SAT Writing : Combining Sentences

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Combining Sentences

     (1) The sport of lacrosse, while perhaps not as widely popular today in the United States as baseball or football, is far older. (2) These games served many important cultural functions. (3) They were used to settle disputes between tribes, as festival events, and to train young men to become warriors and hunters.

     (4) Hundreds of men and women from rival tribes or villages would gather to play at once. (5) The playing field was sometimes several miles long. (6) The original game was very different from the organized sport played today. (7) A single game would be played from dawn until sunset, and be followed by dancing and feasting.

     (8) Modern, standardized versions of lacrosse started to be played in the 1850s and soon became very popular throughout Canada and the United States. (9) For over a century, it has been one of the most widely played sports in high schools in both nations.

Which is the best way to combine Sentences 4 and Sentence 5?

Possible Answers:

Gathering at once were hundreds of men and women from rival tribes, who played on fields sometimes several miles long.

Hundreds of men and women from rival tribes would gather to play at once and they would play on fields sometimes several miles long.

Hundreds of men and women from rival tribes or villages would gather to play at once, but the playing field was sometimes several miles long.

Hundreds of men and women from rival tribes would gather at once to play on fields sometimes several miles long.

On playing fields sometimes several miles long, gathering to play would be hundreds of men and women from rival tribes.

Correct answer:

Hundreds of men and women from rival tribes would gather at once to play on fields sometimes several miles long.

Explanation:

Simplicity is the best option here. Keep the sentence direct, eliminate redundancies, and complicate the sentence structure as little as possible. The correct answer is "Hundreds of men and women from rival tribes would gather at once to play on fields sometimes several miles long."

Example Question #2 : Combining Sentences

(1) Cowboys have long been a symbol in American society. (2) On the one hand, they represent American strength, adventurousness, and indefatigability. (3) But they also call up images of oppression, racism, and exploitation. (4) However, both of these romanticized views of cowboys betray the dull routine and everyday realities of the lives that many cowboys lived.

(5) Some cowboys worked at the same farms for much of their lives, while others periodically moved cattle from place to place without ever participating in a gun fight or being harangued by unexpected or hidden enemies. (6) Today, their figurative descendants can still be found living in agricultural areas, working hard to ensure that steady supplies of milk, meat and other agricultural products find their ways to stores and your dining room table.

Which of the following is the best option for combining Sentences 2 and 3?

Possible Answers:

On the one hand, they represent American strength, adventurousness, and indefatigability, on the other, they call up images of oppression, racism, and exploitation.

On the one hand, they represent American strength, adventurousness, and indefatigability; moreover, on the other, they call up images of oppression, racism, and exploitation.

On the one hand, they represent American strength, adventurousness, and indefatigability, because they call up images of oppression, racism, and exploitation.

On the one hand they represent American strength, adventurousness, and indefatigability on the other, they call up images of oppression, racism, and exploitation.

On the one hand, they represent American strength, adventurousness, and indefatigability; on the other hand, they call up images of oppression, racism, and exploitation.

Correct answer:

On the one hand, they represent American strength, adventurousness, and indefatigability; on the other hand, they call up images of oppression, racism, and exploitation.

Explanation:

Using a semicolon to connect the two clauses is the best option here. In the sentence's original form, the second sentence is actually a fragment because it is a dependent clause because it begins with the conjunction "but." If the period at the end of the first sentence were changed to a comma, it would be correct to use a conjunction like "but"; however, the answer choice that does this uses the conjunction "because," which suggests that the sentences are related as cause and effect when this isn't the case. Of the two answer choices that introduce a semi-colon, one adds the extraneous word "moreover"; the simpler option is the correct one.

Example Question #3 : Combining Sentences

[1] Modern ice hockey was developed in Canada during the nineteenth century. [2] Two students from McGill University came up with the first rules. [3] A couple of years later, the sport made its way to the United States. [4] The game became a part of the Olympics in 1924.

[5] I first learned about hockey during the sixth grade. [6] When I watched my first game on the television. [7] After that first game, I begged my parents to let me play. [8] They agreed, and I started playing on my first team later that year.

[9] For the first year, I was not very good. [10] I could barely skate! [11] However, after years of practicing, I finally made it on to my high school varsity team. [12] Ice hockey was first played in the United States by universities. [13] Now, as I start applying to colleges, I hope to be able to play for my college. [14] I want to continue playing to achieve my dream of playing for the United States Olympic ice hockey team.

Which is the best way to combine Sentence 5 and Sentence 6?

Possible Answers:

I learned about ice hockey, in the middle of sixth grade, and watching a game on the television.

The sixth grade is where I first learned about hockey by watching a game on the television.

I first learned about ice hockey in the sixth grade when I watched my first game on the television.

When, in the sixth grade, I first learned about ice hockey on the television.

During the sixth grade, I learned about ice hockey despite watching a game on the television.

Correct answer:

I first learned about ice hockey in the sixth grade when I watched my first game on the television.

Explanation:

As written in the passage, sentence 6 is a fragment and needs to be combined with sentence 5 to make a grammatically correct sentence. Because the writer is trying to tell us about the time he or she learned about ice hockey, "when" is the correct relative pronoun to use when combining the two sentences.

Example Question #4 : Combining Sentences

[1] The contemporary feminist movement had its origins more than two thousand years ago. [2] Because many people don’t realize it, some of the first feminists were men. [3] Early feminists such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were most concerned in achieving education and legal recognition such as property and voting rights. [4] Other early feminists avidly rejected society’s narrow domestic vision for women. [5] These feminists ranged from Jane Austen to George Eliot.

[6] Still other feminists were concerned with obtaining equal educational and employment opportunities for women. [7] In the field of medicine, there was Florence Nightingale, Clara Barton, and Margaret Sanger, in the field of education there was Virginia Woolf and Mary Wollstonecraft. [8] During the twentieth century, issues such as reproductive rights, pay equality, and protection against sexual harassment would arise. [9] Recently, men’s rights activists have been opposing the work of contemporary feminists, claiming that the movement seeks to divest men of power and oppress them for the benefit of women. [10] Thanks largely to the efforts of these courageous early feminists, women today enjoy more equal rights than at any other time in Western history.

What is the best way to combine Sentences 4 and 5?

Possible Answers:

Other early feminists avidly rejected society’s narrow domestic vision for women, such as Jane Austen or George Eliot.

Other early feminists avidly rejected society’s narrow domestic vision for women; however, these feminists ranged from Jane Austen to George Eliot.

Other early feminists, avidly rejecting society’s narrow domestic vision for women, were including Jane Austen and George Eliot.

Because other early feminists avidly rejected society’s narrow domestic vision for women, these early feminists ranged from Jane Austen to George Eliot.

Other early feminists, such as Jane Austen and George Eliot, avidly rejected society’s narrow domestic vision for women.

Correct answer:

Other early feminists, such as Jane Austen and George Eliot, avidly rejected society’s narrow domestic vision for women.

Explanation:

The combination that best preserves the original meaning of the two sentences is the one that adds Jane Austen and George Eliot to the first sentence as examples of early feminists: “Other early feminists, such as Jane Austen and George Eliot, avidly rejected society’s narrow domestic vision for women.”

Example Question #5 : Combining Sentences

1 Although vegetarianism is sometimes considered a recent phenomenon, the practice actually has roots in both ancient India and ancient Greece. 2 In Greece, being vegetarian was a way to abstain from eating ‘beings with souls,’ and vegetarianism was primarily practiced by small religious sects or certain philosophical thinkers. 3 Ancient Indian vegetarianism may have been more widespread, as it was mandatory for many Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists. 4 Buddhist scholars argue whether Gautama Buddha ever ate meat. 5 Obviously, vegetarianism is a constantly evolution practice that has changed considerably over the past several thousand years.

6 During the Middle Ages, vegetarianism remained largely outside the cultural milieu in Europe. 7 Certain aseptic religious sects may have avoided eating meat, but the practice didn’t truly gain ground in Western Europe until the Age of Enlightenment. 8 During and before that time, many people still argued that animals existed only for the benefit of humankind. 9 They were opposed by other people who thought that that was an anthropocentric viewpoint.

10 Over time, vegetarianism gradually gained diction with influential thinkers and by the twentieth century, organizations such as the International Vegetarian Union, the North American Vegetarian Society, and the Animal Aid were appearing. 11 What new form will vegetarianism take in the future?

What is the best way to combine Sentences 8 and 9?

Possible Answers:

During and before that time, many people still argued that animals existed only for the benefit of humankind, being opposed by an anthropocentric viewpoint.

“During and before that time, many people still argued that animals existed only for the benefit of humankind, although some opposed that anthropocentric viewpoint.”

During and before that time, many people were still arguing that animals exist only for humankind’s benefit; however, they were being opposed by other people who thought that that was an anthropocentrism.

During and before that time, many people, who still argued that animals existed only for the benefit of humankind, were opposed by the anthropocentric viewpoint.

During and before that time, many believed animals exist only for humankind’s benefit, however, they were being opposed by other people who thought that that was an anthropocentrism.

Correct answer:

“During and before that time, many people still argued that animals existed only for the benefit of humankind, although some opposed that anthropocentric viewpoint.”

Explanation:

The ideal new sentence would combine the two original sentences while preserving the author’s meaning and using correct conjunctions and punctuation. A correct sentence would also remove the ambiguity caused by the use of “that” in Sentence 9 and improve concision. The only sentence that accomplishes all these things is “During and before that time, many people still argued that animals existed only for the benefit of humankind, although some opposed that anthropocentric viewpoint.”

Example Question #6 : Combining Sentences

1 French high-wire artist Philippe Petit has a long history of daredevil and breathtaking performances. 2 Although none are so well known as his 1974 tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in New York City. 3 Petit made more than two hundred trips to the Twin Towers in surrogate preparation for the eminent walk. 4 Supposedly, he spent more than six years practicing on a low wire at a property in upstate New York and laying his plans. 5 He first read an article about the Twin Towers in his dentist’s office while they were still being built.

6 On August 7, 1974 Philippe Petit made the walk. 7 With the help of his tepid friends, he snuck into the buildings, strung a cable more than a quarter mile above the ground, and began the walk. 8 The buildings were still under construction. 9 The performance lasted for more than half an hour and included Petit walking, running, and even lying down on the rope. 10 Whereas Petit was arrested when he returned to the ground, the judge only sentenced him to perform for city children in Central Park. 11 After the Twin Tower walk, Petit continues to give lectures, write books, and perform everywhere from the Eiffel Tower to Niagara Falls.

What is the best way to combine Sentences 1 and 2?

Possible Answers:

French high-wire artist Philippe Petit has a long history of daredevil stunts and breathtaking performances, while being so well known as his 1974 tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in New York City.

French high-wire artist Philippe Petit has a long history of daredevil stunts and breathtaking performances, although no one knows them so well as his 1974 tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in New York City.

French high-wire artist Philippe Petit has a long history of daredevil stunts and breathtaking performances, however none are so well known as his 1974 tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in New York City.

French high-wire artist Philippe Petit has a long history of daredevil stunts and breathtaking performances, but none are so well known as his 1974 tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in New York City.

French high-wire artist Philippe Petit has a long history of daredevil stunts and breathtaking performances; none being so well known as his 1974 tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in New York City.

Correct answer:

French high-wire artist Philippe Petit has a long history of daredevil stunts and breathtaking performances, but none are so well known as his 1974 tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in New York City.

Explanation:

The only choice that preserves the original meaning of the two sentences and uses correct conjunctions and punctuation is “French high-wire artist Philippe Petit has a long history of daredevil stunts and breathtaking performances, but none are so well known as his 1974 tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in New York City.” "Although" is used to imply that something happened in spite of something else, whereas "but" is used to join two opposing ideas together, hence it is classified as a coordinating conjunction.

Example Question #7 : Combining Sentences

1 French high-wire artist Philippe Petit has a long history of daredevil and breathtaking performances. 2 Although none are so well known as his 1974 tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in New York City. 3 Petit made more than two hundred trips to the Twin Towers in surrogate preparation for the eminent walk. 4 Supposedly, he spent more than six years practicing on a low wire at a property in upstate New York and laying his plans. 5 He first read an article about the Twin Towers in his dentist’s office while they were still being built.

6 On August 7, 1974 Philippe Petit made the walk. 7 With the help of his tepid friends, he snuck into the buildings, strung a cable more than a quarter mile above the ground, and began the walk. 8 The buildings were still under construction. 9 The performance lasted for more than half an hour and included Petit walking, running, and even lying down on the rope. 10 Whereas Petit was arrested when he returned to the ground, the judge only sentenced him to perform for city children in Central Park. 11 After the Twin Tower walk, Petit continues to give lectures, write books, and perform everywhere from the Eiffel Tower to Niagara Falls.

What is the best way to combine Sentences 7 and 8?

Possible Answers:

With the help of his tepid friends, knowing the buildings were still under construction, he snuck into the buildings, strung a cable more than a quarter mile above the ground, and began the walk.

With the help of his tepid friends, he snuck into the buildings (which were still under construction), strung a wire more than a quarter mile above the ground, and began the walk.

With the help of his tepid friends, he snuck into the buildings, strung a cable more than a quarter mile above the ground, and began the walk, although the buildings were still under construction.

With the help of his tepid friends, he snuck into the buildings, being still under construction, strung a cable more than a quarter mile above the ground, and began the walk.

With the help of his tepid friends, he snuck into the buildings, which were still under construction strung a cable more than a quarter mile above the ground, and began the walk.

Correct answer:

With the help of his tepid friends, he snuck into the buildings (which were still under construction), strung a wire more than a quarter mile above the ground, and began the walk.

Explanation:

We’re looking for an option that notes that the buildings were still under construction in the same part of the sentence where the buildings are initially mentioned. Adding parentheses keeps the fact that the buildings were still under construction separate from the list part of the sentence. The clearest, most concise option is “With the help of his tepid friends, he snuck into the buildings (which were still under construction), strung a wire more than a quarter mile above the ground, and began the walk.”

Example Question #8 : Combining Sentences

1 Although many people have heard of the seven wonders of the world, most don’t know who made the original list. 2 Both Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian, and Callimachus, a scholar at the famous Library of Alexandria, composed early lists of the seven wonders. 3 Although, an extract copy of these lists has not survived.

4 Still, historians know that the original seven wonders were. 5 They included Colossus of Rhodes, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. 6 Only the Great Pyramid still exists today. 7 Ruins or evidence of five of the other wonders have been found, but the Hanging Gardens have never been located by archaeologists.

8 What do these seven wonders have in common? 9 Since ancient times, scholars have made their own lists of seven wonders of the world. 10 Some of these wonders include Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China, the Hagia Sophia, Macchu Pichu, and the Golden Gate Bridge. 

What is the best way to combine Sentences 4 and 5?

Possible Answers:

Still, historians know that the original seven wonders were; they included Colossus of Rhodes, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.

Still, historians know whether the original seven wonders were: Colossus of Rhodes, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.

Still, historians know that the original seven wonders were Colossus of Rhodes, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.

Still, historians know what the original seven wonders included: Colossus of Rhodes, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.

Still, historians know what the original seven wonders were, including Colossus of Rhodes, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.

Correct answer:

Still, historians know that the original seven wonders were Colossus of Rhodes, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.

Explanation:

The only sentence that is both concise and grammatically correct is “Still, historians know that the original seven wonders were Colossus of Rhodes, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.” Using a colon is a fine way to introduce a list, but only if the part of the sentence preceding the list is a complete independent clause.

Example Question #9 : Combining Sentences

1 Although many people have heard of the seven wonders of the world, most don’t know who made the original list. 2 Both Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian, and Callimachus, a scholar at the famous Library of Alexandria, composed early lists of the seven wonders. 3 Although, an extract copy of these lists has not survived.

4 Still, historians know that the original seven wonders were. 5 They included Colossus of Rhodes, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. 6 Only the Great Pyramid still exists today. 7 Ruins or evidence of five of the other wonders have been found, but the Hanging Gardens have never been located by archaeologists.

8 What do these seven wonders have in common? 9 Since ancient times, scholars have made their own lists of seven wonders of the world. 10 Some of these wonders include Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China, the Hagia Sophia, Macchu Pichu, and the Golden Gate Bridge. 

How should Sentences 9 and 10 be combined?

Possible Answers:

Since ancient times, scholars have made their own lists of seven wonders of the world, these are including Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China, the Hagia Sophia, Macchu Pichu, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Since ancient times, scholars are suggesting wonders of the world including: Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China, the Hagia Sophia, Macchu Pichu, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Since ancient times, scholars have suggested wonders of the world including Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China, the Hagia Sophia, Macchu Pichu, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Since ancient times, scholars have made their own lists of seven wonders of the world, these include Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China, the Hagia Sophia, Macchu Pichu, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Since ancient times, scholars have suggested wonders of the world including: Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China, the Hagia Sophia, Macchu Pichu, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Correct answer:

Since ancient times, scholars have suggested wonders of the world including Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China, the Hagia Sophia, Macchu Pichu, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Explanation:

All of these sentences contain comma splices or colon errors except for “Since ancient times, scholars have suggested wonders of the world including Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China, the Hagia Sophia, Macchu Pichu, and the Golden Gate Bridge.”

Example Question #10 : Combining Sentences

1 The history of mathematics is a long and storied one. 2 Filled with many characters and enigmas. 3 Ancient Babylonian and Egyptian texts reveal some of the earliest mathematical concepts, most involving counting and record keeping. 4 At it’s heart, mathematics represents inquiries about the nature of number and magnitude as well as form and function, some people liken the subject to quantitative philosophy.

5 Modern day mathematics involves signified amounts of creativity. 6 Mathematicians must be not only well versed in old formulas and also they must be able to think daftly and imaginatively. 7 While some scholars see mathematics solely as a useful tool to aid scientific discoveries (in physics and chemistry), most recognize mathematics’ immanent importance and beauty. 8 Some of modern-day math’s areas of investigation are game theory, chaos theory, and economics.

What is the best way to combine Sentences 1 and 2?

Possible Answers:

The history of mathematics is a long and storied one; filled with many characters and enigmas

The history of mathematics: a long and storied one, filled with many characters and enigmas.

The history of mathematics: a long, storied, and filled with many characters and enigmas.

The history of mathematics is a long and storied one, filled with many characters and enigmas.

The history of mathematics is long, storied, and filled with many characters and enigmas.

Correct answer:

The history of mathematics is long, storied, and filled with many characters and enigmas.

Explanation:

The most concise combination would be “The history of mathematics is long, storied, and filled with many characters and enigmas.” (While the following sentence is correct, it is overly wordy compared to the best answer choice: “The history of mathematics is a long and storied one, filled with many characters and enigmas.”) All the other choices are grammatically incorrect.

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