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(Code and Color Key)

Modal Helping Verbs
from Heidi by Johanna Spyri
Analysis Key

1. Please [#1], may I have a little [#2] more (DO)? |

2. I must go home [NuA] now. |

3. The wind might have blown the chair (DO) {down the mountain}. |

4. "Oh [Inj], Heidi [DirA], I can do it (DO). | Oh [Inj], I really can." |

5. {In her lesson} she could never get her letters straight [#3]. |

6. "Sesemann [DirA], you do not need to be pitied (P) [#4] !" |

7. He would have known you (DO) {in your frock}; | you ought to

have kept it (DO) on. |

8. "How do you dare to ring {for me}?" |

9. You shall undertake this trip (DO) and visit Heidi (DO) {in our stead}. |

10.  "The child should have come {to school} a year [NuA] ago." |

11. We had better have [#5] our lesson (DO). |

12. What (DO) will poor Snowhopper do {without me}? |

13. Heidi would entertain her friend (DO) {with tales} {of her former life}. |

1. The easy way to explain this "please" is to consider it an adverb. It is an ellipsed form of an adverbial subordinate clause -- "If it please you, . . . . "
2. "Little," preceded by "a," can be explained as a noun used as an adverb. Alternatively, "little" can be considered an adjective to an ellipsed "bit," the "bit" then functioning as a noun used as an adverb.
3. "Letters straight" is an ellipsed infinitive construction, with "letters" being the subject and "straight" being a predicate adjective to an ellipsed "to be." The infinitive phrase functions as the direct object of "could get."
4.  Alternatively, "to be pitied" can be considered an infinitive phrase that functions as the direct object of  "need." The same applies to "ought" in #7 and to "dare" in #8.
5. "Had better" is idiomatic for "should."