top of page
  • Writer's pictureBri

How to Make Long Sentences in English: Tips for ESL Students

Mastering English can be a rewarding journey for ESL (English as a Second Language) students. However, one common challenge students often face is dealing with long and complex sentences. Fear not! In this article, I will give you strategies to help you manage long sentences in English effectively.

Are you studying English? Sign up for my courses and boost your language learning!

How to Make Long Sentences in English:

Break It Down

Long sentences can be overwhelming, but remember that they are made up of smaller parts. Start by identifying the subject, verb, and object. This will give you a clear understanding of the sentence's core meaning. Example: "She [subject] plays [verb] the piano [object]."

Use Punctuation Wisely

Punctuation marks like commas, semicolons, and colons can provide valuable cues in long sentences. Commas help separate ideas within a sentence, while semicolons connect closely related clauses. Colons introduce explanations or lists. Example: "I enjoy reading books, watching movies, and hiking in the mountains."

Employ Conjunctions

Conjunctions like "and," "but," "although," and "because" help link different parts of a sentence. They create connections between ideas and make sentences more coherent. Example: "I wanted to go to the park, but it started raining."

Pay Attention to Relative Clauses

Relative clauses add additional information to a sentence. Understanding how they work is crucial in managing long sentences. Example: "The book that I'm reading is very interesting."

Practice Sentence Diagramming

Sentence diagramming is a visual way to deconstruct sentences, making them easier to understand. You can find online resources and books that teach this skill.

Develop Vocabulary

Expanding your vocabulary will help you recognize and understand unfamiliar words in long sentences. Reading extensively and using vocabulary-building apps can be beneficial.

Read A Lot

Reading books, articles, and newspapers can expose you to various sentence structures. Try to read materials that match your language proficiency level.

Listen Actively

Listening to native speakers can improve your comprehension of spoken long sentences. Engage in conversations, watch English-language movies, and listen to podcasts.

Seek Feedback

Ask for feedback from teachers, native speakers, or language exchange partners. They can help you identify areas for improvement.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Like any skill, managing long sentences in English improves with practice. Write essays, create sentences of your own, and revise them. The more you practice, the more confident you'll become.

Now, let's take a long English sentence and break it down step by step:

Long Sentence:

"The diligent student, who had been studying for months, finally completed the challenging research paper, which required extensive reading, critical analysis, and careful citation of sources, and then submitted it to the professor, who was impressed by the depth of knowledge and the quality of writing, ultimately awarding the student an A+ grade."


Subject: "The diligent student"

Main Verb: "finally completed"

Direct Object: "the challenging research paper"

Relative Clause (1): "who had been studying for months"

  • This clause provides additional information about the student.

Coordinating Conjunction: "and"

List of Activities (within the relative clause):

  • "required extensive reading"

  • "critical analysis"

  • "careful citation of sources"

  • These activities further describe what the research paper involved.

Relative Clause (2): "which required extensive reading, critical analysis, and careful citation of sources"

  • This clause provides more details about the research paper.

Coordinating Conjunction: "and"

Verb Phrase: "then submitted it to the professor"

  • Describes the action taken after completing the research paper.

Relative Clause (3): "who was impressed by the depth of knowledge and the quality of writing"

  • Provides information about the professor's reaction.

Verb Phrase: "ultimately awarding the student an A+ grade"

  • Describes the final action taken by the professor.

By breaking down this complex sentence into its constituent parts, you can see how it is constructed and better understand the relationships between its elements. This approach can be helpful for ESL students when dealing with long sentences in English.

Learn some useful vocabulary to help you understand long and complex sentences:

Looking for more intensive English courses? Become a Premium Studio Member to become a more confident English speaker.

Don't Forget:

Mastering long sentences in English is an achievable goal. Remember to break down sentences, use punctuation and conjunctions wisely, and practice regularly. Embrace reading and listening as valuable tools for improving your language skills. With time and dedication, you'll navigate the maze of long sentences with ease, unlocking new opportunities for effective communication in English. Keep learning, and soon, you'll be a proficient English speaker!


bottom of page