Recognizing Coordinate Elements (2)

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Directions: In each sentence below, the last coordinate element has been printed in capital letters. Answer the question following the sentence.

Example: The Gypsy workmen came about midday, nailed down the lids on all the boxes, and CARTED THEM OUT OF THE CASTLE.

Your Task: What words from the beginning of the sentence (these words are called the "stem") must be added to the capitalized words to make a complete thought? (Note: These words are called the "stem" of the sentence, and you are to give only the stem, the fewest words from the beginning that will make a complete thought when added to the capitalized words. The words you skip are the first "branch" of the sentence, and the capitalized words are the second branch.)

Response: The Gypsy workmen

Lesson on Punctuation

A coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, for, so, yet) stands between the elements that it joins. These items can be long or short, but all of the elements in any one series are of the same grammatical type:

Werewolves eat bodies, BUT vampires suck blood.
     [2 independent clauses]
The Count controlled both rats AND wolves.
     [2 words: rats, wolves]
To join three or more items, we can use just one conjunction, before the last item:

Dracula studied England,
        planned his voyage,
       AND bought property in London.

Sometimes this conjunction is omitted, but the items are still stacked up, coordinated:

In the coffin lay the Count's body:
        gorged with blood.

These three elements, all adjectives (one an adjective phrase) modifying "body," are called "branches" and the rest of the sentence is the "stem." Conjunctions join branches, and all branches must be grammatically interchangeable, for they are all connected in an identical manner to the stem.