The KISS Grammar Workbooks Back to April Menu
The Opening Paragraphs of
Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities
1. Put parentheses ( ) around each prepositional phrase.
2. Underline subjects once, finite verbs twice, and label complements (PN, PA, IO, DO). 
3. Place brackets around each subordinate clause. If the clause functions as a noun, label its function (PN, IO, DO, OP) above the opening bracket. If it functions as an adjective or adverb, draw an arrow from the opening bracket to the word that the clause modifies.
4. Put a vertical line at the end of every main clause.

     It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of 

wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was 

the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of

Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had

everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct

to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way -- in short, the period 

was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities 

insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative

degree of comparison only.

      There were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a plain face, 

on the throne of England; there were a king with a large jaw and a queen

with a fair face, on the throne of France. In both countries it was clearer 

than crystal to the lords of the State preserves of loaves and fishes, that

things in general were settled for ever.