The KISS Printable Books Page
(Code and Color Key)

An Exercise on Passive Verbs
Based on "How Horatius Kept the Bridge,"
from - Golden Deeds: Stories from History Retold for Little Folk

1. More {than two thousand years ago [#1] } Rome was ruled (P) over [#2] {by 

some kings} called the Tarquins [#3]. |

2. The city could only be entered (P) {by crossing the river Tiber [#4] }, | and 

there was but one wooden bridge (PN) [Adj. to "bridge" {over which} the army 

could pass]. |

3. Then the leader {of the Romans}, [Adj. to "leader" who was called (P) the 

Consul [#5]  ], cried out {to his followers} to destroy the bridge [#6]. |

4. {At this} a Roman called Horatius [#7] came forward and offered to 

stand [#8] {at the farther end} {of the bridge}, to keep the Tuscans [#9] {at bay} 

[Adv. to "to keep" while it was being destroyed (P) ]. |

5. But their laughter was soon changed (P) {to wrath and despair}, [Adv. to 

"was changed" as one [NuA] {after the other} [#10] they and their chiefs were 

quickly laid (P) low {at the feet} {of the dauntless Romans} ]. |

6. Meanwhile the supports {of the bridge} were destroyed (P). |

7. {During his gallant fight}, a dart {from an enemy’s arrow} had put out one 

eye (DO), | and {because of this} he was given (P) the surname (RDO)

{of Cocles}, [Adj. to "Cocles" which means one-eyed (PN) [#11] ]. |

1. How grammarians would explain this "ago" would be an interesting question--for grammarians. My practiced guess is that most students will have little trouble including it within the prepositional phrase, primarily because if the "More than" were not there, the construction would be "two thousand years ago." In that construction, the "ago" functions as an adverb to "years" which would be a noun that functions as an adverb. If students do not include the "ago" within the phrase, I wouldn't worry about it. It's a fine point for grammarians to debate.
2. This "over" could be considered part of the finite verb phrase, or it can be explained as an adverb. Note that it adds nothing to the sentence and could have been omitted.
3.  "Tarquins" is a retained direct object after the passive gerundive "called." The gerundive modifies "kings."
4. "Tiber" is an appositive to "river," which is the direct object of the gerund "crossing." The gerund functions as the object of the preposition "by."
5. "Consul" is a retained predicate adjective after the passive "was called." The active voice version would be "They called him *to be* consul."
6. "Bridge" is the direct object of the infinitive "to destroy." Some people may see the infinitive functioning as the direct object of "called out," whereas others may see it as an adverb of purpose.
7. "Horatius" is a retained direct object after the passive gerundive "called." The gerundive modifies "Roman."
8. The infinitive "to stand" functions as the direct object of "offered."
9. "Tuscans" is the direct object of the infinitive "to keep." The infinitive phrase functions as an adverb (of purpose) to "to stand."
10. I have marked this phrase as adjectival because it modifies "one." But since "one" functions as an adverb, some people may prefer to see the prepositional phrase as functioning as an adverb to the adverbial function of "one." [I have never seen this construction explained in a grammar book.}
11. Alternatively, "one-eyed" can be explained as a direct object.