What are the uses of complex sentences

Complex Spanish sentences

(Special features of compound sentences in Spanish)

Table of contents - complex sentences

On this page you will find:

  1. Complex sentences
  2. Positions of the partial sentences
  3. Matching topics and exercises

What are complex sentences in Spanish?

There is in Spanish as well as in German complex sentences (in Spanish: oración compleja) - in this respect the two languages ​​differ little. A complex sentence means a compound sentence that consists of several sub-clauses and thus also contains several conjugated (finite) verbs. Compare the possibilities:

  • A compound sentence can consist of two main clauses (What are main clauses?). In Spanish, however, this is not considered a good style and should therefore be avoided. It is better to separate the two main clauses with a semicolon or a period:
    • “Pedro jugaba al tenis, y Montse bebía café en el bar.” (Pedro was playing tennis and Montse was having coffee at the bar.)
      • A point could be used to form two separate sentences, which shows better style in Spanish.
  • On the other hand, in a complex sentence there can also be a main clause in combination with one or more subordinate clauses (What are subordinate clauses?):
    • "Os doy un poco de dineropara que podáis ir al cine." (I'll give you some money so you can go to the movies.)
      • Here a subordinate clause supplements the main clause.
    • “Me acuerdo bien de la historiaque me contastecuando estuviste aquí.” (I remember well the story you told me when you were here.)
      • In addition to the main clause, the complete clause has two subordinate clauses.

What should you watch out for in complex Spanish sentences?

As a rule, the various sub-sentences can flexibly change their positions in the complex sentence, just like in German. The main clause or the subordinate clause can often be at the beginning. However, there is one essential difference with regard to the separation. In some cases commas must be used, in others not. The Spanish commas give details. Now compare the sentence order:

  • Most of the time, the positions of the individual sub-clauses can be exchanged so that the main or subordinate clause can lead the compound sentence:
    • "No me gusta nadalo que mi profesora me ha dicho." (I don't like what my teacher said to me at all.)
      • Here the main clause is at the beginning.
    • "Lo que mi profesora me ha dicho, no me gusta nada." (I don't like what my teacher said to me.)
      • And here the subordinate clause comes first.

Explanations related to the subject of “complex Spanish sentences”

The following explanations and exercises, which could also be interesting and helpful, fit the topic of "complex sentences (oraciones complejas) in the Spanish language":