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Jack and His Golden Box
Finite Verb or Verbal? - Exercise # 2
Analysis Key

1. I came up to get my breath. |

"Breath" is the direct object of "to get." The "to" test may help here, but some students will see "came to get" as a finite verb phrase. That is not a major problem, because it does not create an additional S/V/C pattern, but ultimately "up" answers the question "Came where?" and "to get my breath" answers the question "Came why?" Technically, therefore, "to get my breath" is an infinitive phrase that functions as an adverb.
2. He fell down {with the box} and was very {near being caught}. |
Students who automatically mark prepositional phrases first may have questions about "being caught," but they will in most cases easily mark it as part of the prepositional phrase. As a result, they should not underline it twice. Note also that the sentence does not mean "He was being caught," and thus the "being caught" is not part of the "was."
3. I want this castle (DO) moved far {across the sea}. |
This one will confuse students. Some students will mark "castle" as the direct object of "want." At this KISS Level, that is fine. The subject of "moved" is "castle," but the sentence does not mean "This castle moved far across the sea." If it did, then the speaker would not need to want it moved. Thus "moved" fails the sentence test. [At KISS Level Four, students will learn to explain "castle" as the direct object of "want," and  "moved" as a gerundive that modifies "castle." At Level Five, some students will prefer to see "castle moved" as a noun absolute that functions as the direct object of "want." (The speaker does not want the "castle," he wants the "castle moved.")
4. I must have some (DO) {of the largest man-of-war vessels} sailing {before my house}. |
The subject of "sailing" is "some of the ... vessels." "Some of the ... vessels sailing before my house" fails the sentence test so "sailing" is not a finite verb. [Most grammar textbooks would thoughtlessly consider "sailing" to be a participle (gerundive) that modifies "some." The speaker, however, does not want some of the vessels; he wants "some of the vessels sailing." Thus, as in No. 3 above, at KISS Level Five KISS suggests explaining "some ... sailing" as the core of a noun absolute construction that functions as the direct object of "must have."
5. (By looking} {at it} and {*by* passing it} {from one hand} {to the other}, they

dropped the golden box (DO) {to the bottom} {of the sea}. |

Note again how having students always begin their analysis by identifying the prepositional phrases helps with the verbal problem. Most students will simply tuck "looking" and "passing" into parentheses where they will not be considered when looking for finite verbs. For those students who do consider them, note that the subject of both is "they," and "they looking and passing..." does not pass the sentence test. [Technically, "looking" and "passing" are gerunds that function as the objects of "by." "It" is the direct object of "passing."]
6. Then the young lady ran to tell her father, saying: [DO of "saying" "There is a pretty

young man (PN) {in the kitchen}]." |

At this KISS Level, I would not count "ran to tell" wrong if it is marked as a finite verb, but I would point out that "to tell" tells why she ran. [Technically, it is an infinitive that functions as an adverb to "ran."] "Father" is the indirect object of "to tell." The subject of "saying" is "lady," and "lady ... saying ..." fails the sentence test. ["Saying" is a gerundive that modifies "lady."] For "There," see also "Expletives." Note that this is an extremely sophisticated sentence for fourth graders to analyze, so expect them to have problems with it. Once again, the important point is that they mark only "ran" (or "ran to tell") and "is" as finite verbs. Thus they will have only two S/V/C patterns to deal with when they are working on clauses.