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KISS Grammar 

Tense, Number, Logic, and Prepositional Phrases
Exercise # 7

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 expensive restaurant} [Adv. (where) to "had brought"], the waiter had

brought everyone (IO) {at our table} [Adj. (identity) to "everyone"] seven plates

(DO) and three saucers (DO) {throughout the course} [Adv. (when) to "had

brought"] {of the meal} [Adj. (identity) to "course"]. [Past, singular]

2. The lonely little fish swims {for hours} [Adv. (how long) to "swims"] {in his little

bowl} [Adv. (where) to "swims"] {on the table} [Adj. (identity) to "bowl"]. [Present,


3. {In every land} [Adv. (where) to "mend"], mothers, {throughout their lives} 

[Adv. (when) to "mend"], mend the broken hearts (DO) {of their families} [Adj. 

(identity) to "hearts"]. [Present, plural]

4. The basketball team {from Kentucky} [Adj. (identity) to "team"] will, {during

two days} [Adv. (when) to "will play"], play six games (DO) {at the tournament}

[Adv. (where) to "will play"].    [Future, singular]

5. {During the twentieth century} [Adv. (when) to "have built"], engineers have

{in many cities} [Adv. (where) to "had brought"], built skyscrapers (DO) {of 

exceptional beauty} [Adj. (identity) to "skyscrapers"][Past, plural]

6. {In the winter} [Adv. (when) to "will be jingling"], sleigh-bells will be jingling 

{throughout the lanes} [Adv. (where) to "will be jingling"] {of the village} [Adj. 

(identity) to "lanes"]. [Future, plural]