Transformation of a simple sentence into a complex sentence

A simple sentence can be converted into a complex sentence by expanding a word or phrase into a subordinate clause - which can be a noun clause, an adjective clause or an adverb clause.

Noun clause

He liked my suggestion. (Simple sentence)
He liked what I suggested. (Complex sentence)
His advice did not prove successful. (Simple sentence)
What he advised did not prove successful. (Complex sentence)

Note that it is usually a noun or a noun equivalent that can be changed into a noun clause.

Adjective clause

There I saw a beautiful girl. (Simple sentence)
There I saw a girl who was beautiful. (Complex sentence)
A wounded tiger is very fierce. (Simple sentence)
A tiger that is wounded is very fierce. (Complex sentence)

You can notice that it is adjectives or adjective equivalents or appositional words or phrases that are generally converted into adjective clauses.

Adverb clauses

She was too poor to educate her children. (Simple sentence)
She was so poor that she could not educate her children. (Compound sentence)
On being challenged they ran away. (Simple sentence)
When they were challenged they ran away. (Complex sentence)

You will have noticed that it is adverb phrases and adverbs that are converted to adverb clauses.


Convert the following simple sentences into complex sentences by changing the italicized words or phrases into clauses.

1. John admitted his guilt.
2. The principal is likely to punish him.
3. I have informed him of his success.
4. Alice is a said to be a good doctor.
5. His looks proclaim his innocence.


1. John admitted that he was guilty.
2. It is likely that the principal will punish him.
3. I have informed him that he has succeeded.
4. It is said that Alice is a good doctor.
5. His looks proclaim that he is innocent.

Sections in this article

Transformation of sentences - I
Transformation of sentences - II
Transformation of a Simple sentence into a compound sentence
Transformation of a compound sentence into a simple sentence
Transformation of a complex sentence into a simple sentence
Transformation of sentences containing too
Interchange of degrees of comparison
Combining two sentences using and so...that
How to combine two sentences using


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