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The comma is a small mark, but it is perhaps the most important punctuation in grammar. Despite that, comma confusion is one of the most common grammatical problems that students face. This blog attempts to help students with proper comma usage. Short Summary (TL;DR)Comma Usage:
1. The PauseCommas, commas, commas. They often are a source of confusion. How do you use without getting lost in grammatical jargon? Thanks to Patricia T. O’Conner's book on grammar, Woe is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English, commas can easily be understood. We let her tell you about them in her own words: "When you talk, your voice, with its pauses, stresses, rises and falls, shows how you intend your words to fit together. When you write, punctuation marks are the road signs (stop, go, yield, slow, detour) that guide the reader, and you wouldn’t be understood without them. "If you don’t believe me, try making sense out of this pile of words: Who do you think I saw the other day the Dalai Lama said my Aunt Minnie. "There are at least two possibilities: "Who do you think I saw the other day?" the Dalai Lama said. "My Aunt Minnie." "Who do you think I saw the other day? The Dalai Lama!" said my Aunt Minnie." "Punctuation isn’t some subtle, oldfashioned concept that’s hard to manage and probably won’t make much of a difference one way or another. It’s not subtle, it’s not difficult and it can make all the difference in the world. 2. Separate the Parts of SpeechIf you get commas right, you will get most of your punctuation right. How do we use them? Long and short division Use a comma to separate big chunks (clauses) of a sentence with and between them.
If there’s no 'and' in between, use a semicolon instead:
Use commas to separate a series of things or actions.
In a series, you can leave out the comma before "and". It’s just a matter of taste. 'And' can also be thought of as a separator, a break, so a comma often is unnecessary. 3. Comma with Subjects and their VerbsWith few exceptions, a comma should not separate a subject from its verb. Incorrect: My friend Amanda, is a wonderful dancer. Writers are often tempted to insert a comma between a subject and verb this way because speakers sometimes pause at that point in a sentence. But in writing, the comma only makes the sentence seem stilted. Correct: My friend Amanda is a wonderful singer. Be especially careful with long or complex subjects: Incorrect: The things that cause me joy, may also cause me pain. Correct: The things that cause me joy may also cause me pain. Incorrect: Navigating through snow, sleet, wind, and darkness, is a miserable way to travel. Correct: Navigating through snow, sleet, wind, and darkness is a miserable way to travel. 4. Comma After IntroductionsIntroductory Clauses
Introductory clauses are dependent clauses that provide background information or "set the stage" for the main part of the sentence, the independent clause. For example:
Introductory phrases Introductory phrases also set the stage for the main action of the sentence, but they are not complete clauses. Phrases don't have both a subject and a verb that are separate from the subject and verb in the main clause of the sentence. Common introductory phrases include prepositional phrases, appositive phrases, participial phrases, infinitive phrases, and absolute phrases.
Introductory words (SHFM) Introductory words like however, still, furthermore, and meanwhile create continuity from one sentence to the next.
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N.B: SAT Subject Test Math Level 2 Question
Question
What is the sum of the roots of the equation?
\[(x  \sqrt{2})(x^2  \sqrt{3x} + \pi) = 0\]
(A) 0.315
(B) 0.318 (C) 1.414 (D) 3.15 (E) 4.56
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Question:If there are known to be 4 broken transistors in a box of 12, and 3 transistors are drawn at random, what is the probability that none of the 3 is broken?
(A) 0.250 (B) 0.255 (C) 0.375 (D) 0.556 (E) 0.750
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N.B. This is for SAT Subject Test Math Level 2 Problem:What is the sum of the infinite geometric series:
6 + 4 + 8/3 + 16/9 + ... ? (A) 18 (B) 36 (C) 45 (D) 60 (E) There is no sum.
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ProblemIn April of 2004, d dogs and c cats lived in an animal shelter. If 4 cats arrived at the shelter in May of 2004 and the ratio of dogs to cats remained unchanged, in terms of c and d, how many dogs arrived at the shelter in May of 2004?
(A) 4 (B) 4d/c (C) d/c (D) d^2  4d (E) (2cd + 4d)/c
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Question:
N.B: This question is for SAT Subject Test Math Level 2
\[if \ log_a 5 = x \ and \ log_a 7 = y, \ then \ log_a \sqrt{1.4} = \]
(A) (xy)/2
(B) x/2  y (C) (x + y)/2 (D) (y  x)/2 (E) y/(2x)
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The following problem appeared on the SAT.
A cubic box with edge of length x inches is tied with a string 106 inches long. The string crosses itself at right angles on the top and bottom of the box. If the bow required 10 inches of string, what is the maximum number of inches x could be? 1. Write an equation based on this information. 2. Solve the equation for x.
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The figure above appeared in a problem on an SAT exam. All of the triangles are congruent, the area of the shaded region is 84, and the area of square ABCD is 100.
1. What is the area of one of the triangles? 2. What is the total area of the entire figure?
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Question
What is the solution set for the above equation?
A) {5} B) {20} C) {−5, 20} D) {5, 20}
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QuestionA car is traveling at x feet per second. The driver sees a red light ahead, and after 1.5 seconds reaction time, the driver applies the brake. After the brake is applied, the car takes x/24 seconds to stop, during which time the average speed of the car is x/2 feet per second. If the car travels 165 feet from the time the driver saw the red light to the time it comes to a complete stop, which of the following equations can be used to find the value of x?
A) x^2 + 48x − 3,960 B) x^2 + 48x − 7,920 C) x^2 + 72x − 3,960 D) x^2 + 72x − 7,920
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Question
\[ (x^2 + bx  2)(x + 3) = x^3 + 6x^2 + 7x 6 \]
In the equation above, b is a constant. If the equation is true for all values of x, what is the value of b?
A) 2 B) 3 C) 7 D) 9
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QuestionMaizah bought a pair of pants and a briefcase at a department store. The sum of the prices before sales tax was $130.00. There was no sales tax on the pants and a 9% sales tax on the briefcase. The total Maizah paid, including the sales tax, was $136.75. What was the price, in dollars, of the pants?
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Question2y + 6x = 3
y + 3x = 2 How many solutions (x, y) are there to the system of equations above? A) Zero B) One C) Two D) More than two
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QuestionA voter registration drive was held in Town Y. The number of voters, V, registered T days after the drive began can be estimated by the equation V = 3,450 + 65T. What is the best interpretation of the number 65 in this equation?
A) The number of registered voters at the beginning of the registration drive B) The number of registered voters at the end of the registration drive C) The total number of voters registered during the drive D) The number of voters registered each day during the drive
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QuestionThe stratosphere is the layer of the Earth’s atmosphere that is more than 10 kilometers (km) and less than 50 km above the Earth’s surface. Which of the following inequalities describes all possible heights x, in km, above the Earth’s surface that are in the stratosphere?
A) x + 10 < 50 B) x − 10 < 50 C) x + 30 < 20 D) x − 30 < 20
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QuestionBarite is wellknown for its great range of colors and varied crystal forms and habits. It is an immensely popular mineral among collectors. A chemist is investigating a new reaction to synthesize barite crystals. She finds that eight grams are synthesized every five minutes. If there are 111 grams of barite after an hour, how many grams of barite did the chemist start with?
A) 0 B) 8 C) 15 D) 71
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How to Model Anthropology on the new SAT1/10/2017 Question:
An anthropologist proposes that the change in a certain population can be modeled by the expression
\[ \sqrt{9x^2}  7x \]
If x is positive, this expression is equivalent to which of the following statements?
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QuestionIsabella and Tom drive from the same location at 9:46 AM. Isabella drives north with a constant speed of 65 km/h, and Tom drives south with a constant speed of 77 km/h. At what time will Isabell and Tom be 639 km apart?
A) 1:16 PM B) 2:16 PM C) 3:30 PM D) 4:30 PM
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Question:The square of a negative number is decreased by 14. The resulting number is 5 times the original number. What is the reciprocal of the original number?
A) 1/2 B) 1/4 C) 1/5 D) 1/7
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Question:A Marine Biologist's Day in Maine
Lucy is up by eight in the morning. [1] By nine she's out the door. She'll be on the beach by nine thirty, but Lucy isn't headed out to tan; Lucy is a marine biologist. She got her PhD last year, and she's now doing postdoctorate research on the coast of Maine. She meets the other researchers out by the tide pools. They're focused this month on the effects of an [2] intrusive green crab population that has been harming the balance of the coastal ecosystem. [2] A) NO CHANGE B) encroaching C) invasive D) infringing
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Question:When Amelia goes cliff diving in Bali, her height above the water can be modelled by the function f(t) = 2t^2 + 4t + 30, where t represents time in seconds. How long, in seconds, does it take for Amelia to hit the water?
A) 3 B) 4 C) 5 D) 6
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Directions: Select the answers to the questions that most effectively improve the passage's writing quality or that adjust the passage to follow the conventions of standard written English. Questions:Hamilton's Essential Contribution to the United States' Economy
[1] Of all the Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton's contributions to the establishment of the United States' economy were unparalleled. A trusted advisor of George Washington during the Revolutionary War, Hamilton spent a lot of time thinking about what kind of government the new country needed. He studied European economies and governments, and maintained that strong federal power was necessary for the nation's survival. [2] You many not know that when delegates convened in 1787 to create a Constitution for the new country, Hamilton was active at the Convention and instrumental in the Constitution's ratification. He convinced states to approve it through speeches and the influential Federalist Papers which he coauthored. [1]. A) NO CHANGE B) Even among those of all of the Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton's contributions to the establishment of the United States' economy C) Alexander Hamilton's were the greatest, the contributions of all of the Founding Fathers D) Alexander Hamilton, more than any other contributions to the establishment of the United States' economy, [2]. A) NO CHANGE B) I have heard that when delegates convene C) When delegates convened D) Posterity remembers that when delegates convened
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How to Find Slopes on the New SAT11/21/2016 Question:If f(x) = 2x + 2 is a linear function, which of the following is true for 4f(x)?
A) The slope is four times steeper than f(x). B) The slope is four times less steep than f(x). C) All values of x are four times greater than f(x) for the same values of y. D) The slope changes, but the yintercept remains the same as f(x).
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Question:
Given a polynomial p(x), the value of p(3) = 2.
Which of the following must be true for p(x)? (A) x  5 is a factor of p(x). (B) x  2 is a factor of p(x). (C) x + 2 is a factor of p(x). (D) The remainder when p(x) is divided by x  3 is 2. 