Burch pp. 133-141


p. 135
1. who she was
2. what a woman would do!
3. what she needs
4. she does not want to go with them
5. how it turned out
6. that we were proud of our heritage (Object Compliment)
7. what we will do
8. where the land meets the sea
9. What you have in your apron
10. Why he is late coming from the mines
11. why the sun comes up in the morning
12. The main thing
how we should live to prepare for the future
13. that he was married
14. how it happened
15. I couldn’t talk to him while I was in my decision-making process

p. 138
1. more winning horses than any other rider
2. As many people enjoy murder mysteries as enjoy fantasy
3. more trouble than any other one
4. more peaceful than Izzy
5. more difficult than the last job

p. 140
1. I: The street had to be roped off
the policemen had to keep the crowds back
children had to play hooky from school
D: when there was a piano moving
2. I: Point it where you want to go
keep your weight on the pegs with the revs up
this machine bounds over rough ground like a motorized gazelle
D: where you want to go
the pegs with the revs up
like a motorized gazelle
3. I: It takes about 45 minutes for the movie to emerge from Sir Ian McKellen’s beard
he plays the garrulous wizard Gandalf
D: this enormous hunk of quasi-medieval myth
based on the work of JRR Tolkien
is consistently beautiful and exciting
4. I: He was never allowed into the mysterious warrens during the workday when he was younger
at 5pm he would carry a glass filled with amber fluid
D: push the swing door with his foot
5. I: I was on the perpendicular part of the cliff
unless I could get over it soon I would just peel off the wall
D: unless I could get over it soon


1. The MVP’s exorbitant comeback clinched it
2. He told us a story about how his wife took up Israeli folk dancing
3. He showed us where to eat in the neighborhood
4. Nobody in the class knew how to solve those problems
5. That is not what the meaning of education should be about


Burch pp. 113-123


p. 114
1. Participle phrase HW: presented
2. Noun phrase HW: experience
3. Noun phrase HW: childhood
4. Noun phrase HW: pillow cover
5. Participle phrase HW: smiling
Prepositional phrase: at Leroy
6. Verb phrase HW: was sitting
Prepositional phrase: on the crest/of a hill
7. Noun phrase HW: professor
Prepositional phrase: of humanities/at City College
8. Infinitive phrase HW: to make love
Prepositional phrase: in Venice
9. Adjective phrase HW: pieces
Prepositional phrase: of old furniture
10. Noun phrase HW: light
11. Noun phrase HW: faintness
12. Gerund phrase HW: groaning
Prepositional phrase: of the hydraulic valves
13. Verb phrase HW: crossed
Noun phrase HW: city
14. Prepositional phrase
15. Infinitive phrase HW: to have
Noun phrase HW: family


p. 115
1. Phrase
2. Clause
3. Clause
4. Phrase
5. Phrase

p. 117
1. Dependent
2. Independent
3. Independent
4. Independent
5. Dependent

p. 122
1. He brandished the gun, but he didn’t know I was conscripted into the army.
2. He had been right about liberalism; we were surprised by this assumption.
3. “It’s terribly unfair,” they scowled.
4. Everybody blames us for being late to school, so we can’t wait for the bus here.
5. We met at an evangelists’ camp meeting near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and they are ready to defend their deep and famous interests.

Burch p. 111

The bull, striking the wood from side to side with his horns,(P) made a great noise. Then I saw a dark muzzle and the shadow of horns, and then, with a clattering (G) on the wood in the hollow box, the bull charged and came out into the corral, skidding with his forefeet in the straw as he stopped, (P) his head up, (NA) the great hump of muscle on his neck swollen tight, (NA) his body muscles quivering as he looked up at the crowd on the stone walls. (NA) The two steers backed away against the wall, their heads sunken, (NA) their eyes watching the bull. (NA)

Over his lavender collar, crushed upon a purple necktie, (P) held by a diamond hoop: (P)over his ammunition belt of tooled (P) leather worked in silver, buckled cruelly around his gasping middle: (P) over the tops of his glossy shoes Braggioni swells with ominous ripeness, his mauve silk hose stretched taut, (NA) his ankles bound with the stout leather thongs of his shoes. (NA)

The firemen drew near at 3am, walking through the powdery light in their bunker gear, (P)their Irish and Italian names sparkling in reflective tape at the bottom of their jackets. These were the walking angels (G) of the city.

Leaning over the balcony railing, (P) I see the waiters, dressed in white jackets, (P) already arranging chairs on the sidewalk. (P) A boy, his face hidden by the ample hood of a burnoose, (NA) is bicycling with difficulty toward the grocery store next to the café. Hung over the bar handles (P) are two straw baskets overloaded with fat loaves of bread. Bread is the gift of Allah.

Burch pp. 104-112


p. 107
1. his concentration fixed
his hands folded reassuringly across his lap
2. Hips swaying
3. Pencil sharpened
paper piled neatly before me
4. hair ribbons cascading behind them
5. Antlers erect
eyes focused on the men across the way
6. Eyes wide open
7. Tail switching slowly back and forth in pleasure
8. Fangs dripping with blood
9. My insecurities gone
10. Hands steady
11. gift held proudly before him
12. each of us peering intently into the descending dusk for glimpses of the familiar and the unknown
13. my arms swollen as sausages from lactic acid
my head pounding from tension, lack of food, and good old self-loathing
14. the crew laughing
his eyes meeting Dillon’s
15. her petite frame contrasting with GaoLing’s sturdier one


p. 108
2. Wings fluttering wildly, Icarus splashed down into the cold and salty sea, his face wearing a look of desperation.
3. Worry lines etched  into his forehead, palms sweating profusely, John clutched the teddy bear, eyes searching the crowded room.
4. Each tier balanced carefully atop a larger one, frosting color-coordinated with the bridesmaids’ gowns, and plastic bride and groom standing on the very top layer, the wedding cake looked perfect.
5. The little girl woke up from a nightmare, tears ebbing at the corners of her eyes.
6. Windows shattered, paint gouged with a large sharp object, vandals had totally spoiled the car

p. 110
1. Hands shaking, she read her piece to the class
2. Jenny, yogurt in hand, spied the donuts on the counter
3. Voice cracking, the boy loudly sang in the corner of the coffee shop
4. Hand stinging with scratches, he let go of the cat
5. She nodded, brow furrowed, mouth grimacing


The Royal They

For many years I have been instructed that the term “his or her” is the only proper pronoun for singular indefinite subjects, and to use plural pronouns such as them or they is completely erroneous. I’ve never agreed with this notion, for several of the reasons Yagoda mentions, among them the awkward pronoun s/he, or the struggle to pick a specific gender. Another reason I’d prefer to use plural pronouns, is because in certain cases I see it as being correct. For instance, when using each or every before the subject. The words signify individual, separate people, but the problem with those words is that they are only used to talk about more than one person. Saying, “I woke up this morning and made coffee” has a completely different connotation than, “I woke up each morning and made coffee.” The former sentence specifies a single day, while the latter is talking about a series of consecutive days. It makes perfect sense to use a plural pronoun when speaking of subjects that carry the precedents each, every, or another word implying multiples. Another case to use acceptable plural pronouns for single subjects involves transgenderism and gender fluidity. Janet Mock, a transgender rights activist, prefers using “they,” to avoid assigning someone an incorrect gender pronoun. This is a safe fallback for someone who has not had the chance to ask which pronoun the person would like, and is not as inhumane as saying “it.” However, if they do have the chance to (politely) ask the person in question which pronoun they would prefer, it should be clarified rather than assumed.

Yagoda’s mention of the “royal we” immediately brought to mind the scene from The Big Lebowski (1998). In the movie, Jeff Bridges’ character was supposed to conduct an errand by himself, and is called out when he admits that he dropped off the money with someone else. To avoid punishment, Bridges quickly backtracks to say that he meant the royal we, a term virtually unheard of in today’s world, especially for Americans.

I was also surprised to notice Yagoda’s absence of the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail in his dissection of the word it. In an iconic scene, the protagonists run across the Knights Who Say Ni, and discover that mention of the word it causes the Knights great distress. Perhaps this stems from a desire to construct better-worded sentences? We may never know.

Burch pp. 87-107


p. 89
6. I smelled black olives and anchovies
7. The insects are collected, documented, and pinned to the board
8. Smoke flavor and ghost peppers are added to barbecue sauces
9. Maybe I’ll buy myself a cow and a beanstalk
10. Rachel could never keep her eyes off my papers or my Jimmy Choo’s
11. I didn’t like or want his implications
12. You went out for ice cream cones with Uncle Larry, Aunt Sue and cousin Timmy
13. The living room, bathroom, and kitchen were quiet
14. There’s salt and water in the North Sea
15. After settling into my hotel room, I called my wife and kids
16. The team of archaeologists unearthed treasure, fossils, and human figurines
17. In Russia, medical care and covering up doping is expensive
18. Other people don’t seem to notice the bitterness, jealousy, and anger
19. Hutton, Fowler, and Mrs. Doubtfire have read his manuscripts
20. I paid him, her, and them a couple of dollars

p. 99
1. ruffled by a storm
2. The sagging skin of her face
3. attached to the general staff
4. racked with fever
5. Hastily throwing their cigarettes away
the disapproving eye of the principle
6. Glancing at the basket of fruit
sitting on the table
7. Shaking hands with all the guests
8. Framed by a little black beard
9. a few sharp, cutting
10. taking fire from itself and growing from its own fuel
11. the lighted
12. the dwelling places of the elders
13. inspiring
14. the crowded
15. celebrating the holiday with his family


p. 92
1. to make a glass mirror
2. to carve a study out of the little space in the apartment
3. to continue my journey
4. To appreciate good pastries
a skill pleasurable to learn
5. to search for the right word

p. 95
1. Watching everyone read out loud (subject)
2. getting clean water (object of preposition)
3. our cleaning early (direct object)
4. Organizing the food pantry (subject)
rewarding work (predicate noun)
5. remarrying (object of a preposition)

p. 103
1. milking a cow (gerund as object of preposition)
2. his father’s telling of his town in Europe etc. (gerund as direct object)
3. to bring relatives of defendants before grand juries (infinitive as adjective)
4. a skeleton with haunted eyes (participle)
5. to miss its chilly shadow (infinitive as adjective)
to buy a loaf of bread (infinitive as adverb)

p. 107
1. his concentration fixed
his hands folded reassuringly across his lap
2. Hips swaying
3. Pencil sharpened
paper piled neatly before me
4. hair ribbons cascading behind them
5. Antlers erect
eyes focused on the men across the way


p. 93
1. She viciously tried to dull every spark of talent that threatened her Olympic dreams
2. The survivors didn’t want to use up much of their ammunition
3. I challenged Mr. Bernstein to eat the smoked pork, even though I knew he was Jewish
4. During the blizzard, we wanted to go and play billiards downstairs while the adults got drunk
5. I find it very hard to control myself when I’m listening to Bassnectar

p. 97
1. She was unsure of how she would go about furnishing him with an address
2. The creatures appeared to be arriving from the ends of the earth
3. Rationing shower time was not going over well with Stacy
4. Writing poetry has turned out to be more fun and easy than I ever thought it would be
5. The children and women were first sighted entering air-raid shelters

p. 101
2. Arriving from the ends of the earth, Captain Jack set the Black Pearl towards home
3. Dinner was rice, rationed, with beans
4. Writing poetry, Jane looked a figure of beauty
5. Entering air-raid shelters, the children were terrified
6. We found him leaning against one of the massive speakers, lost in the music

p. 102
1. to discuss the treaty (infinitive)
2. staring into my eyes (participle)
3. stooped against the headwind (participle)
4. gurgling (gerund)
5. to reconstruct my life (infinitive)

Like, Adverbs, You Know?

While Yagoda may not seem to hate adverbs in the way he does nouns, the rest of the writing world seems to disagree. As laughable as all the presented quotes on adverbs are, it’s ironic that none of those being quoted could seem to properly deride adverbs without using the loathsome part of speech in their sentences. While Yagoda understands that adverbs can be a “crutch,” he also admits in When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It, that they can be “a tool necessary for expressing a multitude of meanings.” It was particularly interesting to me how much he liked the word “like.” When I moved to California two years ago, I immediately discovered the frequency of “likes” that fly around on a Santa Barbara college campus. I even started a game where I would count how many occurred in a single sentence; there were just so many. In this time, I have also met a girl who was self-conscious to the point of being apologetic of how often she injected “you know” into her sentences. She fully believed that, instead of using them as fillers, she was just really concerned with making sure the other person understood what she was saying. Luckily, there are articles out on the Internet that can help people fix their like addiction. However, the article leaves out one of like’s denotations to mean “as if,” (i.e. it was like the sun was shining through her eyes).

Another adverb that I found interesting was the versatile “only.” I have come across similar examples before that challenge the reader to put “only” anywhere in a sentence and still have it make sense. It makes me think of the motto YOLO. “Only” can be transported anywhere around in the phrase and it still makes grammatical sense:

You Only Live Once
Only You Live Once
You Live Only Once
You Live Once Only (this seems to be the odd one out)

My personal favorite, however, is the Yoda version:
Only Once You Live