The KISS Printable Books Page
(Code and Color Key)

Distinguishing Finite Verbs from Verbals
Based on "The Story of Columbus,"
from - Golden Deeds: Stories from History Retold for Little Folk
Analysis Key

1. About  [#1] four hundred years [NuA] ago there [#2] lived an Italian sailor (PN),

named Christopher Columbus. |

"Sailor  named Christopher Columbus" fails the sentence test. Thus "named" is a verbal. (It is a gerundive that modifies "sailor," and "Christopher Columbus" is a retained predicate noun after the passive gerundive.)
2. {For some time} he wandered {from place} {to place} trying to induce others 

to help him carry out his plan. |

"He trying to induce," "He to induce," "Others to help him," and "Him carry out" would all fail the sentence test, so they are all verbals. ("Plan" is direct object of the infinitive "carry out" --"complete." "Him" is simultaneously the indirect object of "help" and the subject of the infinitive "carry out." The "carry out" phrase is the direct object of the infinitive "to help," the subject of which is "others." The "to help" phrase functions as the direct object of the infinitive "to induce," which is the direct object of the gerundive "trying." The gerundive "trying" modifies "he.")
3. So {in the month} {of August}, Columbus sailed away {upon his voyage}

{of discovery}, his little fleet consisting {of three small vessels}. |

"Fleet consisting of three small vessels" fails the sentence test. ("Fleet consisting" is the core of a noun absolute that functions as an adverb to "sailed.")
4. [Adv. to "showed" When {at last} dawn came] [#3] it showed an island (DO) 

lying {in the blue waters} {before them}. |

"Island lying in the blue waters" fails the sentence test. ("Lying" is a gerundive that modifies "island.")
5. Having visited other islands, Columbus returned {in triumph} {to Spain}

[Adj. to "Spain" where he was greeted (P) {as a hero}]. |

"Columbus having visited other islands" fails the sentence test. ("Having visited" is a gerundive that modifies "Columbus." "Islands" is the direct object of "Having visited.")

1. Some students will want to mark "about four hundred years" as a prepositional phrase, but "about" here means "approximately."
2. Some grammarians would consider "there" an expletive here, and "sailor" as the subject. (See KISS Level 2.1.3 - Expletives (Optional).) I have analyzed it as a palimpsest pattern with "lived" written over "was." (See KISS Level 2.1.4 - Palimpsest Patterns.) Still another alternative would be to consider "there" an adverb.
3. Most textbooks claim that adverbial subordinate clauses at the beginning of a sentence should be set off by a comma, but there was none here. (See "Breaking the Rules" in KISS Section 6.1 Studies in Punctuation.)