The Printable KISS Grammar Workbooks The Theodore Dreiser Page
(Code and Color Key)

From The Lost Phoebe,by Theodore Dreiser
Post-Positioned Adjectives Ex # 1
Analysis Key

1. “Phoebe who? What Phoebe?” (DO) replied Mrs. Race, curious [PPA]

{as to this sudden development} {of energy} {on his part}. |

2. The annual keep {of pigs} had been reduced (P) {from five} {to one grunting porker},

 | and the single horse [Adj. to "horse" which [#1] Henry now retained] was a sleepy

animal (PN), not over-nourished [PPA] and not very clean [PPA]. |

3. They were well-known (PA) {for a distance} {of as much as ten square miles} {as old 

Mr. and Mrs. Reifsneider}, honest [PPA], moderately Christian [PPA], but too old [PPA] to

be [#2] really interesting any longer. |

4. The picket-fence {in front}, {with its gate squeaky and askew [#3]}, and the side

fences {of the stake-and-rider type} were {in an equally run-down condition}. |

1. This "which" functions simultaneously as the subordinating conjunction and the direct object of "retained."
2. "Interesting" is a predicate adjective after the infinitive "to be." The infinitive phrase functions as an adverb to "too," and "too" chunks to "old."
3. The function of "squeaky" and "askew" can be explained in two ways, depending on what one considers to have been ellipsed. If we read it as "gate *which was* squeaky and askew," then "squeaky" and "askew" are post-positioned adjectives. But we could also read this as "gate *being* squeaky" and "askew," which would make the entire construction a noun absolute that functions as the object of the preposition "with."