Complex sentences

  1. Russian and English have three types of sentences: simple, compound and complex.
  2. A simple sentence is made up of a subject and a predicate:
    subject predicate
    Наташаработает в институте.
    Онислушают музыку.
  3. A compound sentence is made up of two simple sentences joined by a conjunction:
    Мы слушаем радио и читаем газету. We are listening to the radio and reading a newspaper.
    Я работаю в Москве, а он работает в Киеве. I work in Moscow, and he works in in Kiev.
  4. A compound sentence can easily be split into two simple sentences, because each simple sentence in a compound sentence expresses a complete thought.
  5. A complex sentence combines a simple sentence, or independent clause, with a subordinate (dependent) clause using a relative pronoun or an interrogative word, like кто, что, где, чей, как, почему, as a conjunction.
    complex sentence
    main clause conj.subordinate clause
    Я не знаю, кто живёт здесь.
    Пётр не знает, где его машина.
    Сергей знает, чья это квартира.
    Ты не знаешь, почему они здесь?
    Они спрашивают, как мы говорим по-немецки.
    Они спрашивают, когда мы поедем в деревню.
  6. The main clause of a complex sentence can stand alone. It expresses a complete thought and is the essential part of the sentence.
  7. The subordinate clause is dependent on the main clause because it cannot stand alone as a complete thought.
  8. When the subordinate clause is first in the sentence, it is pronounced with intonational construction 3 (IC-3), and the main clause is pronounced with IC-1.