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A CMC Punctuation Exercise
Based on “The Twin Sisters”
From FRIENDLY FAIRIES, Written & Illustrated by Johnny Gruelle

The original sentences:

1. Everybody called the two cottages the twin houses for another reason: the owners were twins.

2. Matilda’s life was lonely and cold; no one went to see her.

3. Katrinka’s house always echoed with the laughter of children; everyone went to see her.

4. Matilda was very angry, but Katrinka ran laughing to the door and greeted all with her kindliest smile.

5. This is our birthday and I have brought you half of the presents which were given me!

6. They were given to me and I give them to you!

7. You must live in my house and pretend that you are me, and I will live in your house and pretend that I am you!

8. So Matilda went over to Katrinka’s cottage and went to bed and Katrinka stayed in Matilda’s cottage, but she did not go to bed.

9. In the morning neighbors came to Katrinka’s house, and Matilda, taking Katrinka’s place met them with a smile, and soon in spite of herself she was laughing and enjoying herself.

10. One night while Matilda sat at her dark window looking across at Katrinka’s house, she saw a crowd of people tip-toeing up to the stoop with baskets under their arms and flowers in their hands and when all had crowded upon the porch they stamped their feet and made a great noise.


Complete Analysis Key [FYI]

1. Everybody called the two cottages (DO) the twin houses [#1] {for another reason}: | the owners were twins (PN). |

Since the second main clause equals the "reason" noted at the end of the first main clause, this sentence supports the idea that a colon emphasizes a similarity.
2. Matilda’s life was lonely (PA) and cold (PA); | no one went to see her [#2]. |
The second main clause presents a cause for the first. I don't see a contrast.
3. Katrinka’s house always echoed {with the laughter} {of children}; | everyone went to see her [#2]. |
The second main clause presents a cause for the first. I don't see a contrast.
4. Matilda was very angry (PA), | but Katrinka ran laughing [#3] {to the door} and greeted all (DO) {with her kindliest smile}. |

5. This is our birthday (PN) | and I have brought you (IO) half (DO) {of the presents} [Adj. to "presents" which were given (P) me [#4]]! |

The lack of a comma after "birthday" may be considered acceptable here because the first main clause is so short.
6. They were given {to me} | and I give them (DO) {to you}! |
The main clauses are short.
7. You must live {in my house} and pretend [DO that you are me (PN)], | and I will live {in your house} and pretend [DO that  I am you (PN)]! |

8. So Matilda went over {to Katrinka’s cottage} and went {to bed} | and Katrinka stayed {in Matilda’s cottage}, | but she did not go {to bed}. |

9. {In the morning} neighbors came {to Katrinka’s house}, | and Matilda, taking 

Katrinka’s place [#5] met them (DO) {with a smile}, | and soon {in spite} {of herself} 

she was laughing and enjoying herself (DO). |
 

10. One night [NuA] [ [#6] while Matilda sat {at her dark window} looking [#7] across 

{at Katrinka’s house}], she saw a crowd (DO) {of people} tip-toeing [#8] up {to the 

stoop} {with baskets} {under their arms} and {*with* flowers} {in their hands} | and [Adv.

to "stamped" and "made" when all had crowded {upon the porch}] they stamped their

feet (DO) and made a great noise (DO). |


Notes
1. KISS considers "houses" to be a predicate noun after an ellipsed *to be* -- "called the two cottages *to be* the twin houses." This avoids the tangle of the traditional "objective" and "subjective" complements, which are defined differently in different grammar texts.
2. "Her" is the direct object of the verbal (infinitive) "to see." The infinitive functions as an adverb to "went."
3. "Ran laughing" can be considered  the finite verb here by considering it a palimpsest pattern with "ran" written over "was laughing." The alternative is to explain "laughing" as a verbal (a gerundive) to "Katrinka."
4. "Me" is a retained indirect object after the passive "were given."
5. "Place" is the direct object of "taking" which is a verbal (gerundive) that modifies "Matilda." Most grammar textbooks would probably suggest a comma after "place," thereby setting off "taking Katrinka's place."
6. This clause can be explained as an adjective to "night" and/or as an adverb to "saw."
7. "Looking" is a verbal (a gerundive) that modifies "Matilda."
8. "Tip-toeing" is a verbal (a gerundive) that modifies "people." When they get to noun absolutes, some students will prefer to see "people tip-toeing" as the core of a noun absolute phrase (that extends to "hands"). The entire noun absolute phrase functions as the object of the preposition "of."