KISS Grammar Game
The Biology Edition
Notes to the Answer Keys

A Note on Level 2:
Because this project required so much more time than I expected, I did not create the graphic answer keys for Level 2. I have, however, left the notes for them in this section. The percentage count in Level 2 includes only "additional" adjectives, adverbs, and coordinating conjunctions, i.e., those that are not already chunked in prepositional phrases.
Round 1

"In wartime" should be considered correct if it is taken to bullets and swords and bombs." In effect, the phrase is part of the partially ellipsed clause "which were combined in wartime," and the phrase goes to the verb "were combined." Because they have not yet dealt with clauses, much less reduced clauses, students should be allowed to connect the phrase to the subject.
     At this level, I would accept "than all" as a prepositional phrase. [See Level 3, below.] Suggestion: if students ask if "combined" is a verb, tell them "Yes," but it functions as an adjective. They will learn about that later. Don't expect students who are just beginning their work on S/V/C patterns to get "all" as a subject or its ellipsed verb "used to kill."  If a player offers "lice used to kill" as the last S/V/C pattern, I would accept the answer for a bonus point. If someone thereafter offers "all ...*used to kill*" as an additional S/V pattern, I would award a bonus point, explain that the construction is advanced, and move on.
     At the other end, with students who have been working with the patterns for a while, you might want to discuss the differences in considering "than" as a preposition or as a subordinate conjunction. [For more on this, click here.] The ellipsis makes this a tough one for Round 1, but so go the fortunes of a game. The restored ellipsis is something like: "more than all of the bullets and swords and bombs combined in wartime killed people."
Round 5 Most students are unlikely to see "likely" as an adjective modifying "most." Don't expect them to. It's on the answer key in case someone does. The others will get it when they deal with S/V/C patterns.
Round 6 We can consider "tend to neglect" as the finite verb, comparable to such verbs as "have to go." In both cases, however, the verb phrase can be further analyzed into a basic verb ("tend," "have") plus an infinitive which functions as its direct object. This will be the analysis in Level 5. Students should be allowed to analyze such constructions in the way that makes most sense to them. The infinitive "to neglect" is the direct object of "tend," and "systems" is the direct object of the infinitive.
Round 8 "At first," in Level 1, is considered an adverb to "be," because it tells when it would be harmless. In Level 6, it is reconsidered as an interjection because it is parentheses.

Most students will probably consider "to humans" as chunking to "harmless," but it can also correctly be connected to "be" and seen as limiting the predication "DDT could be harmless" to the group "humans."

"DDT" is a Retained Direct Object, covered in Level 6. If, before we get to Level 6, a student calls it a Direct Object, I simply accept the answer. Because it analyzes sentences from randomly chosen real texts, the KISS approach often hits grammatical questions that are glossed over in traditional approaches. Depending on the mood and ability of the class, I too may gloss over them, but if the class is doing well and is interested, we discuss them. In Level 1, I chunked "at first" to "be," ignoring the parentheses of Dr. Evans. When they are working at that level, that will be the least confusing thing for students to do. But the parentheses around "at first, anyway" make the entire phrase an interjection.
Round 11 Students will have problems, at this level, with "allowed them to destroy." Note that is allowed is the destruction. In Level 5, when they deal with infinitives, this construction will become clearer.
Round 13 The "to" in "to be able" remains uncounted because the function of the "to be able" infinitive has not been established. (See Level 6.) The Delayed Subject results from the "it,": "To be able to do this thing was absolutely useless." Note how in the transformation to the delayed subject structure, the direct object of "do," i.e., "thing," becomes a predicate noun. Note the necessity of the delayed subject in this case. Without it we have: "The reason this ability was rare is that until DDT had been invented, to be able to do this thing was absolutely useless." Readers, however, would interpret "to be able to do..." as adverbial to "had been invented," which is not what is meant. The Delayed Subject construction, however, starts with the initial "it," which refers to "ability," thereby separating "invented" from "to be able to do."
Round 14 If a student proposes "Naturally" as an adverb, it's up to the teacher to decide whether or not to award points. In effect, "naturally" functions as an interjection, and is so explained in Level 6. At Level 2 (if it is proposed as an adverb), the question is -- What does it modify? The "hosing down" was certainly not natural; nor were the deaths of the lice.

"Hosing down" means "spraying," so "down" is considered part of the verb phrase.

"Again" can also be taken to "able." I tend to read "again" as affecting the predication, "people were able," which is based on the verb. But everyone does not chunk in exactly the same way, and chunking to "able" has a negligible effect on the meaning here.

Although "hosing" is underlined as a finite verb, and thus "explained," it is counted as among the unexplained because in Level 5 it will be discussed as a gerund, DO of "started." At this level, "hosing down" can be considered the direct object of "started," and "everyone" becomes the direct object of "hosing down." Note that the double lines under "hosing" and "down" have been removed. I try to get students to analyze it one way or the other, but not both. If a student claimed that "naturally" functions as an adverb, and if no one in the class raised a question, I would probably accept the answer and move on. Too much class time can be wasted on such questions (marks on the bark on the trees that hide the forest). But sometimes looking at marks on bark is nice for a change of pace. To me, "naturally" is here an interjection because there is no word in the sentence to which it chunks as an adverb. The "hosing down" is certainly not "natural," especially when done with DDT. Nor is the death of the lice -- from an artificial chemical. It could be argued that the inability of typhus to easily spread is natural, but that idea is in a different main clause. Thus, the simplest explanation for "naturally" is as an interjection, comparable to "of course."
Round 16 KISS Grammar ignores the traditional expletive it and expletive there. There is no reason for these constructions, and most students find such sentences more easily understood as simply S/V/PN patterns. (Because, in a S/V/PN pattern, the PN must equal the subject, the verb agrees in number with the PN.)
Round 17 Although one could argue that "in cities" modifies "disruptions," and thus some teachers might want to accept this answer as also correct, the disruptions were not in the cities until after they were "produced" there. "However" is technically a conjunctive adverb, i.e., both a conjunction and an adverb. One could also argue that it functions as an interjection. OCCASIONALLY, it is interesting and rewarding to get a class tied up in a discussion of a topic such as this one. Doing so too often, however, results in the class never getting to see the bigger picture. In most cases, the teacher should quickly decide how it should count, and then move on.
Round 18 At this level, "to prevent" and "to apply" are considered as part of the finite verbs, but they are in clue because at Level 5 they will be reexamined as infinitives.
Round 19 "At the time" could be taken to "amazement," but the sentence means that the people "at the time" were amazed. [I would not consider "amazement" an incorrect answer, but I would have the class discuss it, should it arise.] One can, if one wishes, get into a discussion of possessive nouns and pronouns ("everyone's") and how they function as adjectives. Because KISS Grammar focusses on function, in the game,they are simply treated as adjectives.
Round 20 When they ask the question "at what?" most of my students would respond "at killing the germs." Teachers should, however, accept "at killing as a correct answer. If the question arises, simply say that later they will learn how "killing" is a gerund and "gerns" is its object.

"Of course" functions as an interjection. Teachers may want to introduce this construction briefly here, but I would simply point out that it is one and that they will study interjections later.

"But ... not the lice" is also a direct object of "killing," and thus, technically, part of the prepositional phrase, but with students working at level one, I would not even call this to their attention.

"Fortunately" could be considered an adverb to "proved," but to me it rings more as an interjection indicating the writer's attitude toward the content of the predication.

Ellipsed structures can often be reconstructed in several different ways. In this case, on the simplest level, the "but" joins "germs" and "lice." --"at killing the germs ... but ... not the lice." But the ellipsis can be expanded further -- "Certain antibiotics proved useful at killing the germs ..., but they proved not useful at killing the lice." [This is why, in the answer key, I have "not" chunking to "useful."] I strongly suggest not spending a lot of time on "but" and "not" when working at Level 2. The complex embedding involved is probably beyond most students' grasp. Should questions arise, give a quick response and tell them that such cases will become clearer when they get to level 5.

I would accept explaining "fortunately" as an adverb, going to "proved," but its initial position in the sentence moves me to view it as an interjection. The "of course," on the other hand, has to function as an interjection because there is no word or construction to which it chunks.
Round 22 For the sake of simplicity, the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) Grammar Game treats all adjectives as chunking to the head noun in a phrase. Semantically, of course, this is not the case. In this sentence, "human" does not modify "species"; it modifies "body lice species." Similarly, "body" does not modify "species"; it modifies "lice species." Within the answer keys, I have tried to remember to indicate this by using a single arrow with multiple "feathers." At some point, this phrasal relationship should be pointed out to students, and, if a teacher wishes, points could be awarded only if the modifier is taken to the complete phrase modified, rather than just to the head noun. [This may, however, become cumbersome and more trouble than it is worth.]
Round 23 "About" is not a preposition, but rather part of "brought about," which means "made," "created," or "done." In Level 6, "evolution" is reconsidered as a Retained Diret Object. One could also take "brought about" to "type." More is involved here than just a retained direct object. "This type is called evolution" is the passive form of "They call this type evolution." In the latter, "type" is the subject, and "evolution" is the predicate noun, to a (logically) ellipsed infinitive "to be." The infinitive phrase is the DO of "call." When this sentence is transformed to passive, "type" becomes the subject, and "evolution," the PN after the ellipsed infinitive, is retained, but retained in the function of the entire infinitive phrase, i.e., as DO.
Round 24 "To you" can also be taken to "good." Taking it to "is," however, reinforces the basic S/V/C logic. In this case, the predication (based in the verb "is") is being limited "to you." The S / V / PN pattern is reversed to PN / V / S because it is a question.
Round 25 The "it" is implied. In the KISS approach, ellipsed words such as this, when written in, are set off by asterisks. Instead of being considered as adverbial to "have become," the subordinate clause could be considered an interjection, but interjections are covered at Level 6.
Round 27 Should a student take either or both of the prepositional phrases to the verb "is," I would accept the answers as correct. Logically, they tell "for whom" and "when" X is Y (protection is remedies). Psycholinguistically, however, the brain will chunk them as soon as possible, and thus, for most readers, have the two phrases chunked to "protection" before the reader hits "is." The function of the first "that" clause (Delayed Subject) is part of Level 6.

The second "that" clause could be considered as ending at "sanitation," with "thoughtfulness, cleanliness, and sanitation" then becoming appositives to "work," rather than to "remedies." But thoughtfulness, cleanliness, and sanitation "take work," but are not really equal to work (which is what is implied by using the appositive to "work."
Round 28

The prevention is going on "now," but I would not consider it incorrect if someone wanted to take "in the future" to "prevent." I would, however, like to hear the reasons.

In "look for circumstance," "look for" can be considered a verb (i.e., "seek"), but in playing the game, someone will want the points for the prepositional phrase. [I always consider either answer correct.]

"Trash" is part of the preceding prepositional phrase ("such as standing water ... and trash"), but at this level, I would not expect students to see this.

Words such as "standing" are dealt with again (as gerundives) in Level 5. In many cases, however, students have little, if any trouble seeing them as adjectives. In such cases, I have so marked them.

This is a good level at which to point out that "trash" is part of the prepositional phrase. (See Level 1, above.) [My students would mark this as "(*such as* trash)," i.e., they would write in the preposition, with asterisks to indicate that it was ellipsed, and then put parentheses around the phrase.]

Students will recognize "encourages" as a finite verb, but, of course, have problems finding its subject (which is why it remains among the uncounted). The main clauses that begin with "eat," "wash," and "look" can also be considered as appositives to "things," i.e., they are the "simple things you can do." Note too, Dr. Evans' colon -- these main clauses give more detailed examples of the preceding main clause. "Day" is a noun used as an adverb.

A fifty-four word sentence is not easy to read, even if it is separated into four main clauses. The writer's parentheses around the two appositive phrases (which could also be considered as interjections), both simlify and clarify. The appositives are reductions of subordinate clauses. Imagine that last main clause as: "look for circumstances around the home that can encourage pestilence such as standing water, which encourages disease-carrying mosquitoes and trash which is a home for rats and mice." If it had been written this way, the reader would have read "trash" as a direct object of "encourages."

For Additional Discussions of Style and/or Logic

General Discussion:

     Dr. Evans wrote this essay as a contribution to this grammar project. He had been asked to submit a piece on science which he thought would be of interest to middle and high school students. After giving it to me, he noted that he had worried that it was too long for what I had wanted. One of the things that I suspect that he cut was examples. Ask students to identify two places in the text where they would like more examples. Then ask them to use their imaginations to revise and or write additional sentences which would supply those examples. For example, sentence eighteen might be followed by: "DDT was carried around the town in cannisters which looked like fire extinguishers. The hose was inserted in people's shirts, pants, etc., and the DDT was pumped into the clothing such that clouds of it emerged from the other end of shirt arms and pant legs."
     In the original version of this text, 28% of the words are in prepositional phrases. Ask students to calculate how theses revisions affected that number.      Rhetorical questions are questions posed by a speaker or writer and then answered by the speaker or writer. Dr. Evans uses rhetorical questions in sentences two, seven, and twenty-four.  Use the "Text in Separate Pages" to have students revise the essay to eliminate the rhetorical questions. To do so, they will probably want to combine sentences. For example, After the three rhetorical questions have been revised out of the text, ask students to compare it to the original. In what way(s) do the rhetorical questions affect the tone? What do rhetorical quesitons suggest about the writer's attitude toward his audience?      The KISS Grammar Game does not deal with passive voice in any detail, but if you are working with your students on it, this edition should provide a good text for discussion. Have students attempt to revise rounds 12, 15, and 23 to make the main verbs active, and then discuss their attempts.

On Specific Sentences:

Round 11 (Level 3+)

Round 13 (Level 4+) Round 15 (Level 4+) Round 25 (Level 1+) Round 28 (Level 4+)