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Every sentence must contain at least one main clause, though a sentence may contain two or more main clauses, and in any case may additionally contain one or more subordinate clauses.
For example, the sentence Alice wrote the letters consists of a single main clause, while the sentence Alice wrote the letters and Peter posted them consists of two main clauses connected by and, and the sentence Peter started making dinner while Alice tidied the lounge consists of a main clause plus a subordinate clause beginning with while.
A simple sentence consists of a single main clause.
A complex sentence consists of one main clause plus one or more subordinate clauses.
A compound-complex sentence consists of two or more main clauses plus one or more subordinate clauses.
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