The KISS Grammar Workbooks Back to January Menu
(Code & Color Key)

Abraham Lincoln's "The Gettysburg Address"
Analysis Key

1.)     Four score and seven years [NuA] ago our fathers brought forth {on this continent}

a new nation (DO), conceived [#1] {in liberty} and dedicated [#1] {to the proposition} 

[Adj. to "proposition" that all men are created (P) equal (RPA) [#2]]. | Now we are

engaged (P) {in a great civil war}, testing [#3] [DO of "testing" whether that nation or 

any nation so conceived [#1] and so dedicated [#1] can long endure]. | We are

met (P) {on a great battlefield} {of that war}. | We have come to dedicate a portion [#4] 

{of that field} {as a final resting-place} {for those} [Adj. to "those" who here gave their 

lives (DO) [Adv. to "gave" that that nation might live]]. | It is altogether fitting 

(PA) and proper (PA) [ [#5] that we should do this (DO)]. |

2.     But  {in a larger sense}, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we

can not hallow this ground (DO). [#6] | The brave men, living and dead [#7] [Adj.

to "men" who struggled here] have consecrated it (DO) far {above our poor power}

to add or detract [#8]. | The world will little note nor long remember [DO what 

(DO) we say here], | but it can never forget [DO what (DO) they did here]. |

3.     It is {for us} the living [#9] rather to be dedicated [#10] here {to the unfinished work}

[Adj. to "work" which (DO) they [Adj. to "they" who fought here] have thus far so

nobly advanced]. | It is rather {for us} to be here dedicated [#10] {to the great task}

remaining [#11] {before us} -- [ [#4] that {from these honored dead} we take increased

devotion (DO) {to that cause} [Adj. to "cause" {for which} they gave the last full

measure (DO) {of devotion}]] -- [ [#12] that we here highly resolve [DO of "resolve"

that these dead shall not have died {in vain}], [DO of "resolve" that this nation

{under God} [#13] shall have a new birth (DO) {of freedom}], and [DO of "resolve"

that government {of the people}, {by the people}, {for the people} shall not perish 

{from the earth}]]. |

1. "Conceived" and "dedicated" are gerundives to "nation."
2. "Equal" is retained from the active voice "God created all men *to be* equal."
3. "Testing" is a gerundive that modifies "war." Or does it modify "we"?
4. "Portion" is the direct object of the infinitive "to dedicate" which functions as an adverb (of purpose) to "have come."
5. Students will not be able to name the function of this clause unless they have studied Delayed Subjects. If they had not done so, I would ask them what the sentence means -- What "is fitting and proper?" The answer to that is "that we should do so" -- the sentence means "That we should do so is altogether fitting and proper." Hence the clause "that we should do so" functions as a delayed subject.
6. Is this one main clause or is it three. Since the complement of "dedicate" is "ground," I have analyzed it as one, but an equally valid argument could probably be made that it is three. I would consider this a fine point, not worth arguing about, but it would be an important question in a statistical analysis.
7. "Living" (a gerundive) and "dead" function as post-positioned adjectives to "men."
8. The infinitives "to add" or "detract" function as adjectives to "power."
9.  "The living" is an appositive to "us."
10. The infinitive "to be dedicated" functions as the delayed subject to "It." 
11. The gerundive "remaining" modifies "task."
12. The function of the "that" clauses that follow the dashes is debatable. (Hence I would not use this text as an assessment quiz.) Personally, I prefer to see them as adverbial clauses of result to the infinitive phrase "to be dedicated." Normally, an adverbial clause that begins with "that" has a "so" in front of it, but earlier in the speech Lincoln used what is clearly an adverbial "that" clause without a "so" -- "who here gave their lives that that nation might live." One could, however, argue that these two "that" clauses are, for example, appositives to the earlier "task."
13.  Note the difference if we consider "under God" as functioning as an adverb--which is a viable explanation.