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Lesson In Grammar Analysis

Author: poem of Vernon Scannell Type: poem Views: 12

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Perhaps I can make it plain by analogy.

Imagine a machine, not yet assembled,

Each part being quite necessary

To the functioning of the whole: if the job is fumbled

And a vital piece mislaid

The machine is quite valueless,

The workers will not be paid.

It is just the same when constructing a sentence

But here we must be very careful

And lay stress on the extreme importance

Of defining our terms: nothing is as simple

As it seems at first regard.

"Sentence" might well mean to you

The amorous rope or twelve years" hard.

No, by "sentence" we mean, quite simply, words

Put together like the parts of a machine.

Now remember we must have a verb: verbs

Are words of action like Murder, Love, or Sin.

But these might be nouns, depending

On how you use them –

Already the plot is thickening.

Except when the mood is imperative; that is to say

A command is given like Pray, Repent, or Forgive

(Dear me, these lessons get gloomier every day)

Except, as I was saying, when the mood is gloomy –

     I mean imperative

We need nouns, or else of course

Pronouns; words like Maid,

Man, Wedding or Divorce.

A sentence must make sense.  Sometimes I believe

Our lives are ungrammatical.  I guess that some of


Have misplaced the direct object: the longer I live

The less certain I feel of anything I do.

But now I begin

To digress.  Write down these simple sentences:--

I am sentenced: I love: I murder: I sin.

Submitted by Andrew Mayers


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