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SAT

Unit 11: Lesson 3

Writing: Grammar

Writing: Subordination and coordination — Example

Watch Sal work through a harder subordination and coordination question from the SAT Writing and Language Test.

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  • mr pink orange style avatar for user nur aktar
    what is groovy mean in this sentence?
    (2 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user Sam Williams
    using anything other than "but" wouldn't make sense.
    (15 votes)
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  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user Cordie
    Is it best to look over the other answers you are given, and figure out why they're wrong, even if you are confident in your answer? Thanks!
    (7 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user Pritam
    what are the difference between coordinating and subordinating conjuction?
    (1 vote)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Hecretary Bird
      Coordinating conjunctions join two independent clauses, or complete thoughts. Both of these clauses have an equal relationship in the sentence. For example, in the sentence:
      Usnavi was dragged to the mall yesterday, and he spent all of today ranting about it
      The two clauses both have an equal importance, and this is a compound sentence. The coordinating conjunction "and" puts an equal focus on both ideas mentioned.
      On the other hand, subordinating conjunctions make one clause dependent on another. They'll place the main focus of the sentence on one idea, rather than both of them. Take the sentence:
      Usnavi was psyched to go to the ball, although he'd never been to one before.
      The first clause is independent, and the subordinating conjunction although adds on the second, subordinate idea.
      The difference is a bit on the subtler side, and of course you won't need to know this for the purposes of the SAT.
      (11 votes)
  • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user Adarsh Mulupuru
    What if you get a question like this and multiple answers feel right?
    At , why does Sal rule out other choices?
    (2 votes)
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    • starky tree style avatar for user Aakash Krishna
      If multiple answers feel right, then eliminate what you can and see if you can manage to work it out. Worst case, guess. There's no penalty for it.

      Sal rules out the other choices at because we're providing contrast by using the word "but". The other options indicate that there is a direct relation between using the word "groovy" and being cool, while "but" indicates that using the word "groovy" is the opposite of being cool.

      Hope this answered your question.
      (6 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user Amer Esmail
    In many examples of the subordination and coordination section, you have actually put a comma before "because" and other subordinating conjunction. I thought that when a conjunction other than FANBOYS or "while" (in some cases) comes in the middle of the sentence, we need NOT to use comma, but it seems I am wrong. Can you please explain when to put comma before "because" and other subordinating conjunctions?
    (4 votes)
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  • starky sapling style avatar for user Aaron Izaguirre
    As long as the word "but" is being used right there should be no change needed right?
    (2 votes)
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  • mr pants pink style avatar for user Mystery girl
    how would you know the right pronoun or grammar to use in the sentence?
    (0 votes)
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    • leafers tree style avatar for user Kaviiks
      It might be a bit late to answer but I'll still do so anyway. These types of questions have you take into account what the sentence is trying to communicate to a reader. The second clause of the sentence states "how groovy can he be if he still uses the word groovy" in order to suggest that the person's grandfather is using an outdated word (and therefore is not "groovy"). We will use this second clause in conjunction with the first to answer the question.

      Choice B offers "because" as a replacement, which does not make sense. This sentence is more along the lines of compare-and-contrast. The speaker is comparing his grandfather's persuasion to be in contrast to the present-day, a time period in which "groovy" is almost never used. The word "because" indicates some kind of cause-and-effect meaning is at play, which is not the case.
      Choice C offers the word "meaning" which is also incorrect because it suggests that the second clause of the sentence is clarifying something (i.e. I told him x, y, z, and yadayadayada, meaning that I do <insert something simple here>). There is nothing to be clarified.
      Choice D offers "since" which does not make sense either. The word "since" is mildly synonymous with "because" in the sense it implies some kind of cause-and-effect undertone, which is already established to be nonexistent.
      Therefore Choice A is correct. No change is necessary.
      (5 votes)

Video transcript

- [Instructor] My grandfather often tries to persuade me that he is still groovy, but how groovy can he be if he still uses the word groovy? I actually like the way that that's written because they're saying, my grandfather often tries to persuade me that he is still groovy, that means kind of cool for those of you who might be too young to know what groovy means, but that's a good point. But how groovy can he be if he still uses this word groovy? So I like that, this but it's kind of turning the tide on the first part of the sentence. And that's why you would use a but. So I'm leaning toward no change, but let's feel good that we can rule out the other choices. My grandfather often tries to persuade me that he is still groovy because how groovy can he be if he still uses the word groovy. Well because implies that the grandfather does this thing because of this thing. So because of how groovy can he be that's the reason why he tries to persuade him or his granddaughter, or his grandson that he's still groovy. No, that doesn't make sense. My grandfather often tries to persuade me that he is still groovy, meaning how groovy can he be if he still uses the word groovy. No, that also doesn't make sense because meaning would mean that there's some type of clarifying that is going on of the first part of the clause and that's not what's going on here. You actually have kind of an opposition to the first clause. It's kind of contradicting it a little bit. It's like, how groovy can he be if he still uses the word groovy. And that's why but is a really good thing there. My grandfather often tries to persuade me that he is still groovy since how groovy can he be if he still uses the word groovy. So once again, since kind of draws a natural cause and effect. Since this this is happening. But it isn't since how groovy can he be if he still uses the word groovy. That's not somehow causing him to persuade his grandchild that he's still groovy. So this also doesn't feel right at all. I really like this. These two clauses are kind of in opposition. They're kind of contradicting, they don't contradict but this second clause opposes the first one in kind of a fun way. It turns the tide back on it by using the word groovy in and of itself. So it's actually just a fun sentence. So I'm gonna actually fill in the answer, don't wanna forget filling in your answer.