The Printable KISS Workbooks Menu
(Code and Color Key)

Frog Fishes
From Child-Story Readers: Wonder Stories 3
Analysis Key

     Note: Although this is a relatively long story for an exercise, most students should be able to finish it in ten minutes or less. It is word-for-word from the original.

How Much I Can Explain

     You might want to point out to students how many of the words they can already explain.
     There are 162 words in the text. If we 
1.) include all the adjectives, adverbs, and coordinating conjunctions,
2.) exclude the thirteen verbals and other words that remain in black in the following, and
3.) exclude the four subordinating conjunctions ("that," "as," "because" and "until"), and
4.) assume that the students will get the two pronouns that function as subjects in subordinate clauses {"which lives," and  "which floats),"
then 162 - 13 - 4 = 145. And 145 / 162 = 90 %!

1.     The frog fish [Adj. to "fish" which lives {in the seaweed}], is

colored (P) to look [#1] {like its home}. | They are pale [#2] yellow (PA)

{with dark brown bands}. | This fish is such a queer looking [#3] creature

(PN) [Adv. to "such" that he is sometimes called (P) the clown [#4] {of the sea}]. |

2.     Frog fish do not live together [Adv. to "live together" as do the flying

fish]. | The frog fish are quarrelsome (PA). | They even eat each

other (DO). | They do not always wait {for their food} to float [#5] by. | They

steal up {on the smaller sea animals} and leap {upon them} as quickly {as a tiger}. | 

The smaller fish may dodge and swim away | [#6] but the frog fish follows 

and {with open mouth} gulps down its prey (DO). |

3.     The frog fish's wide mouth enables it to swallow fishes [#7] much

larger [#8] {than itself}. | These fish are sometimes called (P) cannibals [#4] [Adv.

(cause) to "are called" because they eat each other (DO)]. | People do not

eat the frog fish (DO). | 

4.    The frog fish lays its eggs (DO) {in a jelly-like mass} [Adj. to "mass"

which floats {upon the water} [Adv. to "floats" until the young hatch]]. |

1. "To look" fails both the "to" and the sentence tests. [It is a verbal (infinitive) that functions as an adverb to "is colored."]
2. The function of words such as "pale" in cases like this is not addresses in most grammar textbooks. We could consider "pale" an adverb here in that it modifies a word that functions as a predicate adjective. But "yellow" is also a noun, and most people will probably sense pale as describing the noun "yellow." Ultimately, this is a question of terminology, so KISS would accept either explanation. Note that the same applies to "dark brown" in the following sentence.
3. "Looking" fails the sentence test. As with "pale yellow," grammarians would give a variety of different explanations here. A technical KISS explanation is that it is a verbal (gerund) that functions as an adverb modifying "queer," but such explanations should probably be glossed over. They detract too much from the more important concepts that students should be focusing on.
4. "Clown" is a retained predicate noun after the passive "is called." See KISS Level 5.7 - Passive Voice and Retained Complements. You will probably find that many students working at KISS Level 1 will simply consider it a predicate noun.
5. "To float" fails both the "to" and the sentence test. At KISS Level Four (Verbals), students will probably see that it is part of the prepositional phrase-- "food" is the subject of the infinitive "to float," and the entire infinitive phrase is the object of the preposition "for."
6. Note the absence of the comma that most textbooks claim should be here.
7. At this KISS Level, most students will probably mark "it" as a direct object. I would simply accept that. "It to swallow fishes" fails both the "to" and the sentence test. At KISS Level Four (Verbals), students will see that "it" functions as the subject of "to swallow," and "fishes" functions as the direct object of "to swallow." This infinitive phrase then functions as the direct object of "enables."
8. "Larger" is a post-positioned adjective, a reduction of "fishes *that are* much larger . . . ." See KISS Level 5.5 - Post-Positioned Adjectives.