The KISS Grammar Workbooks Back to October Menu
(Code and Color Key)

If My Dog Could Teach Me
A Lesson in the Imperative Mood
Analysis Key

     Imperative mood implies the existence of the subject "you" and, sometimes we can say that there is also an implied "should," but not always. Sometimes it is simply a straight command. In this case, however, I have included "should" in most cases because these are suggestions for conduct, not commands. Obviously, you can eliminate the "should," should you choose to do so.

     [Adv. to "is" If my dog could teach me (IO),] this is [PN of "this is" what [#1]

she would say]: |

[Adv. to "Run" When loved ones come home [NuA],] *you should* always run to greet them [#2]. |

*You should* Never pass up the opportunity (DO) to go [#3] {for a joyride}. |

*You should* Allow the experience (DO) {of fresh air} and the wind (DO) {in your face} to be pure ecstasy [#4]. |

[Adv. to "practice" When it's {in your best interest},] *you should* practice obedience (DO). |

*You should* Let others know [#5] [Adv. to "Let" [#6] when they've invaded your territory (DO).] |

*You should* Take naps (DO). |

*You should* Stretch {before rising [#7]}. |

*You should* Run, romp, and play daily. |

*You should* Avoid biting (DO) [#8] [Adv. to "Avoid" when a simple growl will do.] |

{On warm days}, *you should* stop to lie [#9] {on your back} {on the grass}. |

{On hot days}, *you should* drink lots (DO) {of water} and lie {under a shady tree}. |

[Adv. to "dance" and "wag" When you're happy (PA),] *you should* dance around and wag your entire body (DO). |

No matter [ [#10] how often you're scolded (P),] *you* don't buy into the guilt thing (DO) and pout ... | *you should* run right back and make friends (DO). |

*You should* Delight {in the simple joy} {of a long walk}. |

*You should* Eat {with gusto and enthusiasm}. | *You should* Stop [Adv. to "Stop" when you have had enough (DO).] |

*You should* Be loyal (PA). | *You should* Never pretend to be something [#11] [Adj. to "something" you're not.] |

[Adv. to "dig" If [Subj. of "lies" what [#12] you want] lies buried (PA) [#13],] *you should* dig [Adv. to "dig" until you find it (DO).] |

[Adv. to "be," "sit," and "nuzzle" When someone is having a bad day (DO),] *you should* be silent (PA), sit close by and nuzzle them (DO) gently. |

1. Within its own clause, the "What" also functions as the direct object of "would say." Note that the rest of the text could also be explained as appositives to "what she would say."
2. "Them" is the direct object of the verbal {infinitive) "to greet." The infinitive functions as an adverb to "run."
3. "To go" is a verbal (infinitive) that functions as an adjective to "opportunity."
4. Expect students at this level to mark "experience" and "wind" as direct objects. Later they will learn that everything after "allow" is part of an infinitive phrase that functions as the direct object of "allow" -- "experience" and "wind" are the subjects of the infinitive "to be," and "ecstasy" is the predicate noun after "to be." 
5. "Others" is the subject of the infinitive "know." The infinitive phrase functions as the direct object of "Let." See also Note # 6.
6. Some bright students are going to give teachers a good argument that this clause functions as the direct object of "know."
7.  "Rising" is a verbal (gerund) that functions as the object of the preposition.
8. "Biting" is a gerund that functions as the direct object of "Avoid."
9. This verbal (infinitive) functions as an adverb of purpose to "stop."
10. This clause is part of an idiomatic expression that I would not expect students to be able to explain until Level Five and noun absolutes. At that point, the clause is explained as the head of a noun absolute -- "[how often you're scolded] *being* no matter *of concern*."
11. "Something" is a predicate noun after the infinitive "to be" (which means "to be equal to"). The infinitive phrase is the direct object of "pretend."
12. "What" functions as subordinating conjunction and, within its clause, as direct object of "want."
13. Grammarians will enjoy discussing this one. Within KISS, some people may want to explain "lies buried" as a palimpsest pattern, with "lies" written over "is." Note also how this verb exemplifies the slide between passive voice and predicate adjective.