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Trying to construct a math-like means for my English students to understand sentence structure. Need to indicate: "A compound sentence consists of 2 Independent Clauses and 1 OR MORE Dependent Clauses."

The final "formula" will look like: Cp = 2IC + 1 (NEED THE SYMBOL FOR "OR MORE" HERE) DC

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Maybe Cp = 2IC + (DC >= 1) –  Gnawme Aug 5 '13 at 17:37
    
Or CS = (n>1)IC + (n>0)DC. A Compound sentence may have more than 2 IC. –  StoneyB Aug 5 '13 at 17:44
    
Borrowing from regular expression syntax: DC{1,} –  JeffSahol Aug 5 '13 at 17:45
    
Compound sentences can consist of just two independent clauses joined by a conjunction or semicolon. I think you are trying to describe a compound/complex sentence. –  bib Aug 5 '13 at 17:53
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Probably a bad idea. (Unless these are technically inclined students trying to learn English.) Instead write it in words. –  GEdgar Aug 5 '13 at 17:56

2 Answers 2

I agree GEdgar's comment that for the sake of clarity, explaining what you mean in plain, simple English would generally be best. But to answer your question, you might want to consider a superscript plus, perhaps replacing the other plus with something else to avoid confusion:

Cp = 2IC + 1+DC

Cp = 2IC + 1+DC

Cp = 2IC, 1+DC

Cp = 2IC, 1+DC

Or possibly use a greater than or equal to symbol:

Cp = 2IC + n≥1DC

Cp = 2IC + n≥1DC

You could use just the greater than or equal symbol, but with a plus this looks pretty weird:

Cp = 2IC + ≥1DC

This is much better:

Cp = 2IC, ≥1DC

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I like your superscripted '+' idea; after all, "N+" is informal for "N or more," such as is found in the phrases "3+ grams of fiber per day"; "4+ years of experience desired"; or "10+ assists per game." Of course, a plain '+' doesn't work well in a math equation, but the superscripted + fixes that nicely, I think. –  J.R. Aug 5 '13 at 20:08

I would suggest using notation that implies you're adding a quantity of DC that exists in the set of natural numbers. Your equation would look something like this:

Cp = 2IC + DC * a∈ℕ

Where a is any number in the set of natural numbers.

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