Is the GED Test Hard? Answer: Yes and No. If you prepare for the GED Test, you’ll be able to pass it. Watch the video below.
Is the GED Test Hard? [Video Transcript]
Man 1: When defining words found in a text, often words have a definition that is more than the dictionary definition. So we can say the words have two definitions, the denotative meaning, and connotative meaning. The denotative meaning is the literal meaning of the word. So basically, if you are wondering what the word meant and it’s the denotative meaning, then you can just look up the word in dictionary. And the dictionary definition would describe the meaning of that word. However, the connotative meaning of the word often involves the emotional reaction the word may invoke. It depends on the reader’s associations they may make with that word. So it goes further in the denotative meaning. And so, denotative meanings are generally used in non-fiction works. Whenever in a non-fiction work the writer isn’t trying to be flowery or use figurative language, so the actual definition of the word is what the word means in that context. However in fiction works, the connotative meaning of a word is often meant. So it’s important the readers learn to differentiate between when a connotative or denotative meaning is being used. And so the reader can usually determine by the context clues whether the author is using the denotative or connotative meaning of a word.
Every piece of writing should have a logical conclusion. And it’s your job as the reader to identify that conclusion, mainly for the purpose of helping you to understand whether you agree with the writer or not. Because you don’t want to just read a piece of literature, you want to analyze it. So one step in that process to better understanding it is identifying the conclusion to know whether you agree with the writer or not. So now, I wanna talk about how to identify that conclusion. So you are going to need to infer a lot or make an inference. And to infer something just means to take what you already know and combine it with something else to draw a conclusion. So it’s pretty self-explanatory. And so what you are going to have to do is you are going to have to combine two things. What you already know, what the info or the information found in the text. So I am going to draw a double arrow there because to make an inference, you are pulling these two things together, everything you find in the text, any pre-knowledge you have. And you are pulling that together to draw a conclusion. And generally, a conclusion should be obvious. If a writer does a good job in their writing, then the conclusion should be easily identifiable. Otherwise, you may draw a conclusion that is not the conclusion the writer had in mind. But never the less, it’s important that you as the reader analyze the writing and identify the logical conclusion.
When it comes to summarizing text, you need to be able to state the main point of the story. So a summary is just stating the main point of a story. So you’re reading an entire story and then you’re just taking the important things and writing about that. If you’ve ever looked at the back of a book, you will see a summary on the back of a book. And so there’s a whole book and maybe a hundred or two hundred pages but the author summarizes it on the back of the book so you get an idea of what it’s about. So that’s what you are trying to do through a summary. So there’s four main points, you should remember when writing a summary. Focus, like I already said, on the main idea of the story. Focus on the key points. In other words, you are not worried about little details. You are worried about the important things that contribute to the overall story line. The third point, focus on the conclusion of the story. Because in most stories, there is some kind of problem. The whole plot is based around some kind of problem throughout the story. And eventually, that problem is resolved. And so that happens in the conclusion of the story. So look at the conclusion of the story and talk about that too in your summary. So you are going to be talking about the main idea of the story, the key points, the problem, maybe a little bit about the main character and then talk about the end of the story and how that character ended that dealing with his or her problem.
Then the fourth point is kind of a longer one. Focus on important information the author wants the reader to know. So throughout the story, you may notice certain points that the author really wants the reader to understand. And so look for that important information and include that in the summary as well. And so summary is typically one paragraph in length. So it’s not very long because it does not need to be long because you are not focusing on details. You are just focusing on the overall story. And so remember, again, you are looking for important information. And so we’re not interested in details. Try not to even think about the details, just look for the main idea of the story. Now in some cases, you might be writing a summary for a long story with multiple settings and scenes. And so a summary may be a few paragraphs in length. And these paragraphs give the main points of each major part of the story. And so the summary of a long story always includes a conclusion to wrap up the story as an entirety. So like I said, the summary is usually going to be one paragraph but if it’s really a long story, it has lots of different settings, lots of different scenes, lots of different problems throughout the plot, you may need to write a paragraph for each main point or major part of the story. And then for that summary, you are going to write a few paragraphs and then you are going to write a conclusion that’s going to kind of summarize that whole story. And so only make a summary longer than one paragraph if you feel like you cannot include all the important information in one paragraph. So again, a summary states the main point of a story.
In some circumstances, it’s important to be able to synthesize text. So what we are going to do is we are going to read the story and then we are going to work on synthesizing or paraphrasing it. So we will get to that in a minute but first let’s read the story. So Emmanuel went swimming in the lake by his house, where the water reached a depth of 20 feet in the middle. He did not venture out more than six feet into the water, however. So now we want to paraphrase this, which means stating the author’s ideas in the reader’s own words. So what we are doing here is kind of like a summary. And in fact, you may have already thought, oh, that’s how it’s just like summarizing it. But it’s a little bit different. Because a summary typically involves including the main points of a longer text, such as a novel or a full story. Well, this is not a full story and it’s definitely not a novel. It’s just a couple of sentences. So when you paraphrase, you’re taking a couple of sentences or an entire paragraph and you are including the main point of the text being reviewed because that’s what the reader needs to know about the text. So in this example up here, the reader needs to know that Emmanuel went swimming in the lake but not more than six feet out. Those are the important points. It’s not really important the reader understands that the water reaches a depth of 20 feet. So we want to focus on the main points here. To kind of summarize it, but in other words just take a couple of sentences and state it in our words. And so in this case, a good paraphrase would be Emmanuel went swimming six feet out in the lake by his house. Emmanuel went swimming six feet out in the lake by his house. So that’s a paraphrase of this up here. We are just taking the main points, taking those points and expressing them in our own words. And so this right here incorporates the main points that the audience needs to know.
Woman 1: Drafting a Thesis Statement. A thesis statement expresses the main idea of a composition. It should encompass every idea, detail, and argument in that one thesis statement. It should all relate in some way to the thesis. So your thesis isn’t going to list out all of your arguments and details that you are going to have in your composition but it should relate in some way to all of them. A thesis can be kind of tricky because you want it to be general enough to encompass everything that is going to be your paper. But specific enough that the reader knows what your main idea is. It should be a short declarative statement. But it should not be vague. It needs to be specific. It can’t just be a general subjective sentence that doesn’t really tell the reader what’s going on. The thesis statement should suggest the content of the rest of the piece, so the audience knows what to expect. And if you are too vague, the audience isn’t going to know, what to expect. So you have to be specific without being too specific and general without being too general.
So I will give you a few examples, so you can see how to balance these things and draft an effective thesis statement. The principal is basically a nice guy. It tells you the principal is nice but there are lots of things you could talk about that would make the principal a nice guy. This is a pretty vague statement. So let’s improve upon that. Let’s get more specific and give the reader more of an idea of what the content of your piece is going to be. The principal’s policies demonstrate his care for students. So now, the reason we think he is a nice guy is because it’s obvious that he cares for his students based on his policies. So we are not talking about the principal being a nice guy because he coaches little league or he just says hi to you in the hallway. It’s because he has policies at school that shows that he cares about his students. So this is an effect thesis statement. This is a good one. This one is too vague. We have to get more specific.
So let’s look at another example. Dogs are good pets. Well, not everyone is going to think that. But at least, if you give them more information, they may see your side of things. Saying dogs are good pets is still really vague. You need to get more specific. Why do you think they’re good pets? But don’t get too specific because you want your main idea to be in your thesis statement but you don’t want all these supporting details to be there. You want to save those for the body of your paper. So let’s look at this as if this is an ineffective thesis statement example. Changing dogs are good pets which is still too vague to something more effective. Because of its sense of loyalty, its ability to be trained and its good companionship, a dog is the perfect pet for me. Now, this thesis does actually tell you what your main sub-topics are probably going to be. You probably have a body paragraph talking about a dog sense of loyalty. Another one talking about how easy they are to train. And another one about how they are good companions. This kind of thesis statement is also okay because it gets specific but not too specific. It tells what your sub-topics are going to be, what your supporting overall ideas are going to be but it doesn’t get into every detail and argument that you are going to present in your composition. So this would be another good example. So one of the main things to remember when writing a thesis statement is to include the main idea of your paper, let the reader understand what they should expect from the rest of your paper. But don’t be too vague or too specific. Try to focus on a short declarative statement that tells the overall idea of your paper without giving it all away.
Drafting body paragraphs. Body paragraphs should follow the thesis statement of a composition. And this is both in the order they are written and all the body paragraphs are going to support the thesis statement. You want to supply supporting ideas, details, and arguments in your body paragraphs. And many writers chose to start with the body paragraphs. And this is because they know what they want to write about or they, at least, have some ideas. But maybe they don’t have their thesis in mind yet. They haven’t refined a thesis statement yet. So many writers will write out all of the body paragraphs first. They’ll get their ideas down on paper and develop a thesis statement from that, which works out perfectly because your body paragraphs are supposed to follow and support the thesis and the thesis statement is supposed to encompass all of your body paragraphs.
Each paragraph that is a body paragraph should express a single supporting idea. You shouldn’t have multiple supporting ideas in one paragraph. Pick a main supporting idea and then give more details about that one. Back up that one single supporting idea within that body paragraph. Usually, you will find the supporting idea at the beginning of the paragraph. The writer will let you know right away what their supporting idea is that they’re presenting in that body paragraph. Now sometimes, the writer will save it for the end of the paragraph as a dramatic gesture or it might be in the second sentence if the first sentence was used as a transition between body paragraphs. But usually, you will find your single supporting idea spelled out for you in the beginning of a paragraph. However, all sentences is in the body paragraph should support both the main idea of that paragraph and the thesis statement of the essay as a whole.
So whenever you are writing your body paragraphs, every sentence should still be supporting that main idea, that single supporting idea of the paragraph. And it should be backing up your thesis statement. Now your thesis statement was supposed to be broad enough encompass everything that you are going to write about. So your body paragraph should be able to support your thesis statement without specifically restating it. And each body paragraph should not repeat the thesis statement. You don’t want to repeat your thesis statement over and over throughout your paper. What you want to do is state your thesis statement in the introductory paragraph. All your body paragraphs should be supporting that thesis with details. And then in your conclusion, you don’t want to repeat the thesis statement but you want to echo it. You want to give your readers a final reminder of what it was that you were writing about, what’s your main idea was. So the thesis should simply be developed, expanded and refined in the body paragraphs. The body paragraphs are simply there to do that. They’re the body of the essay. They’re the meat of it. That’s where you’re getting all your details from. The thesis tells you what you’re going to be writing about. The body paragraph is where you’re actually writing it. You’re giving all those details. So most of your information is going to be found in your body paragraphs. So just remember, when you’re drafting body paragraphs, get your supporting ideas in there. But stick to one single supporting idea per paragraph and make sure that every supporting idea is supporting that main thesis statement.
Drafting conclusions. Many writers find the conclusion the most difficult part of the essay to compose. Because they, there’s this expectation that it has to be profound and inspiring, something magical. But it doesn’t have to be all of that. It should avoid simply restating the thesis statement. You don’t want to hear the same sentence again you heard in your introductory paragraph. But it should suggest some ideas or questions that were raised by the proceeding text. Maybe your conclusion brings up a different idea that could be elaborated on for a future essay. Or a question that really makes the reader think about what they have just read. A good conclusion will remind the reader of the thesis, remind them of the thesis without restating it, by providing some applications, questions, or possible counter arguments. So the writer may tell you how you can use this information in the future. What application does it have for your life? They could pose an interesting question that makes you really think about what you just read or a counter argument. Perhaps they say, well maybe, I am not really right after all. Maybe it’s this way. And then that really throws you for a loop because you just read their whole paper that supports their thesis. And now they’re saying, well maybe not. So that would really leave a lasting impression on you, I think, because you’ve just read this whole paper about one topic and they’re telling you oh, but maybe it’s this way. Which leaves you open to questioning it, thinking about it and maybe you want to go do some research yourself after that.
A good conclusion should indicate how the reader should think about the subject in the future. So maybe it doesn’t change your mind about a particular issue completely. But whenever this issue comes up later, this essay should come to mind. You should think about, oh, I remember I read that one thing in that essay and it really struck home with me and I remember that now. Or well, I didn’t know about this before but after reading this essay, I know about this one thing and it affects the way I feel about the issue. The conclusion should be memorable. So we talked about how it doesn’t have to be super inspiring but it should be memorable because it’s the final impression that your reader is left with. It’s the last thing they are going to read before they are done reading your composition. So you want it to be memorable. So here are three different ways that you might do that without making it some awe-inspiring work. Many writers save a fascinating detail and anecdote or short story or a quote for the end of their paper. So your conclusion could have some fascinating detail. Maybe you saved one thing that you found in your research that you felt was really cool and it supports your thesis statement really well. And you saved it for the conclusion because you want your reader to remember that detail. Or maybe you found a little story or thought up a little story that would support your thesis. And you include that or maybe there’s a famous quote out there. Hearing or reading a famous name makes you think, oh, they said something that supports their thesis. Ooh, let me read that and remember that. Let me think about that again.
So these are three tricks that you can put in your bag for helping you compose a successful conclusion, one that will be memorable and leave a final impression on your reader. When you are drafting conclusions, don’t stress about making it this magical inspirational thing. You might succeed, you might get a magical inspirational conclusion. But not all of them are going to be that flowery. They are not all going to work out that way. They may just support your thesis statement without restating it. And let the reader know how they should think about this subject in the future. You want to leave a lasting impression and three ways to do that would be with a fascinating detail, an anecdote or a quote. So definitely remember these three tricks to keep in your bag.
Man 2: The five-part essay is an effective way to convey an argument to the reader or persuade the reader to take a certain action. There’s two main ways to do a five-part essay. So let’s take a look at those ways. First way, you are going to start out with an introduction. In the introduction, you are going to have your thesis statement which is basically explaining what your essay is going to be about. The rest of the essay is going to further explain that thesis statement. Then the second section is the narrational. In the narrational, you are going to give the reader some background information, some additional information to help them understand your thesis statement better. Then you have the affirmation. In the affirmation, you are going to give facts, data and details that are in support of your thesis statement. So anything that supports your thesis statement, you are going to put in affirmation. Then you have the negation. This is where you put forth arguments that are against your thesis statement. And when you present an argument against your thesis statement, you can do one of two things. One, you can offer a rebuttal that takes away the credibility of the argument or you can just concede and say, I understand. This argument is a very good one and it may very well be true. Then you have the conclusion. This is basically a lot like the introduction. You are going to have the thesis statement again, maybe worded a little bit differently. And you are going to tell the reader what you told them. You are going to kind of wrap it up.
Now the second way to do this is again you are going to start with introduction, have the thesis statement in the introduction. Now in this way of doing the five-part essay is instead of having the three different type of body paragraphs or body sections, this is the body, here you are going to have basically a three-part thesis statement. A thesis statement is going to have three main facets to it. So in each paragraph, you are going to explain a different facet of the thesis statement. So if the thesis statement lists three main arguments, in this paragraph you are going to talk about the first argument. This paragraph, you are going to talk about the second argument. And in this paragraph, you are going to talk about the third argument. Then the conclusion basically sums up the points and restates the thesis but restates it maybe a little bit differently. Not word for word. Now, this different differs from a five paragraph essay. And that in a five paragraph essay, it’s just what it sounds like. Five paragraphs. The introduction’s one paragraph, the body paragraphs take up three paragraphs and the conclusion is one paragraph. So the whole essay is five paragraphs. Where in this case, in the five-part essay each of these points merely indicates a section of the essay. So the introduction could be several paragraphs depending on how much information you have or the affirmation. If you have a lot of good information supporting your thesis, you could put several paragraphs for your affirmation.
And finally, a good way to remember how to setup a five-part essay is first, you are going to tell them what you are going to tell them. That’s the introduction. Then you are going to tell them and that would be three middle sections. And then finally for the conclusion, you are going to tell them what you told them. After determining your own opinion and evaluating the credibility of your supporting text, it is sometimes necessary to communicate your ideas and findings to others. So that’s when writing a response to a text comes in. And the purpose of writing a response to the text is to communicate your ideas and findings to others. So I wanna look at some of the supporting evidence that you can use when writing your response to the text. It’s important that when you are writing this response that you don’t just put in your own opinions, but you also put in facts from the text. So some of the things you can put in there are facts, details, statistics and direct quotations. So what you want to do is look in the text and find things like this that you think will back up your arguments. Because you’re communicating your ideas and findings to other people, so you want to find the best way to communicate those ideas and findings. So look for facts, details, statistics and direct quotations to back up your ideas and findings.
So what you need to do is take info from the original text, which is all this up here, take that info first and then based on all of your discussion, arguments, and defense, offer this information from the text. Notice the difference here when not using supporting evidence. So consider like we’re not even using all this. And you’re discussing your ideas, you’re discussing your findings. You’re arguing your findings, you’re offering a defense for your findings and ideas. Well, why should the reader trust you? That’s where it’s important to have the supporting evidence when writing a response to the text.
Man 3: There are two primary uses for the semicolon in the English language. The first is to separate two closely related independent clauses within a sentence. If you use a semicolon, there is no need to include a coordinating conjunction such as And. The second use for semicolon is to separate items in a list when the items are long and complicated or contain internal punctuations such as comma. Ordinarily you would use a comma to separate items in a list. But if the items contain commas within them, it may be confusing to separate the items with a comma. So that’s when the semicolon comes in. Here we have one example sentence for each usage. In this first one, we have two independent clauses separated by a semicolon. So each of these clauses could stand on its own as a sentence but we have chosen to combine them into a single sentence. And we do so with a semicolon.
It’s properly a semicolon in a sentence because the two phrases ‘I went to the doctor’ and ‘he told me I had the flu’ are very closely related to one another. Hearing that you have the flu is a direct result of going to the doctor. You would not, for instance, be able to use a semicolon in a situation where your two clauses were, I went to the doctor, I scored a 99% on my exam. Because they are not related in the same way that these are. So in order to use a semicolon to separate two independent clauses, the two clauses must be very closely related to one another. The second example was items in a list. So as you can see here, we’ve got three items and they are city, state combinations. So recall the proper way to list out cities and states is city, state. So each item has an internal comma. So it could be confusing to try to separate them with commas. So the proper usage in this instance is to use a semicolon to separate each of them. So these are the two primary usage for semicolons in English.
Man 4: Parenthesis are punctuation marks that serve two main purposes: to set aside material that is not necessary and to indicate that a word can be singular or plural. Let’s take a look at the first use. In this sentence it says last week a tornado came through our town (which is not common), destroying many homes. Now which is not common, which is in parenthesis is not necessary to the meaning of the sentence. In fact, we can just take this phrase right out and it even, wouldn’t even change the meaning of the sentence. Take a look at what I mean. Last week a tornado came through our town destroying many homes. You know, when you take this phrase out it doesn’t make any difference to the sentence. Parenthesis just show that these words have additional information. If you as a writer want to write something down, you want to add a little tidbit to what you are saying to give the reader even more information, you can put the information in parenthesis.
But that lets the reader know that that information is not central to the message you are trying to convey. And make sure that anytime words are put into parenthesis, make sure that you can read that sentence without the words in the parenthesis even there. Make sure that it still makes sense. So always practice reading your sentence. So say I wrote this sentence out as practice. Last week a tornado came through our town, skip what’s in the parenthesis and say, destroying many homes. That makes perfect sense. So I know that I am good. Another instance when you would use parenthesis is if you’re doing some kind of more formal writing. So say I wrote Representative Nancy Pelosi, I would put in parenthesis that she is a Democrat from California. That’s additional information. You don’t have to know that, but I want to add on that tidbit of information.
Now, the second main use for parenthesis is to indicate that the word can be singular or plural. The reader in this case does not know which applies more to the reader, the singular form of the word or the plural form of the word. So take a look at this. Pretend this is from a car wash. It’s a flier and it says we will wash your car. And then in parenthesis, it has an S. Because the car wash doesn’t know whether you have one car, two cars, or even more. So they put S in parenthesis and the reader then determines which applies more to them, the plural form or the singular form. So remember that parenthesis have two main functions. Know what those functions are and remember that parenthesis are always worked in pairs. You wouldn’t just put one parenthesis right there and leave the other one out. You need two because they enclose information inside of them.
Organization is very important in a paper because it helps the reader follow the writer’s train of thought. So there are several types of organization and some of those I’ve written up here on the board. The important thing is, is that the writer picks a method of organization and sticks with it through the entire paper. So the first method of organization is spatial organization. So say I was describing a room. I would describe everything on the floor, then everything on one wall and moving clockwise, describe each wall and then describe the ceiling. I wouldn’t describe the couch and then a painting on one wall and then a picture on another wall and then discuss the recliner on the floor. I would focus on one area of the room before moving onto the next area. Another way to organize a paper is through cause and effect. You can talk about something that’s going on and the effect of that or talk about several causes and several effects. You can also compare and contrast. So you’re talking about two or more things. Talk about how these things are alike and how these things are different.
Another way is through chronological order. So you could talk about the series of events. This is great if it’s step by step instructions. You wouldn’t start with something and start talking about it and then say, oh, before you do this, make sure you do this. You would start at the very beginning. You are talking about a recipe, you’ll talk about this is the first ingredient, then the second ingredient, then the third ingredient. So that can be very good. Or if you’re talking about someone’s life, you would start when they were born and move all the way till where they are currently or until death. If you’re talking about series of events, it’s best to give the background information first and work up to today. So chronological order can be a great method of organization. Classification and division. This is like talking about things that are very general and then getting more specific. And then problem and solution. You can talk about a problem and then the solution to that problem or some possible solutions to that problem. So these are just some basic ways to organize a paper. There are other methods out there and there are some that you can kind of come up with on your own. You would have to find them. You just naturally know this is the best way to organize my paper. But the important thing is find one way to organize your paper and stick with it. Don’t jump around between different methods of organization.
Woman 2: Fragments and run-on sentences. A fragment is an incomplete sentence or thought that cannot stand on its own. And it can’t stand on its own and is incomplete because it’s missing either a noun or a verb. So let’s look at some examples of fragments. The beautiful blooming daisies in my yard. Now this is a lot of information. The beautiful blooming daisies in my yard. But you have your noun, some adjectives to describe it, an article adjective and then you’ve got a prepositional phrase that tells you where they are. But you’re missing something. You’re missing the verb. So this one is a fragment. So you can have a longer sentence or a longer fragment that looks like a sentence and still have it be a fragment because it’s missing either the noun or the verb. So we had our noun but we were missing our verb. So even though it looks long, it looks like it could be a sentence, don’t be fooled by the length of the fragment because just because a phrase is long doesn’t mean it’s a complete sentence.
Let’s look at another example. Waited all day at my house for you. In the sentence, we have an action, waiting. So we’ve got our verb. All day at my house for you. Well, you see some pronouns in there but there is no noun. There is no subject of this sentence. So you’re missing a subject noun in this one. So it’s still a fragment. You’ve got the verb part, you’ve got the product part of your sentence, but you don’t have the subject part. So this is a fragment. It is not a complete sentence. So when you are looking for fragments, look for either missing verb or missing noun because if you are missing one of those, then your fragment cannot stand on its own and will not be a complete sentence. In your writing, you will need to revise these. And often you can just add a little bit to a fragment to make it a complete sentence. The beautiful blooming daisies in my yard look so nice this time of the year. Smell wonderful, are going to win the contest. You can finish the sentence in any way. Waited all day in my house for you. You could say, we waited all day in my house for you, I waited, my mom and I waited. There are a little, it’s a little bit more limited what you could put at the beginning of this sentence because we’ve got my and you for pronouns down here. But you still have options and you could easily turn this fragment into a complete sentence.
Now let’s look at run-on sentences. A run-on sentence is a sentence that should be written as two sentences. It’s too long. It contains too much information and is confusing to the reader. And if it’s running on and on and on, then it’s likely there is not correct punctuation and there is too many nouns and too many verbs crammed into one sentence. So you need to break it up so that you’ve got separate complete thoughts and it’s easier for the reader to understand. Let’s look at these examples of run-on sentences and then correct them. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that there were going to be thunderstorms tomorrow, I was planning on having a barbecue outside to celebrate summer. This is a lot of information. So we need to see where one thought ends and another one starts so that we can split it up. I couldn’t believe it. Well we want to know what she couldn’t believe. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that there were going to be thunderstorms tomorrow. So all that is one thought.
So we are going to separate this and put a period. And we would need to capitalize the next letter. But since it was I, it was automatically capitalized. I was planning on having a barbecue outside to celebrate summer. Now we have two complete sentences. They’re separate, it’s not too much information in each sentence and it’s not going to be confusing to the reader. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that there were going to be thunderstorms tomorrow. I was planning on having a barbecue outside to celebrate summer. So now, it’s not so confusing. It doesn’t just run on and on and on. We didn’t have so many subjects and so many verbs in one sentence. Now, we separated it out and made it easier for the reader to understand right away. Let’s look at our next example. John and Mary had so much fun they went to the fair and rode rides and ate cotton candy. Now this one, we need to find where we need to split it up. We have another run -n sentence. We’ve got a lot of actions, but we need to see where we could split it up to keep the subject and verb of one sentence and the subject and verb of the second sentence and make it two complete sentences. We don’t want to split it up incorrectly and leave a fragment somewhere. John and Mary, let’s look at what they did.
John and Mary had so much fun. They. When we get to they, that’s a new pronoun. That’s a new subject. So we should stop there. John and Mary had so much fun. And then we are starting a new sentence, we need to capitalize our T in they. John and Mary had so much fun. They went to the fair and rode rides and ate cotton candy. So now, we have two complete thoughts. First we are saying they had fun. And then we are saying how they had fun. And we didn’t keep it a run-on sentence to where we had this pronoun in the middle of the sentence, making it sound a little confusing. We have John and Mary having fun and then they went to the fair and rode rides and they ate cotton candy. So we split it up into two sentences that are easier to understand. And you also would want to revise any run-on sentences in your writing. If you see a sentence that is going on and on for three or four lines, you probably need to find somewhere in there to break it up so that it isn’t a run-on sentence. You can have sentences that are more complex, if you are using semicolons, etc. But you don’t want it to be so long that there are too many ideas in one sentence. So when you’re writing, make sure you don’t have any incomplete thoughts that are missing a noun or verb. You don’t want any fragments in your writing. And make sure that none of your sentences are going on so long and including too much information that it makes it a run-on sentence.
Prefixes, suffixes, and root words. Have you ever been reading a book and come across a word that you’ve never seen before? Well if you can break that word down into prefixes, suffixes, and root words, then you can probably figure out what the word means. For instance, orthography may be a word you’ve never seen before. But if we break it down into its prefix, ortho, its root word, graph, and its suffix, y, then we might be able to figure out what the word means. Ortho means correct or straight. Graph means write or draw. And Y means the state or condition of. So if we put all those together, we can get the state of being written correctly. And when we compare the definition we came up with with our actual definition, you can see they are pretty close. The state of being written correctly, writing words using the proper letters. So you got a pretty good idea just by breaking the words down into a prefix, a root word, and a suffix, and figuring out what those meant. And even if you only knew graph had something to do with writing, you would have an idea that orthography had to do something with writing.
Let’s look at another example. Geometric will break down into our prefix, geo, our root word, metri, and our suffix ic. Geo means earth and we put that with metri, which means measure. And ic means having to do with. So if we put all of those together, we can come up with having to do with measuring the earth. Now this one isn’t quite as close to the actual definition, relating to the branch of mathematics that has to do with measuring points, lines and angles. But it does have measuring in there. You would be able to tell from the root word measure that geometric is going to have something to do with measuring. So if you ever come across a word that you don’t know, first try to figure out what the prefix is, the root word is, and the suffix is so that you can maybe get an idea of what the word means. You can see how important prefixes, suffixes and roots words are to understanding what a word means.
Man 5: Adjectives can take on different forms when they are being used to compare two or more things. Let’s take a look at this example on the board. We have the word fast. That is an adjective in it’s most basic form. So if we were going to compare two things to each other, we would use the adjective faster. So example of this adjective right here fast would be saying look at that fast person. Now if we were comparing two people, Jim and Steve, we would say, Jim is faster than Steve. You wouldn’t say ‘Jim is fast than Steve’, you would say ‘Jim is faster than Steve’ because you are comparing two people. So we are going to call this form of the adjective the comparative form. And you can do this with more than, with other adjectives besides fast. You can use tall and then taller or pretty and then prettier. So we call this the comparative form and the comparative form is generally found by adding ER to the adjective. So this is fast right here in its basic form. Then we add ER to it, to make it faster. And it’s in its comparative form to compare two people or two objects. You could say that car is faster than the other one.
Now, let’s look at the word fastest. We changed fast into fastest by adding EST. This is the superlative form of fast. The superlative form is used when you are comparing three or more objects or people. So you could say Jim is the fastest runner on his track team because there’s many athletes on his track team and he’s the fastest. Or you could say this is the fastest car that this dealership sells. It’s used when you’re comparing three or more things. So remember, that’s called the superlative form. Now let’s take a look at this played out in some sentences. So this first sentence says she is a kind person. Kind is the adjective here because it’s describing person. Now if we want to look at the comparative form of kind, we would add ER to it to get kinder. So when we are comparing her to her sister, we would use kinder. She is kinder than her sister or she is a kinder person than her sister. Then this last sentence, we would say she is the kindest person in her family because there is three or more people in her family and she is the most kind in all of her family. So we would say kindest because it’s comparing three or more people.
Now like I said, to get the comparative form you add ER to the adjective. And to get the superlative form, you add EST. Now, sometimes adjectives are not always that easy. There are some words which we call irregular pronouns. Take the word good for example. Like, he is a good piano player. Now if you say that he is gooder than he used to be, in other words, he’s improved, you wouldn’t say he is gooder than he used to be. That doesn’t make sense. The next word will be better. He is better than he used to be or he is a better piano player than John. Now if you wanted to say he is the bestest player he has ever been, that doesn’t make sense either. You would say he is the best player that he has ever been or he is the best player out of all of his brothers. So you see here that even in this comparative form or superlative form, even though this is kind of irregular, ER still exists in a comparative form like it does with the word faster. And EST still exists in the superlative form like it did in fastest.
Now let’s look at one more kind of funny word. We have the adjective happy. Now if we want to change this to the comparative form, we can’t leave the Y. We have to change the Y to an I. So if we write it like that, it does make sense, happier. And then the superlative form would be happiest. Because if you left this I right here as a Y, that wouldn’t be grammatically correct. It needs to have an I right here instead of a Y. So the important thing to take from this session is that you have an adjective in its regular form, which then can be changed to the comparative form while comparing it between itself and one other thing. Like when you are comparing two people or two objects, you use the comparative form. And if we are comparing three or more people or objects, so if you’re comparing three people to see who is the fastest, then you use the superlative form. Or if you are comparing 25 people to see who is the fastest, you still use the superlative form.
Subordinating conjunctions are words or group of words that make one part of a sentence dependent on the rest of the sentence. Take a look at what I mean. This sentence says the organization will exist as long as there is ample funding. As long as is the subordinating conjunction in this sentence. Now, the organization will exist could be a sentence by itself. You put a period right there. And there is ample funding could also be a sentence by itself. Those two sentences could stand alone. But when we add to this first sentence the organization will exist as long as, it makes the rest of the sentence, or it makes that sentence dependent on something else. Because if we were just to say the organization will exist as long as, that leaves us hanging. That’s a fragment. It needs some other words to go along with it to make it a complete sentence. So the organization will exist as long as there is ample funding. So as long as is the subordinating conjunction, making the first part of the sentence dependent on something else to complete the sentence.
Let’s look at one more example. Since it is noon, let eat lunch. Since right here is the subordinating conjunction. Remember, I said a subordinate conjunction can be one word or a group of words. So up here, it was three words. Sometimes a subordinating conjunction is two words and then often, it is just one word like since. So here it says since it is noon, let’s eat lunch. Now again, let’s eat lunch could be a sentence by itself and it is noon could be a sentence by itself. But when we add since to it noon, it makes this part of the sentence dependent on some other words to complete the sentence. Because if we just said since it is noon, that wouldn’t make any sense. That would be a fragment because it is incomplete. So a subordinating conjunction makes the rest of the sentence dependent on something else to complete it. That way, ‘Since it is noon, let’s eat lunch.’ makes sense.
What is a predicate? Well, a predicate along with the subject of a sentence makes the sentence whole. The subject of a sentence tells who is going to do the action of the sentence. And then the predicate tells what that action is going to be. Take a look at this first sentence. The friends hike frequently. The subject of this sentence is friends. So what is the verb of this sentence? Well, since the subject tells us who is going to do the action and the predicate tells us what the action is going to be, it only makes sense that the verb here needs to be what the friends will be doing. Well, the friends here will be hiking. So hike is the verb. I’m going to put two lines under it to show that it’s the verb. So here, friend is the subject. So friend is going to be the people doing the action in the sentence. And the predicate tells what that action is going to be.
This next sentence says the friends have been hiking. Here again, friends is the subject. So what is the verb here? Well, you look at hiking right here, you know that that’s a verb. Well have and been are also verbs as well. Have and been are what we call helping verbs because they’re helping hiking right here. So friend says, or the subject here tells that friends is going to be doing the action in this sentence. And the predicate tells what that action is going to be. This third sentence says the friends hike and camp. Friends again is the subject, so friends are going to be the people doing the action in this sentence. Well, what’s the predicate here? Well, you know hike is a verb. But camp is also a verb. So here you have two verbs because the friends are going to be doing more than one thing. So remember, when looking at a predicate just remember that a predicate is what completes the sentence. The subject tells who or what is going to be doing an action and the predicate tells what that action is.
A preposition is basically a word that can’t stand alone because it wouldn’t make sense by itself. Some examples of a proposition would be in, under, or around. You notice these words can’t stand by themselves because they don’t make sense by themselves. There is not enough information there. So that’s where the prepositional phrase comes into play. A prepositional phrase might look like in the tree or around the corner. So right here, and would be a preposition and tree is what we call the object of the preposition. Because right here, if we just have the proposition in, we’re wondering in what? It’s in the tree or around the corner. Around is a preposition and corner is the object of the preposition. We don’t know what’s around. It’s around the corner. So prepositional phrases just come in sentences, often times at the end of a sentence. So we could say the squirrel is in the tree. Here again, in is the preposition, tree is the object of the preposition, and squirrel is the subject of the sentence. So if we just have the preposition, this kind of leaves us hanging. We’re wondering squirrels is in what.
So tree is the object of the preposition because it tells where the squirrel or what the squirrel is in. So there’s lots of prepositions out there. Way too many for me to name right now. But I am going to teach you a trick to help you remember prepositions. All right, there’s a tree I drew. That’s about the best I can do. But think about a tree and a squirrel, okay? Think about all the things the squirrel can do when near a tree. And that’ll help you remember prepositions. Because a squirrel could be under a tree when under is a preposition. It could be in the tree or around a tree or upon a tree or behind a tree. Beside a tree, next to a tree, beneath a tree, over a tree, toward a tree, past a tree, or by a tree. So all those words I listed: by, past, toward, those are all prepositions. And so by remembering a squirrel and its relationship to a tree, it may seem kind of silly, but that can help you remember many of the prepositions.