The Printable KISS Grammar Workbooks The KISS Workbooks Anthology
(Code and Color Key)

Commas in a Series
Based on "How Perseus Vowed a Rash Vow" in
The Heroes, or Greek Fairy Tales For My Children, by Charles Kingsley
Analysis Key

1. And Perseus, and the good Dictys, and his wife, came to visit his 

mother [#1] every day [NuA] {at the temple} {of Athene}. |

2. {Instead of falling [#2] } Perseus floated, and stood, and ran {along the sky}. |

3. Next Polydectes proclaimed a great feast (DO), and invited {to it} all

the chiefs (DO), and landowners (DO), and the young men (DO) {of the

island}, and {among them} Perseus (DO). |

4. He was not a righteous man (PN), {like Dictys} ; [#3] but *he was* greedy

(PA), and cunning (PA), and cruel (PA). |

5. So Danae was made (P) a slave [#4] , and had to fetch water (DO) {from

the well}, and grind {in the mill}, and perhaps was beaten (P), and wore a heavy 

chain (DO), [Adv. to all of the preceding verbs because she would not marry

that cruel king (DO) ]. |

6. {Through doubt and need, danger and battle,} [#5] I drive them (DO). |

7. And Perseus was brave (PA) and truthful (PA), gentle (PA) and 

courteous (PA) [#6] . |

8. He was the most skillful (PA) {of all} {in running [#7] and wrestling [#7] 

and boxing [#7] }, and {in throwing the quoit and the javelin [#7] }, and {in 

rowing [#7] } {with the oar}, and {in playing [#7] } {on the harp}. |

9. Perseus's face grew very red (PA) [Adv. to "grew" as they pointed

{at him}, and smiled, and whispered, [DO "What (DO) has that 

foundling to give [#8] ?]]" |

10. Down {to the cliffs} he went, and looked {across the broad blue sea}; | and

he wondered [DO  if his dream were [#9] true (PA) ], and prayed {in the

bitterness} {of his soul}. |

1. "Mother" is the direct object of the verbal (infinitive) "to visit." The infinitive phrase functions as an adverb of purpose to "came."
2. "Falling" is a verbal (gerund) that functions as the object of "instead of."
3. The comma before "like" breaks it from "man" and throws the phrase back to either "not" or "righteous." This semicolon is interesting. A comma would have worked, but the semicolon emphasizes differences between what is on both sides of it. Here is also separates the prepositional phrase from the following parallel adjectives, especially in view of the ellipsed "he was." (Students should be able to see the need for the commas, even though they have not yet studied ellipsis.
4. "Slave" is a retained predicate noun after the passive "was made." See KISS Level 5.7 - Passive Voice and Retained Complements.
5. Note how, by separating the four objects into two pairs, the commas suggest two different types of problems.
6. Here we have the same thing as in sentence six, but in this case the commas separate the four predicate adjectives into two types of virtues.
7.  "Running," "wrestling," "boxing," "throwing," "rowing," and "playing" are all verbals (gerunds) that function as objects of prepositions.  "Quoit" and "javelin" are direct objects of "throwing."
8. The verbal (infinitive) "to give" functions as an adjective to "What."
9. This "were" is in subjunctive mood. See KISS Level 2.1.7 - The KISS Perspective on the Subjunctive.