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KISS Grammar 

Tense, Number, Logic, and Prepositional Phrases
Exercise # 5

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. The same bold robbers stole thousands (DO) {of dollars} [Adj. (identity) to "thousands"] {in New York} [Adv. (where) to "stole"] {over several months}  [Adv. (when) to "stole"]. [Past, plural]

2. {During Halloween} [Adv. (when) to "will be clanking"], chains will be clanking {throughout the streets} [Adv. (where) to "will be clanking"] {of many cities} [Adj. (identity) to "streets"]. [Future, plural]

3. {During the Olympics} [Adv. (when) to "won"] an athlete {from the United 

States} [Adj. (identity) to "athlete"] won many medals (DO) {in the swimming 

competition} [Adv. (where) to "won"]. [Past, singular]

4. {At the air show} [Adv. (where) to "will streak"], planes {from several countries}

[Adj. (identity) to "planes"] will streak {across the blue sky} [Adv. (where) to "will 

streak"] {for hours} [Adv. (how long) to "will streak"][Future, plural]

5. {In the morning} [Adv. (when) to "comes" and "eats"], that bear comes {into 

our back yard} [Adv. (where) to "comes"] and eats the blackberries (DO) {on

our bushes} [Adj. (identity) to "blackberries"]. [Present, singular]

6. The blue smoke {from the campfire} [Adj. (identity) to "smoke"] curls calmly 

{through the moonlit sky} [Adv. (where) to "curls"] {throughout the night} [Adv.

(when) to "curls"][Present, singular]