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Verbs as Objects of Prepositions
Ex # 4 Based on Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell
Analysis Key

1. What (DO) do you say {to calling him Black Beauty [#1]}? |
 

2. The day came {for going away [#2]}. |
 

3. But [Adv. to "was" when it came {to breaking [#3] in} ], that was 

     a bad time (PN) {for me}. |
 

4. [Adv. to "should be" If I took {to kicking [#4]} ] where should I be? |
 

5. There is nothing (PN) [Adj. to "nothing" that we can do]

     {but just bear it [#5] } . |
 

6. She should always be nervous (PA) {in riding [#6] } {behind a

      horse} [Adj. to "horse" that had once been down]. |
 

7. I thank you (DO) {for trying my plan [#7] } {with your good horse}. |
 

8. No one cared {for me}, {except to find out [#8] [DO how fast I

     could go] }. |
 

9. {Without waiting [#9] } {for Harry's thanks} Grant was gone (PA). |
 

10. {Instead of lying [#10] down}, he kept jerking his halter rope (DO) 

     up and down {through the ring}, and knocking the block (DO) about 

     {against the manger}. |


Notes
1. "Black Beauty" is a predicate noun after an ellipsed infinitive -- him *to be* Black Beauty." "Him" is the subject of the ellipsed infinitive, and the infinitive phrase functions as the direct object of the gerund "calling." The gerund functions as the object of the preposition.
2. "Going" is a gerund that functions as the object of the preposition "for." Although I see this phrase as adjectival to "day," I can see how some people might prefer to consider it adverbial to "came."
3. "Breaking (in)" is a gerund that functions as the object of the preposition "to."
4.  "Kicking" is a gerund that functions as the object of the preposition "to."
5. "It" is the direct object of the verbal (infinitive) "bear." The infinitive phrase functions as the object of the preposition "but," and the "but" phrase modifies "nothing."
6. The verbal (gerund) "riding" functions as the object of the preposition "in."
7.  "Plan" is the direct object of the verbal (gerund) "trying," which is the object of the preposition "for."
8. The verbal "to find out" ("discover") functions as the object of the preposition "except." The prepositional phrase modifies "cared."
9. The verbal (gerund) "waiting" functions as the object of the preposition "Without." (There is no comma after "thanks" in the electronic edition I used. Until students study the passive voice (KISS Level 5.7}, I would also accept "was gone" as the finite verb phrase.
10. The verbal (gerund) "lying" functions as the object of the preposition "Instead of." Some grammar texts list "kept" as a helping verb and some do not. If we do not consider it to be one, then "jerking" and "knocking" are verbals (gerunds) that function as the direct objects of "kept."