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SAT (Fall 2023)

Course: SAT (Fall 2023) > Unit 11

Lesson 3: Writing: Grammar

Writing: Items in a series — Example

Watch Sal work through a harder items in a series question from the SAT Writing and Language Test.​.

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Video transcript

- [Instructor] My three favorite cities to visit are Kyoto, Japan; Barcelona, Spain; and Sydney, Australia. So the way it's written right over here is very strange because we're talking about our three favorite cities, but they're listing. When they just separate everything out here with a comma, it makes Japan look like one of the cities, and we know that Japan isn't a city, and it makes Spain look like one of the cities. It just lists Kyoto, Japan, Barcelona, Spain, but we know that Japan is just telling us what country Kyoto is in, and Spain is just telling us what country Barcelona is. And so what we really wanna do is we wanna separate Kyoto, Japan from Barcelona, Spain from Sydney, Australia. So typically when you list things you would use a comma, except when the things you're listing have commas in them. Then you would wanna use semicolons. So we definitely wanna change this. Ideally, we would put semicolons. Semicolon here, and then another semicolon right over there. Now let's see which choices do that. We already had a semicolon right over there, so we really just turn this comma into a semicolon. So, Kyoto, Japan, semicolon, Barcelona, Spain, semicolon, and Sydney, Australia. Yup, that looks great. This one has the same issue. Kyoto, Japan, Barcelona, Spain, and then they got rid of that semicolon and they put another comma, so this one is strange. Once again, it looks like it's listing more than three cities where it's counting Japan and Spain as cities. And then it says Kyoto, Japan, semicolon, Barcelona, Spain, but then they put the comma. Once we start listing things with semicolons, we can just keep listing things with semicolons. So this one is not right as well.