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Finite Verb or Verbal?
Based on “Sally Migrundy”
From FRIENDLY FAIRIES, Written & Illustrated by Johnny Gruelle
Analysis Key

This is a challenging exercise. Remember that its objective is to help students learn how not to underline verbals as if they are finite verbs. If they can't do this, they will have problems identifying clauses.

     The little bottle floated along, tumbling [#1] {over the tiny falls and tinkling ripples}

and bobbing [#2] up and down {in the deep, blue, quiet, places} [Adv. to "floated" until

finally it floated {to Sally Migrundy’s} and came to rest [#3] {in the mass} {of pretty 

flowers} [Adj. to "mass" where Sally Migrundy came each morning [NuA] to dip [#4] 

her tiny bucket [#4] {of water}]]. |

     And so Sally Migrundy found the tiny bottle (DO) and took it (DO) {into her 

tiny house} to read the tiny note [#5] [Adj. to "note" she saw inside]. |

1. "The bottle tumbling" does not pass the sentence test, so "tumbling" should not be underlined twice. [It is a verbal (a gerundive - a verbal adjective) that modifies "bottle."]
2. Like "tumbling," "bobbing" does not pass the sentence test. [And like "tumbling," it is a verbal (a gerundive) that modifies "bottle." Note that the preceding "and" joins "tumbling" and "bobbing."
3. Grammarians will have a variety of explanations for "to rest," but "came to rest" basically means "stopped," so at this level of work, the simplest thing to do is to expect the students to underline "came" twice, but then accept whatever they do with "to rest."
4. For young students, the difference between "came to rest" and "came ... to dip," may be difficult to see, but an essential part of teaching is to try to help them see such distinctions. Whereas "came to rest" can be replaced by "stopped," "came ... to dip" cannot be replaced by a single word. In addition, the "to dip" explains why Sally came. The bottle that came to rest, however, did not have a purpose. Thus "to dip" is a verbal (an infinitive) that functions as an adverb (of purpose) to "came." "Bucket" is the direct object of "to dip."
5. "To read" fails both the "to" and the sentence test. It is a verbal (an infinitive) that functions as an adverb of purpose to "took." "Note" is the direct object of "to read."