The KISS Grammar Workbooks Back to March Menu
(Code and Color Key)

from "The Little Match Girl," by Hans Christian Andersen
Selection # 5
Analysis Key

     But {in the corner}, {at the cold hour} {of dawn}, sat the poor girl, {with rosy 

cheeks} [#1] and {with a smiling mouth} [#1], leaning [#2] {against the wall} -- frozen [#2] 

{to death} {on the last evening} {of the old year}  [#3]. | Stiff [#4] and stark [#4] sat the 

child there {with her matches}, [Adj. to "matches" {of which} one bundle had been

burnt (P).] | "She wanted to warm herself [#5]," [ [#6] people said.] | No one

had the slightest suspicion (DO) {of [Object of "of" what beautiful things (DO) she

had seen]} |; no one even dreamed {of the splendor} [Adj. to "splendor" {in which},

{with her grandmother} she had entered {on the joys} {of a new year}.] |

1. I would not argue with anyone who wanted to explain these two phrases as adjectives to "girl," but they are set off by commas, making them, so to speak, non-restrictive constructions. In addition, they seem to me to be describing the condition of her "sitting."
2. "[L]eaning" and "frozen" are gerundives to "girl."
3. "Of the old year" is adverbial because it modifies the adjective "last" in the preceding phrase.
4. "Stiff" and "stark" can be explained as predicate adjectives in a palimpsest pattern. Although this pattern is relatively uncommon, students, to my knowledge, never have problems in understanding the meaning. And, since the pattern does not lead students into grammatical errors, there is little sense in focussing on it.
5.  "Herself" is the direct object of the infinitive "to warm," and "to warm" functions as the direct object of "wanted."
6. The traditional explanation would be that "She wanted to warm herself" is the direct object of "He said." The KISS psycholinguistic model suggests that the "She wanted" is the main S/V/C pattern, and thus we can explain the "people said" as an interjection. Either explanation should be accepted.