands alone; it is dependent on the second clauseAlthough they don’t like flying, Mr and Mrs Tilleul have bought their tickets to visit New York.

Look at the underlined parts of the sentences and decide which type of clause they are.

  1. Nous devons rentrer avant que la nuit tombe.adverbial clause of time introduced by the conjunction avant que|this clause answers the question when?We have to go back before it gets dark.
  2. Marek écoute la pluie tomber sur le toit.infinitive clause used after a verb of perception (écouter)Marek is listening to the rain falling on the roof.
  3. J’ai adoré l’histoire que tu m’as racontée!relative clause introduced by que|this clause gives us more information about a noun in the main clause (l’histoire) without having to begin a new sentenceI loved the story that you told me!
  4. Les policiers auraient attrapé le voleur s’ils étaient arrivés plus tôt.conditional clause introduced by si|conditional clauses present a condition that must be fulfilled in order for the action in the main clause to take placeThe police would have caught the thief if they had arrived earlier.
  5. Les vacances scolaires ayant commencé, il y a moins de monde à Paris.participle clause with the perfect participle (ayant commencé)|these clauses have a different subject to the main clause and are separated from it by a commaWith the school holidays having started, there are fewer people in Paris.