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KISS Grammar 

Tense, Number, Logic, and Prepositional Phrases
Exercise # 1

Based on Lessons in English: Higher Course 
Pupil's Edition. New York: William H. Sadlier, 1893


     In addition to being an exercise on tense, number, and prepositional phrases, this is a challenging exercise in what writing teachers call "invention." Students will need to "invent" the details of identity and extension in time and space. Weak writers often omit these details, and this omission accounts for much of the weakness in their writing, both in terms of details and in terms of main-clause length, a major yardstick of syntactic maturity.
     Note that "identity" and "extension in time or space" are the first two of Hume's three basic logical categories, so this is also an exercise in basic logic.

Examples of Possible Answers

1. {In the evening} [Adv. (when) to "was ticking"], the clock {in the bedroom} [Adj. 

to "clock"] was ticking {on the table} [Adv. (where) to "was ticking"]. [Past, singular]

2. The drums will be banging {throughout the afternoon} [Adv. (when) to "will be

banging"] {in the streets} [Adv. (where) to "will be banging"] {of the town} [Adj. to 

"streets"]. [Future, plural]

3. {In the morning} [Adv. (when) to "sings"] a robin {with babies} [Adj. to "robin"] 

sings {in a tree)  [Adv. (where) to "sings"] {near my window} [Adj. to "tree"].

[Present, singular]

4. Last night [NuA] the winds {from the storm} [Adj. to "winds"] blew {for hours}

[Adv. (when) to "blew"] {through the windows)  [Adv. (where) to "blew"]. [Past, plural]

5. Sometimes the children {of a family} [Adj. to "children"] eat early {in the evening}

[Adv. (when) to "eat"] {in the kitchen} [Adv. (where) to "eat"]. [Present, plural]

6. {In the crib} [Adv. (where)  to "will play"] {in the dining room} [Adj. to "crib"], the 

baby will play {with a doll} {for hours} [Adv. (when) to "will play"]. [Future, singular]