Introduction to the KISS Workbooks
The KISS Grammar Toolbox:
Codes and Colors for Analysis Keys
Idyll: Family
from Antiquity
William-Adolphe Bouguereau's
A highly expanded version of this, now called "The Teachers' Reference to KISS Grammar Constructions, Codes, and Color Keys, is now available as an MSWord document. (If you can't open MS Word documents, click here.)
- July 18, 2014
    With the exception of passive voice (which is required to understand retained complements), this list includes most of the concepts and constructions that students need in order to explain the function of any word in any sentence. In effect, it is the KISS Toolbox.  The following colors and codes are used throughout the analysis keys in the KISS Workbooks. 

Two KISS Concepts

Compounding -- Coordinating Conjunctions

     Whereas most grammar texts explain compounding in multiple places (compound subjects; compound verbs, compound clauses, etc.) KISS treats compounding as a concept. Any identical parts of speech (such as adjective and adjective) or any construction can be compounded, usually by using "and," "or," or "but"). Once students can be expected to identify the constructions that are being joined, the conjunctions are coded orange.

Ellipsis -- The Omission of Understood Words

    The answer keys indicate words that are ellipsed by placing them between asterisks -- *You* close the door.

KISS Level One

Adjectives and Adverbs are not always identified, but when they are, adjectives are in green and adverbs in blue. In some of the upper level keys, adjectives and adverbs are identified simply by being in smaller type to show how much of the text students can already be expected to analyze. They are not colored because the result is a confusion of colors. Likewise, once students have some experience identifying prepositional phrases, I do not usually ask them to draw arrows from simply adjectives and adverbs to the words they modify. Doing so often results in a confusion of lines on the students' papers.

Prepositional Phrases are identified {by braces}, primarily because braces are rarely found in real texts, whereas parentheses are. Phrases that function as adjectives are in green; those that function as adverbs are in blue. Adjectives, adverbs and coordinating conjunctions within prepositional phrases are in the color of the phrase because we are more interested in the functions of phrases than in the functions of individual words. Other constructions that appear within these phrases are explained in the notes. Embedded phrases and the phrases they are embedded in are underlined.

KISS Level Two

Subjects and finite verbs are underlined once, with subjects colored green and finite verbs blue. (Html does not allow for double underlining of finite verbs.)

Complements are in brown and labeled: PN (Predicate Noun); PA (Predicate Adjective); IO (Indirect Object); and DO (Direct Object).

A (P)after a finite verb indicates that it is in passive voice.

KISS Level Three

     Subordinate clauses are identified{by red brackets}. |The function{of the clause} followsthe opening bracket (DO). | Subordinate conjunctions[Adj. to "conjunctions" thathave no other function (DO)] are{in bold red}. | A vertical line "|" identifiesthe end (DO) {of each main clause}. |

KISS Level Four

     Level Four, verbals (gerunds, gerundives, and infinitives) are explained in footnotes.

KISS Level Five

     Constructions such as Nouns Used as Adverbs, Interjections, and Direct Address are not crucial to an understanding of sentence structure and thus are left to KISS Level Five. They can, however, be taught as early as third grade, so they are usually identified in keys for those who wish to teach them early. If they are not explained in footnotes, these constructions are identified by bracketed, superscript links which lead to the basic instructional material about them.

Expletives (It and There) [Exp]
Noun Used as an Adverb [NuA]
Interjection [Inj]
Direct Address [DirA]
Appositive [App]
Delayed Subject [DS]
Post-Positioned Adjective [PPA]
Retained Complements [RDO], [RPN], [RPA]
Noun Absolute [NAbs]

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