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SAT

Unit 11: Lesson 3

Writing: Grammar

Linking clauses | Quick guide

What are clauses and how are they linked?

What's on the test?

Tips and strategies

Your turn!

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  • blobby green style avatar for user jondayan
    For the first practice question, wouldn't it be tempting to glamorize working with fossils SINCE it is so boring?
    I understand that but works but not why since does not.
    (10 votes)
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    • leaf green style avatar for user stinky poopy
      I get what your interpretation means, but here it sounds more like the "daily routine" is something glamorous, when in reality, it's "heat, insects, and tedious labor", none of which are worth glamorizing.

      There's a contrast between the glamorization and the reality, which is why "but" is preferable over "since" here.
      (15 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user skumarr
    In the sentence, "Doughnuts made with yeast are light and fluffy, while those made with baking powder are denser and more cake-like," why does a comma come before "while?" Shouldn't it be removed because of the rule that states, "Independent clause + subordinating conjunction + independent clause?"
    (9 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user dewantorotriatmojo
    1
    Since she needed eggs and milk, Dolores went to the grocery store.

    2
    Dolores went to the grocery store, since she needed eggs and milk.

    Is the 2nd one correct?
    Thank you
    (3 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user ananooo
    I don't understand the sentence "Dolores went to the grocery store, where she bought eggs and milk.". where is a subordinating conjunction and as the rule says there is no need for comma. Independent clause + subordinating conjunction + independent clause
    (2 votes)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Hecretary Bird
      The subordinating conjunction here is "where". The subordinate clause here functions to describe what Dolores did after going to the grocery store, and isn't really needed to understand the main meaning of the sentence, which is just that she went to the grocery store. This makes it a nonrestrictive clause, or one that isn't necessary to grasp the main idea of the sentence.
      With nonrestrictive clauses like these, the rule is to separate them from the main sentence with a comma like exists there. If you had a sentence where the subordinate clause was necessary to understand the meaning of the independent clause, such as "Dolores went to the grocery store that she bought eggs and milk from", then you wouldn't need a comma.
      (You can always check out and ask a question in Khan's grammar course if you have further questions, there's good people in there)
      (1 vote)
  • blobby green style avatar for user ELIJAH359
    get what your interpretation means, but here it sounds more like the "daily routine" is something glamorous, when in reality, it's "heat, insects, and tedious labor", none of which are worth glamorizing.
    (1 vote)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Hecretary Bird
      That's exactly the sentence's point. It says that "it is tempting" to think about the daily routine, but then the second clause talks about how the reality of the job isn't so glamorous after all. The first part is describing the daily routine in the eyes of the public, and the second one brings in the contradictory, realistic description of fieldwork. Therefore, you need a conjunction that tells you that you're about to move to a contradictory idea, which "but" does just fine.
      (1 vote)
  • blobby green style avatar for user ems110804
    In the sentence "Dolores went to the grocery store, and she bought eggs and milk", could I leave out the second pronoun "she", that is, could I write "Dolores went to the grocery store, and bought eggs and milk"? If so, do I still need to use the comma?
    (1 vote)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Hecretary Bird
      You could indeed leave out the "she", and this would mean that you need to take out the comma. When you remove "she", you're converting your compound sentence with two independent clauses to a simple sentence with just one clause, as you're taking away the subject of the second clause. You don't need a comma because you're not connecting multiple clauses; you just have one clause describing multiple actions (going to the store and buying eggs and milk). I'm not sure, but I don't think this would show up on the SAT.
      (1 vote)
  • blobby green style avatar for user Raphael Attah
    I still don't understand the reason why "since" cannot work in the first question.
    (1 vote)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user obedience chinye
    please,i don't really understand the explanation mentioned under tips and strategies based on 'test semicolons using before and after test'
    (1 vote)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user jatin.kasaudhan30
    In the sentence, "Doughnuts made with yeast are light and fluffy, while those made with baking powder are denser and more cake-like," why does a comma come before "while?" Shouldn't it be removed because of the rule that states, "Independent clause + subordinating conjunction + independent clause?"

    What are restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses? and when do we use a comma with a subordinating conjunction and when not?
    (1 vote)
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    • female robot amelia style avatar for user Johanna
      Since "while" has two different meanings ("at the same time" and "although"), we use a comma where we normally wouldn't to clarify that we mean "at the same time".

      A restrictive clause is necessary to the meaning of the sentence and doesn't require punctuation around it, non-restrictive clauses are the opposite.

      We use a comma with a subordinate (dependent clause) when the dependent clause or when the comma makes our meanings less ambiguous.
      (1 vote)
  • blobby green style avatar for user helen.zhang
    do you need a comma before the subordinating conjunction when you’re linking 2 independent clauses with a subordinating conjunction?
    (1 vote)
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    • female robot amelia style avatar for user Johanna
      You actually don't link two independent clauses with a subordinating conjunction. "Subordinat-" indicates that one party ranks lower than another. Dependent clauses can't stand on their own without an independent clause, so they "rank" lower. We use subordinating conjunctions to link dependent clauses to independent clauses. When the dependent clause comes first (as in this sentence), you need to use a comma to join the clauses. You don't use a comma to join the clauses when the independent clause comes first (like in this sentence).

      On the other hand, every independent clause can stand by itself as a complete sentence, so they all "rank" the same. That means we use coordinating conjunctions to join independent clauses. When you're joining independent clauses with a coordinating conjunction, you do always need to put a comma before the conjunction. (I did this with the coordinating conjunction "so" in this paragraph's first sentence!)

      Does that help?
      (1 vote)