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(Code and Color Key)

Finite Verb or Verbal? -- The Sentence Test (Ex # 2)
from Stories of Robin Hood Told to the Children, by Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall

Analysis Key

1.  Gathering all his strength, (with one mighty blow} he sent Robin (DO) backwards,

right {into the river}. |

"He gathering all his strength" is not an acceptable sentence. Thus "gathering" is a verbal (a gerundive that modifies "he"). "Strength" is the direct object of "Gathering."
2. Late one evening [NuA] he arrived {in London}, very tired indeed {with his long journey}. |
"He tired indeed" can be an acceptable sentence, but in context "tired" means "he was tired." Thus "tired" is a verbal (a gerundive that modifies "he"). 
3. In and out {among the trees} he went, twisting and turning. |
"He twisting" and "He turning" are not acceptable sentences. Thus "twisting" and "turning" are verbals (gerundives that modify "he"). (Note that without the comma after "went," we might process this sentence as a palimpsest pattern. But the comma disconnects "went" from "twisting and turning," In effect, it says "Don't chunk 'twisting and turning' to 'went.'" As a result, the gerundives are chunked to "he.")
4.  On they came, trampling down the ferns, and crushing the pretty wildflowers. |
"They trampling" and "They crushing" are not acceptable sentences. Thus "trampling" and "crushing" are verbals (gerundives that modify "they"). (Note that, as in the previous sentence, without the comma after "came," we might process this sentence as a palimpsest pattern.) "Ferns" is the direct object of "trampling," and "wildflowers" is the direct object of "crushing."
5. The Bishop rode {in the middle} {of them}, wearing a gorgeous robe, trimmed

{with lace}, {over his armour}. |

"The Bishop wearing" and "The robe trimmed" would not make acceptable sentences. Thus "wearing" and "trimmed" are verbals (gerundives  to "Bishop" and "robe," respectively). "Robe" is the direct object of "wearing." [Note how the two commas set off "trimmed with lace." Without them, we would have -- "wearing a gorgeous robe trimmed with lace over his armour." That would suggest that it is the lace, and not the whole robe, that is "over his armour."]


6. Little John knelt {on one knee}, and, taking Marian's hand, kissed it (DO)

[Adv. to "kissed" as if she had been a queen (PN).] |

"Little John taking Marian's hand" is not an acceptable sentence, so "taking" is a verbal (a gerundive that modifies "Little John"). "Hand" is the direct object of "taking."
7. He leaned his head (DO) {against the trunk} {of a tree}, and shutting his

eyes, dreamed happy day dreams (DO). |

"He shutting his eyes" is not an acceptable sentence, so "shutting" is a verbal (a gerundive that modifies "He"). "Eyes" is the direct object of "shutting."
8. "No, my Lord Bishop [DirA]," said Robin, taking his hat off and bowing

politely. |

"Robin taking his hat off" and "Robin bowing politely" are not acceptable sentences, so "taking" and "bowing" are verbals (gerundives that modify "Robin"). "Hat" is the direct object of "taking." The words in quotation marks are the direct object of "said."
9. Back {to their forest home} they all went, laughing and talking as merrily

as possible, taking John Little along {with them}. |

"They laughing" and "They talking" are not acceptable sentences, so "laughing" and "talking" are verbals (gerundives to "they").
     "As possible" is an idiomatic, highly ellipsed clause construction -- "[as it is possible to be merry]." Within it, the infinitive "to be merry" is a delayed subject. The ellipsed clause chunks to the previous "as."
     "They taking John Little" would not make an acceptable sentence, so "taking" is also a verbal (a gerundive that modifies "they"). "John Little" is the direct object of "taking."
10. They lived {in great caves} {during the winter}, and spent their time (DO)

making stores {of bows and arrows}, and mending their boots and clothes. |

"They making stores" and "They mending their boots and clothes" will not make acceptable sentences, so "making" and "mending" are verbals (gerundives to "They".) "Stores" is the direct object of "making" and "boots" and "clothes" are the direct objects of "mending."
     Once students are fairly comfortable with verbals, they may want to explain the "making" and "mending" phrases as gerunds (verbal nouns) that function as Nouns Used as Adverbs. Whereas the explanation as gerundives makes them modifiers of "They," the explanation as gerunds focuses on their adverbial function -- how they spent their time.