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An Introduction to KISS Level 3.1 — Welcome Back!

     If your instructor has given you these materials, you have probably worked through KISS Levels One and Two. Thus you are already able to identify many constructions in the sentences that you read and write.
     If you are familiar with the movie The Karate Kid, you probably remember than Mr. Miyagi made Danielsan wash and wax his cars—“Wax on; Wax Off. Wax On; Wax Off.” In a sense, that is what you did in KISS Level One. Daniel also had to paint the fence, “Up. Down. Up Down.” You might compare that to KISS Level Two. KISS Level Three is comparable to many of Daniel’s karate matches –not the championship matches (those are in KISS Level Four). But before one can become a champion, one needs practical experience.
     KISS Level Three—Clauses—is the most practical and important of the KISS Levels. That’s because clauses are the most important constructions in English sentences. Even as you begin to master main clauses, you’ll be discovering important aspects of correctness, style, and logic. And, if you have mastered KISS Levels One and Two, all that washing, waxing, and painting will make KISS Level Three relatively easy to master. As you work, keep the following in mind:
1. There are some things (such as simple prepositional phrases, and identifying basic S/V/C patterns) that you are expected to always get right.

2. But, because you will be analyzing sentences from real texts, there are other things that you will be expected to get wrong.

3. Always work systematically. In analyzing a sentence, find all the prepositional phrases first. Then identify the S/V/C patterns by first finding a finite verb, then its subject, then its complement. Do this in a sentence until you have found all the S/V/C patterns.

4. In this Level, you will be learning to identify basic clauses. A clause is an S/V/C pattern and all the words that chunk to it. Thus, if you have labeled all the S/V/C patterns in a sentence, identifying clauses will be easy. You will be told how to do that systematically using another simple, but very important sequence. Learn the sequence, and use it.

5. We humans have a tendency to worry about what we do not know or do not understand. Do not let that frustrate you. From time to time, stop and look at how much you can already explain.

6. Have fun!