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Please Help! My question was not answered on ELL, and I'm studying for the ACT. I don't understand the answer to this question.

Scientists did not find it problematic to explain the physical world with nonphysical phenomenon in seventeenth-century England. Though Bacon did.

A) No Change

B) England, but Bacon did.

C) England; Bacon did.

D) England like Bacon.

The correct answer is B, but I chose D.

I thought a comma was necessary between two independent clauses and a coordinating conjunction. However, "Bacon did" isn't a complete thought.

  • "but Bacon "did" = Bacon found it "problematic to explain the physical world with nonphysical phenomenon in seventeenth-century England" – bookmanu Aug 23 '18 at 12:57
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Your sample sentence is an example of ellipsis where certain words are left out in order to avoid repetitions.

The long form would be:

Scientists did not find it problematic to explain the physical world with nonphysical phenomenon in seventeenth-century England, but Bacon did find it problematic.

To decide whether you need a comma before 'but' it is useful to consider what follows it. If the phrase has a subject and a verb, as in your case, insert a comma. If not, leave it out.

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