January 19, 2013
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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 be also.
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
All exercises are in KISS Level 2.1.3, two per grade level.
Instructional Material
From The First Haliburton Reader AK ToC IB 1

Ex # 8 from Potter's The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan AK ToC G3; IG3
Ex # 5 from Potter's The Tale of Tom Kitten AK ToC G3; IB1
Ex # 3 from Potter's The Tale of Samuel Whiskers AK ToC G4; IB2
From Marshall's  Stories of Robin Hood Told AK ToC G5
From Vredenburg's My Book of Favorite Fairy Tales AK ToC G5; IG4
From Lassie, Come Home, by Eric Knight AK ToC G6
From Heidi by Johanna Spyri AK ToC G6
From A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens AK ToC G9