KISS Grammar Workbooks Level Two Instructional Material

Palimpsest Patterns

    Tablets were often erased by rubbing them fairly smooth and then new writing was put over the old. These tablets are called "palimpsests." 

Sometimes the easiest way to explain a sentence pattern is to consider it as an S/V pattern written over an S/V/PA pattern. For example, in the sentence

At last the tears came hot (PA) and fast (PA).

"hot" and "fast" could be considered adverbs to "came," but they are also adjectives to the subject "tears." Thus we could consider this an S/V/PA pattern ("tears were hot and fast") with an S/V pattern ("tears came") on top of it.

     The following example is from Nina Bawsen's Carrie's War:

. . . she lay awake at night,  thinking, and came down several mornings so pale (PA) that Auntie Lou wanted to go to the chemist and buy her a tonic.
In this sentence, "pale" clearly describes the subject "she." Thus we can look at it as a combination of "she came down" over (or under) "she was pale."

     As another example, consider the following sentence from Mary Renault's The King Must Die:

As I rode under the gate-tower, the gates groaned open (PA), and the watchman blew his horn.
"Palimpsest" is a big word, and palimpsest patterns are not very frequent, but you may find the idea very helpful.