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KISS Grammar 

Tense, Number, Logic, and Prepositional Phrases
Exercise # 2

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. {During the storm} [Adv. (when) to "roared"], gigantic waves {of the ocean) [Adj.

to "waves"]  roared {over the beaches} [Adv. (where) to "roared"] {of North Carolina}

[Adj. to "beaches"]. [Past, plural]

2. Every evening [NuA] {between five and seven} [Adv. (when) to "carries"], the train

carries people (DO) {from the city} [Adj. to "people" and/or adv. (where) to "carries"]

{to their homes} [Adv. (where) to "carries"] {in the suburbs} [Adj. to "homes"].

[Present, singular]

3. The children will fish {on the frozen pond} [Adv. (where) to "will fish"] {behind

Doug's house} [Adj. to "pond"] {in the winter}  [Adv. (when) to "will fish"]. [Future,


4. The choir {of our church} [Adj. to "choir"], {on Sundays} [Adv. (when) to "will 

sing"], will sing {in their church} [Adv. (where) to "will sing"] {for two hours} [Adv.

(how long) to "will sing"] {in the morning} [Adv. (when) to "will sing" and/or adj. to "hours"].

[Future, singular]

5. {Under the window} [Adv. (where) to "bloom"] {of the garage} [Adj. to "waves"],

yellow flowers bloom {in the fall} [Adv. (when) to "bloom"]. [Present, plural]

6. Sitting {at his desk} [Adv. (where) to "Sitting"], the poet was writing, {for several

days} [Adv. (how long) to "was writing"], poems (DO) {about his horse} [Adj. to 

"poems"] [Past, singular]