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(Code and Color Key)

Verbs as Subjects or Complements
from Heidi by Johanna Spyri
Analysis Key

Note: Verbals as subjects and complements are relatively rare, so some of the sentences in this exercise were made up. For example, I did not find a single infinitive that functions as a subject in the text of Heidi.

1. Bringing Grandmama soft rolls [#1] {of bread} pleased Heidi (DO). |

2. The children had planned to take (DO) her [#2] {by surprise}. |

3. He could not help thinking (DO) {of the policeman}. |

4. To sit alone day [NuA] {after day} made Peter sad [#3]. |

5. Clara's greatest wish is to be (PN) able to walk [#4]. |

6. Climbing the mountain [#5] up {to the hut} was difficult (PA). |

7. She wanted to see (DO) the happiness [#6] {of her son}. |

8. Heidi really liked living (DO) {on the mountain} {with her Grandfather and the goats}. |

9. Her favorite activity was going (PN) {up the mountain} {with Peter and the goats}. |

10. To live here {in the Alps} would be very good (PA) {for Dr. Classen}. |

1. "Grandmama" is the indirect and "rolls" is the direct object of the gerund "Bringing."
2. "Her" is the direct object of the infinitive "to take."
3. Expect "Peter sad" to somewhat confuse students. Most grammarians consider "peter" to be the direct object of "made" and "sad" to be an "objective complement." You can use this explanation if you wish, but KISS offers an alternative that eliminates the need for "objective complement." In the KISS explanation, "Peter" is the subject and "sad" is a predicate adjective to an ellipsed infinitive "to be" --"made Peter *to be* sad." The entire infinitive phrase is then the direct object of "made. " For more on this, see "ellipsed infinitives" in KISS Level Four.
4. "To walk" is an infinitive that functions as an adverb to the adjective "able." "Able functions as a predicate adjective to the infinitive "to be." Thus, the entire "to be" phrase is the predicate noun to "is."
5. "Mountain" is the direct object of "Climbing."
6. "Happiness" is the direct object of  "to see."