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

"The Elephant's Child," by Rudyard Kipling
Analysis Key

I KEEP six honest serving-men (DO); |

    (They taught me (IO) all (DO) [Adj. to "all" I knew] ) |

Their names are What (PN) and Where (PN) and When (PN)

     And How (PN) and Where (PN) and Who (PN). |

I send them (DO) {over land and sea}, |

     I send them (DO) east [NuA] and west [NuA]; |

But [Adv. to "give" after they have worked {for me},]

     I give them (IO) all a rest (DO). |

 I let them (DO) rest [#1] {from nine} {till five}

     [Adv. to "let" For I am busy (PA) then,]

As well as breakfast [NuA], lunch [NuA], and tea [NuA]

     [Adv. to "let" For they are hungry men (PN)]: |

But different folk have different views (DO): |

     I know a person small [#2]|

She keeps ten million serving-men (DO),

     [Adj. to "serving-men" Who get no rest (DO) {at all}!] |

She sends ‘em (DO) abroad {on her own affairs}

     {From the second} [Adj. to "second" she opens her eyes (DO)] — 

One million Hows [#3], two million Wheres [#3],

     And seven million Whys [#3] ! |

Notes for KISS Levels Four and Five
1. Rather than attempting to teach objective and subjective complements, it is much easier, and much clearer for most students, to explain "them" as the subject of the infinitive "rest," and the infinitive phrase as the direct object of "let."
2. Post-positioned adjective. Note that Kipling was apparently writing this for and to his daughter.
3. These are appositives, technically to "‘em," but "‘em" refers back to "serving-men."