KISS Level 2.1.3 Expletives (Optional)
Notes for Teachers
In sentences such as “There
are five men in the woods,” traditional grammars explain “There” as an
“expletive” and they consider “men” as the subject. Although this is an
acceptable explanation in KISS, the “expletive” concept is not needed (Keep
It Simple, S....) because modern linguistics has shown that “There” can
be explained as the subject and “men” as a predicate noun in an S/V/PN
pattern. KISS uses the latter explanation, but those people who prefer
the “expletive” explanation can obviously use it.
I have been asked how KISS deals with subject/verb
agreement questions if it considers “there” as the subject. The answer
to this is quite simple. In an S/V/PN pattern, the complement always has
to equal the subject. Thus, if the complement is plural, the verb must
|Suggested Directions for Analytical Exercises
1. Place parentheses ( ) around each prepositional phrase.
2. Underline every finite verb twice, its subject(s) once, and label
any complements (“PA,” “PN,” “IO,” or “DO”).
|Probable Time Required
You can skip this altogether, or you might
prefer to show your students one exercise, or you might prefer to have
them use the "expletive" explanation, in which case you will need to spend
more time on the construciton