The KISS Grammar Printable Workbooks The KISS Literature Anthology
(Code and Color Key)

Identifying Phrases
From "The Gorgon's Head," by Nathaniel Hawthorne
in A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys

Answer Key
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Complete Analysis Key

     PERSEUS was the son (PN) {of Danaë}, [Adj. to "Danaë" who was

the daughter (PN) {of a king}]. | And [Adv. to "put" when Perseus was

a very little boy (PN) ], some wicked people put his mother (DO) and

himself (DO) {into a chest}, and set them (DO) afloat {upon the sea}. | The

wind blew freshly, and drove the chest (DO) away {from the shore}, | and

the uneasy billows tossed it (DO) up and down; [#3] [Adv. to "tossed" while

Danaë clasped her child (DO) closely {to her bosom}, and dreaded [DO

of "dreaded" that some big wave would dash its foamy crest (DO) {over them

both [#4] }]]. | The chest sailed on, however, and neither sank nor was

upset; [#3] [Adv. to "sailed" until, [Adv. to "floated" when night was coming],

it floated so [#5] {near an island} [Adv. (result) to "so" that it got entangled (P)

{in a fisherman's nets}, and was drawn (P)out high [#6] and dry [#6] {upon the

sand}]]. | The island was called (P) Seriphus (RPN) [#7], | and it was

reigned (P) over {by King Polydectes}, [Adj. to "King Polydectes" who

happened to be the fisherman's brother (PN)]. |

1. Because they have not yet studied prepositional phrases, most students will probably mark "Danaë" as the subject of "was." The use of pronouns as subjects in multi-SVC patterned sentences is the focus of an exercise in KISS Level 1.6.
2. Expect students to be confused by "upset." It can be viewed as part of a passive verb phrase or as a predicate adjective. See "Predicate Adjective or Part of the Verb?" in KISS Level 1.3.
3. In this short passage, Hawthorne twice used semicolons to separate subordinate clauses from their main clauses. You probably will not find this discussed in most grammar textbooks. The semicolon before "until" is interesting because it tends to throw the subordinate clause back over the verbs "sank" and "was upset" to the first verb in the sentence, "sailed."
4. "Both" can be explained as a pronoun that functions as an appositive to "them." See KISS Level 5.4 - Appositives. Or it can be considered a post-positioned adjective to "them." See KISS Level 5.5 - Post-Positioned Adjectives.
5. The adverb "so" modifies the following prepositional phrase. (You will probably have a hard time finding this explained in most grammar textbooks.)
6. "High" and "dry" are retained predicate adjectives in an ellipsed infinitive construction after the passive "was drawn." The active voice version would essentially be "The nets drew it out *to be* high and dry." Thus "high" and "dry" are predicate adjectives that describe "it" (the chest) after the ellipsed infinitive. See "Retained Complements" in KISS Level 5.7 - Passive Voice and Retained Complements.
7. Comparable to "high" and "dry," "Seriphus" is a retained predicate noun after the passive "was called." The active voice version would be "They called the island *to be* Seriphus."