My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Tuesday, October 11

ES3, the 3

The whole point of these discussions of sentence structure is to demonstrate the simplicity of English sentences when we get rid of all the grammatical gobbledygook. There are really only a few terms I need and those are readily understandable to almost everyone: noun, subject, object, adjective, adverb, preposition, and appositive. All the rest can go in the garbage can.

Grammatically, the 3 is a present participle. There, you can ignore those words from now on. A 3 is the form of the verb that ends in –ing. Mnemonically you can think of those three letters as signifying the 3. The 3 can be either a noun or an adjective, and often you’ll see it as part of a main verb, but in that case I don’t consider it a 3. For example, “Learning my system is easy.” The 3-o, “learning my system,” is the subject of the main clause. “The number designating a present participle is a 3.” The 3-o, “designating a present participle,” is an adjective describing “number.” “The 3-o is being used as an adjective.” Here, “being” is just part of the main verb and wouldn’t be considered a 3. To complicate it a bit, the 3 can take its own object, can be described by 1-o’s acting adverbially, can, like the 2, also have its own subject. Examples, with patterns followed by sentences:

You may be wondering what an S - V - S pattern is all about. That second S is grammatically either a predicate noun or a predicate adjective (more gobbledygook). It’s a word that either renames the subject or describes it and is linked to the subject by what we call a linking verb (catchy name, huh?). Most linking verbs are forms of “be” but there are quite a few others that work the same way: seem, appear, feel, look, smell, taste, and a host of other less common. For example: I’m a teacher. I’m old. I feel good. You seem surprised. You appear dubious. You look angry. This chicken smells bad. And it tastes bad. I keep busy. I stay happy. Nearly all of these patterns are way too simple to use very often and should be avoided whenever possible.

That’s enough for today. Some of you must be wondering when I’ll get off this drivel. I’m not going to. And if you don’t like it, I don’t care. So there. See you tomorrow with the 4.

Post a Comment

Blog Archive

Any comments? Write me at