4

Source: p 142, If I Was You..., Lauren Sussman, 2014

Faulty coordination occurs if you join (combine or coordinate) two clauses in an illogical way:

[1.] Joey and Micah made their way to the head of the checkout line, yet Joey realized he had forgotten his wallet.

The word yet (the word that joins, combines, or coordinates the two clauses) is used incorrectly. The sentence could read:

[2.] Joey and Micah made their way to the head of the checkout line, but then Joey realized he had forgotten his wallet.

How and why is yet used incorrectly in 1? Both 1 and 2 look perfectly right to me?

2

They both seem correct to you because you're assuming but and yet are interchangeable synonyms – but that is not always the case!

The difference is similar to the difference between however and nevertheless. Those two words are also interchangeable in many – but not all – instances.

If yet were properly used in the example sentence, it should be rephrasable to this:

Even though Joey realized he had forgotten his wallet, Joey and Micah made their way to the head of the checkout line.

This doesn't explain the situation very well, because Joey and Micah would have made their way to the front of the line regardless of who had remembered or forgotten their money or their wallet.

Let's alter the example to a case where yet is used properly:

Joey and Micah made their way to the head of the checkout line, yet neither of them had any money.

I can rephrase this as:

Even though neither of them had any money, Joey and Micah made their way to the head of the checkout line.

This makes a little bit more sense. If I found this passage, I would assume that the author was going to explain why the two men got in line even though they didn't have any money.

The word yet doesn't make a good coordinating conjuction between the two men getting and waiting in line and Joey's sudden realization that he didn't have his wallet.

It's also worth noting that the corrected version doesn't use but, but but then. The then is a key word that makes the sentence sensible; it indicates when Joey realized his wallet was at home – after they had reached the head of the line. Without that word, neither but nor yet make apt conjunction.

By the way, it's a very subtle difference that I had to think about for some time.

  • Will you please to respond in your answer, and not as a comment? – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Feb 12 '15 at 1:15
  • Thank you. 3. What about 'yet then'? 4. Also, is the first blockquote in your answer meant to indicate a WRONG use of yet? You wrote If _yet_ were properly used in the example sentence, yet (I purposely didn't use 'but then' here since I want to know if this usage is right) you later wrote This doesn't explain the situation very well – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Feb 12 '15 at 1:19
1

You watched carefully as I placed the white rabbit in my upturned top hat, did you not? Long white ears. Cotton tail. Twitching pink nose. In it went. Yet there's nothing in my hat! [shows the inside of the hat to Law Area 51 Proposal]

Yet = contrary to expectation

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.