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SAT

Unit 11: Lesson 3

Writing: Grammar

Writing: Conventional expression — Example

Watch Sal work through a harder conventional expression question from the SAT Writing and Language Test.

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  • blobby green style avatar for user Aditya Santoki
    For the new SAT or, for that matter, even the PSAT this week, can someone provide a list of the common expressions we should know, so we don't just rely on our intuition when answering these questions. Thank You!
    (30 votes)
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  • male robot donald style avatar for user Mo Al Juboori
    What if you get an expression that you're not familiar with? Because I'm sure that not everyone taking the SATs is English or American!!
    (21 votes)
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    • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user Emily
      one reason that people get conventional expressions wrong is because they have heard the right version and some of the words sound very similar to another combination of words which means close to but not quite the same thing. In this question, the word that could be changed is in. If you look at which of the words in the answers look phonetically similar, over and of probably wouldn't get confused with each other or any of the other potential answers phonetically. However and and in could be phonetically confused with each other and this might lead you to narrow down your choices between in and and.
      (2 votes)
  • leafers ultimate style avatar for user Arbab Alam
    Why would "of" be incorrect? I see it flow better. I would be happy if someone does.
    (12 votes)
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    • mr pants teal style avatar for user Zoya Atiq
      Because there's only one ring.
      If the sentence said 'one __ the same kind', then 'of' would be correct since it would mean that there are two or more rings of the same kind and that great grandma's is one of them.
      E.g. One out of ten
      (17 votes)
  • piceratops tree style avatar for user li.mic
    Who else has never heard of this conventional expression?
    (12 votes)
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  • ohnoes default style avatar for user TriQuang
    I've never heard of "one and the same before" I had only heard "one of the same"?
    (12 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user Suraj Poudel
    Couldn't it be one "of" the same ?
    (3 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user Ashley Springer
    The explanations of these 'conventional expression' questions are ridiculous. There is no real strategy to help you here; the explanations are always something along the lines of 'this one is right because it sounds right, and the others are wrong because they sound wrong.' It's not Sal's fault, it's just the nature of the question type: you either know the idiom or you don't. Don't stress about these too much, and spend your time getting the grammar rules down cold. The best way to get better at idioms is really just to read books, but that's a lifelong endeavor!
    (3 votes)
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  • aqualine seedling style avatar for user svarona
    I'd really appreciate if there was more questions to practice this skill. I've done SAT practice for 2 consecutive months (non-stop) and the same questions appear every time I get on to practice more. Don't get me wrong... It serves to emphasize certain grammar rules over and over again, but I'd really like if I could challenge myself more.
    (2 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user abdullahbinmasood312
    why is the answer not "one of the same"?
    (1 vote)
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  • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Rodham Patel
    Thank you for the deeper understanding, Sal! Also what if we didn't know the expression and it came in SAT?
    (1 vote)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Hecretary Bird
      To be honest, the best thing would just probably be to guess and move on. If you don't know the common expression or idiom in the first place, it probably won't come to you later. These types of questions are part of the reason why general reading is important for the SAT. If you're worried, you could always look up a list of common expressions and go through them to find ones you may not have seen before; I'm sure there's some list that someone's made out there.
      (2 votes)

Video transcript

- [Instructor] Interpol's Works of Art division confirmed that my great-grandmother's wedding ring and the ring stolen from the British royal treasury in 1918 are one in the same. All right, so this is interesting. They've underlined the word in. And this expression, one in the same, is sometimes something that you might hear, but it's actually the incorrect expression. The correct expression is one and the same. One and the same. And it's just an expression people use. It's kinda to be extra redundant, I guess you could say, 'cause to say that they are one and to say that they are the same, well, you're saying the same thing over and over, but it's kinda making their clear. They are one and the same. This is an expression. This is the conventional expression that you will hear people say. So this in should be and. And this one is a pretty hard one because of how often these two expressions are confused, one in the same and one and the same. People will hear someone say, "One and the same," or hear them say it really quickly, "One and the same," and then it sounds like they said, "One in the same." And then that person will repeat, "One in the same," and then a lot of other people think that the expression is one in the same. But one in the same, if you think about it, just doesn't make a lot of sense. It's like having one thing in the same thing. So just remember that that just, it's a little bit strange. The correct expression is one and the same. So we definitely don't wanna leave it the way it is. One and the same. One of the same, well, that's not the expression. And one over the same, that's not it for sure as well.