English Language, Analysis and Grammar Exercises Part 3

I went through part 3 of Elliot’s English Language, Analysis & Grammar article:

fallibleideas.com/grammar

I made a video of me reading through part 3 of the article and doing the questions:

My answers to the questions from Part 3 are below. The answers below have a couple of edits from the video which I’ve noted with “EDIT”.

Conclusion of Part 3 Example Sentences

Running fast isn’t fun.

Linking verb: is
Subject: Running
Complement: fun
“not” is an adverb modifying “is.”
“fast” is an adjective modifying “Running.”

I don’t want to stand on my porch when it’s wet.

Action verb: want
Auxiliary verb: do. Enables the negation of “want” by adverb “not.”
Subject: I.
Object: to stand (infinitive).
“not” is an adverb modifying “want.”

“on my porch” is an adverbial prepositional phrase describing the location where the person does not want to stand.
preposition: on.
object of preposition: porch.
“my” modifies “porch.”

“when” is a conjunction. It tells us the situation under which the person does not want to stand on their porch: when it’s wet.

Subordinate clause: it’s wet.
Linking verb: Is.
Subject: It
Complement: wet.

Conclusions: I don’t want to stand in a particular location under a particular condition. The location is my porch. The condition is when it is wet.

Swimming after work is too tiring.

Linking verb: is.
Subject: swimming (gerund).
Complement: tiring.

“after work” is an adverbial prepositional phrase describing when the swimming takes place.
Preposition: after.
Object of preposition: work.

“too” is an adverb modifying “tiring.”

John gets sweaty when he does his exercise routine.

Action verb: gets
Subject: John
Complement: sweaty

“when” is a conjunction describing the situation under which John gets sweaty.

Subordinate clause: he does his exercise routine.
Action verb: does.
Subject: he (refers to John).
Object: routine.
“his” and “exercise” modify routine. “His” is referring to “John’s.”

Conclusions: John gets sweaty in a particular situation. That situation is when he does his exercise routine.

I gave him gifts.

Action verb: gave.
Subject: I.
Object: gifts.
Indirect object (standing for “to him”): him.

I love to throw boomerangs to myself.

Action verb: love.
Subject: I.
Object: to throw boomerangs. Infinitive phrase with the object “boomerangs.”

“to myself” is a prepositional phrase describing the recipient of the object of the infinitive.

What word is the prepositional phrase modifying?

EDIT: It modifies throw. It’s not modifying “I” or “love” or “boomerangs.”

What sort of prepositional phrase is it?

EDIT: Adverbial phrase.

Conclusions: I love to engage in an activity. The activity is throwing boomerangs to myself.

When a movie is boring, I stop watching.

Action verb: stop.
Subject: I.
Object: watching (gerund).

conjunction: when.

subordinate clause: a movie is boring
Linking verb: is.
Subject: movie
complement: boring. EDIT: present participle, adjective.
“a” modifies “movie.”

Conclusions: I stop watching a movie under a particular condition. That condition is when the movie is boring.

I like reading non-fiction books out of order.

Action verb: like.
Subject: I.
object: reading books (gerund phrase with an object, with the whole phrase serving as an object in the sentence).
“non-fiction” is an adjective modifying “books”
“out” is an adverb modifying “reading.”

“of order” is an adverbial prepositional phrase describing what we’re out of.
preposition: of.
object: order.

My broken speakers don’t work for making sound.

Action verb: work.
Subject: speakers.
Auxiliary verb: do. support word for “not.”
“not” is an adverb modifying “work.”
“my” is an adjective modifying “speakers”
“broken” is a past participle adjective modifying speakers.

“for making sound” is an adverbial prepositional phrase describing what the speakers do not work for.
Preposition: for
object: sound
“making” is a present participle adjective modifying sound?

Conclusions: My speakers are broken. They don’t work for making sound.

EDIT: I think maybe “making sound” works better as a gerund object of a preposition which has its own object.

EDIT: This is a decent short quiz I found specifically on distinguishing between gerunds and participles.

FYI, working at the CIA is cooler than the FBI.

Implied words rewrite: FYI, working at the CIA is cooler than [working at] the FBI.

Action verb: is.
Subject: Working (gerund).
Complement: Cooler.

Adverbial prepositional phrase: than [working at] the FBI
preposition: than
object: working

Adjective prepositional phrase: at the FBI
preposition: at
Object: FBI
“the” modifies “FBI”

FYI is an abbreviation for “For your information.”

Conclusions: The following information is for your information: working at the CIA is cooler than working at the FBI.

Criticism of K.Flay’s “Blood in the Cut”

I made a video criticizing the music video/lyrics for the song “Blood in the Cut” by K.Flay

A computer-generated transcript of the video is available pastebin.com/TPqh3B73

I intend to post computer-generated transcripts of all my videos as policy.

Since the earlier video I made criticizing a music video (for “I Gotta Feeling”), I have made the following improvements:

Used bigger font for lyrics
Used big YouTube player
Used automated silence removal (with the Reaper audio-editing app)
Used Screenflow’s background noise filter

I used the transcripts of my recent videos (and a Ruby script) to generate some statistics regarding my use of filler words and phrases such as “um” or “or whatever.”

Unfortunately, Otter.ai seems bad at transcribing my “um’s.” Also, the word “like” can be used legitimately, so it’s not always necessarily a verbal pause.

Nonetheless, I got some interesting information:

For the “I Gotta Feeling” video:

“you know” appears 28 times
“um” appears 2 times
“uh” appears 0 times
“like” appears 21 times
“kind of” appears 5 times
“kinda” appears 0 times
“sorta” appears 0 times
“or something” appears 2 times
“or whatever” appears 10 times

For the K.Flay video:

“you know” appears 10 times
“um” appears 3 times
“uh” appears 0 times
“like” appears 20 times
“kind of” appears 9 times
“kinda” appears 0 times
“sorta” appears 0 times
“or something” appears 3 times
“or whatever” appears 1 times

English Language, Analysis & Grammar, Conclusion of Part 2, Example Practice Sentences

I did most of the example practice sentences in part 2 of curi’s English Language, Analysis & Grammar article

I did not do one but I made some initial remarks on it.

I am trying a new posting method so apologies in advance if anything is wrong, and please let me know if there is something wrong. I did do a test before posting this and everything seemed okay. This new posting method will permit me to simultaneously email the list and post to my blog (hopefully). I am using the Postie WordPress plugin. Btw the [grammar] tag 🏷 works as a blog category tag 😃

Part 2 Exercises

I work hard and I play hard.

Conjunction: Two clauses are joined by the coordinating conjunction “and.”


Main clause: I work hard.
Verb: work.
Subject: I.
Complement: hard.


Main clause: I play hard.
Subject: I.
Verb: play.
Complement: hard.

Conclusions: I work hard. I play hard.

Farting or belching is mildly impolite.

Conjunction: Two nouns (“farting”, “belching”) are joined by the coordinating conjunction “or” into a compound subject. With this conjunction and in this context, the predicate applies to each element of the compound subject separately. It is similar to if you said “A burger or pizza would be good for dinner.” The meaning there would be that a burger would be good for dinner, and pizza would also be good for dinner.

Verb: is.
Subject: Farting or belching.
Complement: impolite.
“mildly” modifies “impolite.”

Conclusions: Farting is mildly impolite. Belching is mildly impolite.

I went to a fancy university, yet I’m still quite ignorant.

Conjunction: Two clauses are joined by the coordinating conjunction “yet.” This conjunction indicates that the clause that follows the conjunction is contrary to the expectation that would follow from the first clause.


Main clause: I went to a fancy university.
Verb: went.
Subject: I.

Prepositional phrase: “to a fancy university” is an adverbial prepositional phrase describing where I “went.”
Preposition: “to.”
Prepositional object: “university”
“a” and “fancy” modify “university.”


Main clause: I’m still quite ignorant.
Verb: am.
Subject: I.
Complement: ignorant.
“quite” modifies “ignorant.”

Conclusions: I went to a university. It was fancy. Contrary to the result one would typically expect from these facts, I am still quite ignorant.

I write because I like good ideas.

Conjunction: The subordinating conjunction “because” joins two clauses, and indicates that the activity in the first clause (“I write”) follows as a result of the state of affairs in the second clause (“I like good ideas.”)


Main clause: I write.
Verb: write.
Subject: I.


Subordinate clause: I like good ideas.
Verb: like.
Subject: I.
Object: ideas.
“Good” modifies “ideas.”

Conclusions: I write. I do this activity for the reason that I like good ideas.

The bully hit my buddy and me pretty hard.

Conjunction: Two nouns (“buddy” and “me”) are joined by the coordinating conjunction “and” into a compound object.

Verb: hit.
Subject: bully.
Objects: buddy, me

“The” modifies “bully.”
“my” modifies “buddy.”
“hard” is an adverb modifying “hit.”
“pretty” modifies “hard.”

Conclusions: The bully hit me. The bully hit my buddy. The hits were pretty hard.

I seriously think that Ayn Rand was wise.

I’m not sure how to analyze this just with the material discussed up to this point in the grammar article, but elsewhere in his grammar educational materials curi says sentences like this mean the following:

Ayn Rand was wise; I seriously think that.

And curi also treats the semicolon as being like an “and.”

So basically, you analyze this as two main clauses.

Main clause: Ayn Rand was wise
Verb: was
Subject: Ayn Rand
Complement: wise

Main clause: I seriously think that
Verb: think
Subject: I
Object: that
“Seriously” modifies “think”

Note: “seriously” is a bit ambiguous. It could mean the person isn’t joking or that the person has thought about the matter carefully.

Don’t chew quickly while your mouth is open.

Conjunction: “While” is a subordinate clause. Here, it indicates that the scope of the advice given in the main clause (“Don’t chew quickly”) is limited to the situations described in the subordinate clause (“your mouth is open.”)


Main clause: [You] don’t chew quickly.
Verb: chew.
Auxiliary verb: do.
Subject: [You]
Complement: Quickly.
The contracted form of “not”, “n’t”, is an adverb modifying the auxiliary verb “do.”
“Quickly” is an adverb modifying “chew.”


Subordinate clause: your mouth is open.
Verb: is.
Subject: mouth.
Complement: open.
“Your” modifies “mouth.”

Conclusions: Don’t chew quickly. This advice is limited to when your mouth is open.

My daughter likes big dogs, but my son likes adorable cats.

Conjunction: “But” is a coordinating conjunction joining two main clauses and indicating a contrast between the two clauses (in this case, the contrast is which animal is favored by the speaker’s children).

Main clause: My daughter likes big dogs
Verb: likes
Subject: Daughter.
object: dogs
“my” modifies daughter.
“big” modifies dogs.


Main clause: my son likes adorable cats.
Verb: likes.
Subject: son.
Object: cats.
“my” modifies son.
“adorable” modifies “cats.”

Conclusions: My daughter likes big dogs. In contrast to that, my son likes adorable cats.

If universities are full of uncurious professors, don’t attend one.

“If” is a subordinating conjunction appearing at the beginning of the sentence. It functions to indicate that if the state of affairs described in the subordinate clause (“universities are full of uncurious professors”) is the case, the advice in the main clause (“don’t attend one.”) should be followed.

Main clause: [You] don’t attend one.
Verb: attend.
Subject: [You]
Object: one.

EDIT: Auxiliary verb: do
EDIT: “not” is an adverb modifying “attend”.


Subordinate clause: universities are full of uncurious professors.
verb: are.
subject: universities
complement: full.

prepositional phrase: of uncurious professors. adverb, modifies “full.”
preposition: of.
object of preposition: professors.
“uncurious” modifies “professors.”

conclusions: There is a condition under which you should not attend a university. That condition is if universities are full of uncurious professors.

After you throw a small, red ball, while you sing, you should stamp your feet loudly, and you should clap your hands energetically, if it’s still daytime.

I find the sentence ambiguous. Are the subordinate clauses supposed to refer only to the nearest main clause or to both main clauses together? And how does that affect how you think of the grammar/make a tree diagram.

I think that a subordinate clause can, in terms of meaning, refer to more than one main clause. For example, in “If you are hungry, you should eat and you should drink,” the meaning is that if the status described in the subordinate clause is the case, you should both eat and drink. But what is the subordinate clause being subordinated to? “You should eat?” Or the combination of the main clauses conjoined by the “and”? And how would we diagram that?

Also, I’m unclear why “if it’s still daytime.” is preceded by a comma. I believe that is irregular and contrary to standard punctuation of subordinate clauses.

I wrote more on this example but I’ll limit my remarks to this for now.