HiSET: Language Arts - Writing : Effective sentence combination

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for HiSET: Language Arts - Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Effective Sentence Combination

(1) Yoga is an ancient practice. (2) It is a practice that originated in India. (3) Although many modern yoga practitioners think that yoga is mostly about stretching and exercise, its origins are much more closely related to meditation and spirituality. (4) One major text that forms a large portion of what we now know about yoga is The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.  (5) Hatha is the name of one style of yoga. (6) In The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, eight different components or “limbs” of yoga are introduced. (7) Only one of these “limbs” pertains to a physical yoga practice. (8) The other seven are related to moral virtuous behavior, breathing, and inward focus. (9) Yoga was first introduced to the west in the 19th century and gained major mainstream popularity in the 20th century. (10) In the United States and around the world, a wide variety of yoga styles have taken hold. (11) A few current popular yoga styles include vinyasa, ashtanga, bikram, and many others. (12) Many of these styles are quite different from the earlier forms of yoga. (13) In fact, many of the poses in contemporary yoga were actually influenced by calisthenics done by the British army. (14) Krishnamacharya, the yogi-in-residence in Mysore, India for much of the twentieth century, combined the earlier mystic elements of yoga with movements borrowed from gymnastics and military conditioning routines. (15) Often called “The Father of Modern Yoga,” Krishnamacharya personally instructed some of the most influential teachers who then went on to establish their own styles of teaching. 

What would be the best way to combine sentences (1) and (2)?

Possible Answers:

An ancient practice that originated in India is yoga. 

Having been originated in India, yoga is an ancient practice. 

Yoga is an ancient practice that originated in India. 

Originating in India, yoga is a practice that is ancient. 

Many ancient practices originated in India, which is also true of yoga. 

Correct answer:

Yoga is an ancient practice that originated in India. 

Explanation:

This answer combines the meaning of both sentences: a) that yoga is an ancient practice, and b) that it originated in India most efficiently. The way it is written in the passage is redundant, repeating the word "practice" and utilizing the same sentence structure. Combining these sentences into one ("Yoga is an ancient practice that originated in India.") is  the most efficient way to communicate the information given in sentences (1) and (2).

Example Question #2 : Effective Sentence Combination

(1) Leo Tolstoy was a Russian author widely regarded as one of the greatest writers of all time. (2) His great works include lengthy novels like War and Peace and Anna Karenina as well as short stories, novellas, plays, and essays. (3) Tolstoy being born in 1828 in the southwest of Russia. (4) Although he had the good fortune of being born into a privileged family, his parents died while he was very young. (5) As a young man, he spent most of his time in Moscow and St. Petersburg. (6) What he was doing in Moscow and St. Petersburg was gambling. (7) In 1851, Tolstoy joined the Russian army. (8) This was also around the time that he began his writing career. (9) It might be inferred that his military service accounts for the dramatic transition from irresponsible youth to virtuosic literary giant. (10) In the 1870s, Tolstoy underwent a serious ideological shift. (11) During this period he began a dedicated study of biblical teachings and became an avid Christian pacifist. (12) Even though he was born to an aristocratic family, he believed that the aristocracy was a burden to the poor. (13) His political writings influenced much Christian anarchist thought that followed. (14) Tolstoy also became a staunch believer in the economic theory of Georgism. (15) Georgism holds that the natural resources of the land should belong to the community, rather than to a single private owner. (16) Many of these philosophies are evident in his fiction, which often includes characters who work the land and long, rhapsodic passages celebrating the natural world. 

What is the best way to combine sentences (5) and (6)?

Possible Answers:

As a young man, he spent most of his time gambling in Moscow and St. Petersburg. 

Tolstoy was a gambler, which he did mostly in Moscow and St. Petersburg as a young man. 

As a young man, Tolstoy spent time in Moscow and St. Petersburg, where many people gamble. 

What Tolstoy was doing in Moscow and St. Petersburg was gambling for most of his youth in those two cities.

Gambling was done in Moscow and St. Petersburg. 

Correct answer:

As a young man, he spent most of his time gambling in Moscow and St. Petersburg. 

Explanation:

This answer combines the meaning of both sentences without being redundant. As they are written in the passage, sentences (5) and (6) repeat the names of the Russian cities Moscow and St. Petersburg. This is an indication that they are redundant, or overly repetitive. This revision effectively combines where he was and what he was doing there without unnecessary repetition or clunky sentence structure. 

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