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Finite Verb or Verbal? -- The Sentence Test (Ex # 1)
from Stories of Robin Hood Told to the Children, by Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall
Analysis Key

 
1. And all the time [NuA] Little John sat patiently {under the tree} {in the garden}  

waiting. |

"Little John waiting" is not an acceptable sentence. Thus "waiting" is a verbal (a gerundive that modifies "Little John").
2. The prize is a silver arrow (PN) tipped {with gold}. |
"A silver arrow tipped with gold" is not an acceptable sentence. Note also that the sentence means an "arrow *that was* tipped with gold." Thus "tipped" is a verbal (a gerundive that modifies "arrow.")
3. Early {on Tuesday morning} they set off {in twos and threes}, going {to Nottingham} {by different roads}. |
"They going to Nottingham" is not an acceptable sentence. Thus "going" is a verbal (a gerundive that modifies "they.")
4. She drew closer {to Robin}, saying, [DO of "saying" "This big man frightens me (DO)."] |
"She saying ..." is not an acceptable sentence. Thus "saying" is a verbal (a gerundive that modifies "She.")
5. Fast and faster he ran, closely followed {by the Bishop's men}. |
"He followed by the Bishop's men"  is not an acceptable sentence. Note also that the sentence means "he *was* followed." Thus "followed" is a verbal (a gerundive that modifies "he.")
6. But he bent his back (DO) and hobbled slowly along {like a very old woman}

muttering and mumbling {to himself} [Adv. to "muttering" and "mumbling" till they

were {out of sight}]. |

The comma disconnects "muttering" and "mumbling" from "woman," thereby making them connect to "he." [Note that this is verified by the following "himself."] "He muttering" and "He mumbling" will not make acceptable sentences, so "muttering" and "mumbling" are verbals (gerundives to "he").
7. The Bishop made his pony stop, and laying a hand {on the old woman's reins}

turned {to her} {with a pale face}. |

"His pony stop" is not an acceptable sentence, so "stop" is a verbal. (In this case it is an infinitive, with "pony" as its subject, and the infinitive phrase functions as the direct object of "made.")
     "The Bishop laying a hand" will not make an acceptable sentence, so "laying" is a verbal (a gerundive that modifies "Bishop"). "Hand" is the direct object of "laying."
     [If you have been looking at these "Sentence Test" exercises in sequence, you may have noted that Marshall frequently places a gerundive between the two parts of a compound finite verb -- it is an aspect of her style.]
8. Very soon, Robin, once more dressed {in Lincoln green}, was marching gaily {at

the head} {of his men}, {through the forest}, searching {for the Bishop and his company}. |

The comma after "Robin" disconnects "dressed" as a finite verb, thereby making it mean "who was dressed," and thus making it a verbal (a gerundive to "Robin").
     "Robin searching" will not make an acceptable sentence, so "searching" is a verbal (a gerundive to "Robin").
9.  Then each one knelt {on one knee}, kissing Marian's hand, and vowing to serve

and honour her {as his queen}. |

"Each one kissing" and "Each one vowing" will not make acceptable sentences. Thus "kissing" and "vowing" are verbals (gerundives to "each one"). "Hand" is the direct object of "kissing." 
     "Her" is the direct object of the infinitives "to serve" and "honour." [Note that they too fail the sentence test -- "Each one to serve" and "Each one honour her" will not make acceptable sentences.] The two infinitives function as direct objects of "vowing."
10. [Adv. to "would have been locked up" If the Sheriff had only known,]

poor Robin would very soon have been locked up (P) {in a dark dungeon},

eating dry bread {instead of apple pie and custard and all the fine things} [Adj. to

"things" they were having {for dinner}]. |

"Robin eating dry bread" would not make an acceptable sentence, so "eating" is a verbal (a gerundive to "Robin"). "Bread" is the direct object of "eating."
11. They came in, rustling {in silk and laces}, nodding and smiling {to each

other}fluttering and flitting {about the aisles} {of the great, dimly-lit church},

{like pretty painted butterflies}. |

None of the "-ing" verbs will make an acceptable sentence with "They," so they are all verbals (gerundives to "They"). "Painted" could be explained as a verbal (a gerundive to "butterflies"), since it means the butterflies were painted. Most of my students, however, simply accept "painted" as an adjective and let it go at that.
When they get to KISS Level Four (after Level Three, and thus have a solid command of clauses), students will be invited to play with sentences such as this one, varying the structure to explore how different structures change the focus of the sentence. You might want to show the following explanation to students working at KISS Level Two, but be careful about expecting them to master it. They may be able to understand the differences suggested below, but before they themselves can be expected to actually do such manipulation, they should have a good conscious command of subordinate clauses and verbals.

     As it stands, the sentence emphasizes "came," the finite verb, and the adverbial function of the gerundives emphasize how they came it.
     One variation, for example, would be to subordinate the "came" in a clause. The result would be to raise the gerundives to finite verbs:

[When they came in, they were rustling in silk and laces, nodding and smiling to each other, and fluttering and flitting about the aisles of the great, dimly-lit church, like pretty painted butterflies. 
Another variation might include some of the gerundives within the subordinate clause:
[When they came in, rustling in silk and laces, nodding and smiling to each other,] they fluttered and flitted about the aisles of the great, dimly-lit church, like pretty painted butterflies. 
The preceding version subordinates all the verbs except "fluttered" and "flitted," thereby giving them the focus. The possible variations are too numerous to explore all of them, and, out of context as this sentence is, they may seem to be too subtle to be worth exploring. Imagine, however, a context in which the "they" refers to two people. The following version would emphasize that, among all this activity, the two people acknowledged each other:
Coming in, rustling in silk and laces, they nodded and smiled to each other, fluttering and flitting about the aisles of the great, dimly-lit church, like pretty painted butterflies.