Burch pp. 49-60


p. 50
3. swills the bitter ale extremely slowly
4. almost slept quietly
5. very quickly peeks over
6. he has too considered greatly
7. they had already scrubbed the hall very diligently

p. 52a
1. is pulsating (with a green light)
2. has punished her (because of her phone)
3. had been patronizing them (when it appeared)
4. pressed softly (next to the wound)
5. was wrongfully penalized (for his tattoo)

p. 52b
1. the medicine will not affect you quickly
2. the valve had begun loosening before she reached it
3. the unicorn glittered gracefully as it ran
4. brightly glowing paint along with confetti
5. I have yearned for him after all these years

p. 52c
1. she had had the last straw with him
2. the chimpanzee was flinging something towards the audience
3. she left her dirty thong in the middle of the room
4. they were frequently texting each other throughout the day
5. my dog is always around the litterbox


p. 51
1. were being passed down the tables [where]
2. were moving in a flat-footed but stealthy way [how]
3. danced with a young woman [how]
4. were vibrating with the forceful sound waves [how]
5. held the accordion over his head [where]
6. tried the same trick with some success [how]
7. came back to the ranch [where]
8. had not seen for five years [when]
9. were leaning against the wall [where]
10. in late summer accepted a modest sum of money [when]
11. did not marry again for four seasons [when]
12. measured a capful into her glass [where]
13. came into Danny’s Diner [where]
14. sat always at the same corner table [where]
15. landed in Binghamton [where]

p. 53
1. During the days that followed, (PP) Sholem Waldman went (V) downhill (ADV)
2. He would (AUX) not budge (V) from his bed (PP)

p. 54
Some fig grew by our back door, the old, stubborn tree that was slow to leaf out. Your moon threw shadows of fig branches that curled like empty hands across Estevan’s face and my chest. Something inside the man was turning inside out.

p. 58
1. The dancers were rather late to rehearsal.
2. The designer suits at Neiman Marcus are incredibly expensive
3. There was absolutely no way to cross the flooded street
4. Last weekend, Uncle Mark was really broke
5. Lou Ann was noticeably embarrassed by Bobby’s loud and obnoxious conversation
6. Very few students have your success!
7. The witness was pretty sure about what she saw
8. The jurors were mostly cordial to the prosecuting attorney
9. Sammy’s new car was way cool
10. The apple pie was too hot to taste



Yagoda’s passion for verbs is obvious; they are clearly his favorite part of speech yet. I appreciated his affinity for the word get, and its numerous denotations. I thought it was interesting that the words have got only seem to sound acceptable when presented in a contraction, such as, “You’ve got mail!” I also was intrigued by the frequency with which people will intentionally use the incorrect conjugation of words. The first example that came to my mind was from the 2008 film Pineapple Express. In the movie, Craig Robinson’s character utters the humorous line “I seen’t it,” which has since become a popular Internet meme. The sentence is a curious thing to look at. When you dissect it according to other –n’t contractions, Robinson is literally saying, “I see not it.” However, the phrase is actually an emphatic colloquialism for “I have seen it.” Most likely, Robinson’s original line is a play on the tendency for some Americans to rephrase have seen or saw to a simple seen (i.e. “I seen her yesterday,” or “I seen that movie”). Robinson’s line may also have something to do with the director or writers wanting the Black actor to say his lines with some allusion to African American Vernacular English, as mentioned by Yagoda.

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The reference to Jerry Butler’s song “He Don’t Love You Like I Love You,” immediately made me think of Beyoncé’s recent release of the album Lemonade. Her song “Hold Up” reprises Butler’s in the chorus that repeats “They don’t love you like I love you.” While Beyoncé’s version is grammatically correct, as Yagoda pointed out, many song titles and lyrics don’t use correct verb tenses, and recycling lyrics only perpetuates and encourages misuse of grammar. I am open to English evolving over time, but I don’t believe every incorrect conjugation should become the norm (“seen’t” I’m actually alright with). Interestingly enough, in the 15 names credited to writing “Hold Up,” Butler’s remains absent.

Key Terms #3

Verb Stem: The base form of a word, also known as infinitive. Appears as present tense, singular form of the verb. Has no endings (i.e. -ed or -ing)

Past Tense Form: Something that occurred immediately in the past, usually expressed by adding -ed, and occasionally -t.

Past Participle: Creates passive voice by patterning a verb form with have in the perfect tense, and be.

First/Second/Third Person: First person refers to the one speaking (I). Second refers to the one being addressed (you). Third refers to a person talked about, as if they were not present (he/she/it/they).

Indicative: A verb that indicates, points out, states ideas or presents information. Most common mode.

Imperative: Commands and gives orders. Subject is often omitted.

Subjunctive: Also known as conditional. Ideas contrary to fact, in the realm of the imagined, or articulating something wishful/anticipatory

Aspect: Whether the verb’s action is completed or ongoing. Also known as tenses. Perfect or progressive are two aspects.

Perfect: Tense created with a form of have + past participle of the verb. Shows ongoing action that is completed.

Progressive: Tense created with a form of be + present participle of the verb. Shows ongoing action, even if it occurs in the past (i.e. I was opening the door…).

Phrasal Verb: A verb + a particle (i.e. break in, wear out).

Particle: A preposition that follows a verb and subtly affects its meaning. Does not have an object (noun), like a preposition.

Verb Cluster: Composed of verbs, their auxiliaries, most common modifiers (adverbs), and words that modify or pattern with them.

Auxiliary Verb: Also known as helping verbs. Pattern with main verb to create perfect & progressive tenses, passive voice, and conditionality. Largely composed of do, be and have.

Modal: Verb forms that express conditions applying to main verbs. Only used as auxiliaries. Can help main verb express possibility, probability, obligation, necessity, and anticipation.

Burch pp. 39-49


p. 40
Simple Present/Past Tense/Past Participle/Present Participle

4. drive                      drove              driven                     driving
5. sneak                   sneaked           snuck                    sneaking
6. treat                      treated           treated                   treating
7. go                            went                gone                        going
8. roast                     roasted           roasted                   roasting

p. 46

1. Catch
Simple    I catch                         We catch
Present   You catch                   (Same as singular ‘you’)
                  He/She/It catches   They catch
Simple   Caught   Caught
Past         Caught
.                Caught   Caught
Simple   Shall catch   Shall catch
Future    Will catch
                 Will catch     Will catch
Present   Have caught   Have caught
Perfect    Have caught
.                 Has caught      Have caught
Past        Had caught   Had caught
Perfect   Had caught
                 Had caught   Had caught
Future   Shall have caught   Shall have caught
Perfect   Will have caught
.                Will have caught    Will have caught
Present           Am catching   Are catching
Progressive   Are catching
                          Is catching      Are catching
Past                 Was catching   Were catching
Progressive   Were catching
.                        Was catching   Were catching
Future            Shall be catching   Shall be catching
Progressive   Will be catching
                          Will be catching   Will be catching
Present           Have been catching   Have been catching
Perfect            Have been catching
Progressive   Has been catching     Have been catching
Past                 Had been catching   Had been catching
Perfect            Had been catching
Progressive   Had been catching   Had been catching
Future            Shall have been catching   Shall have been catching
Perfect           Will have been catching
Progressive   Will have been catching    Will have been catching

2. Come
Simple    I come                       We come
Present   You come                (Same as singular ‘you’)
                  He/She/It comes   They come
Simple   Came   Came
Past         Came
.                Came   Came
Simple   Shall come   Shall come
Future    Will come
                 Will come     Will come
Present   Have come   Have come
Perfect    Have come
.                Has come      Have come
Past        Had come   Had come
Perfect   Had come
                 Had come   Had come
Future   Shall have come   Shall have come
Perfect   Will have come
.               Will have come    Will have come
Present           Am coming   Are coming
Progressive   Are coming
                          Is coming      Are coming
Past                 Was coming   Were coming
Progressive   Were coming
.                        Was coming   Were coming
Future            Will be coming   Will be coming
Progressive   Will be coming
                          Will be coming   Will be coming
Present          Have been coming   Have been coming
Perfect            Have been coming
Progressive   Has been coming     Have been coming
Past                 Had been coming   Had been coming
Perfect            Had been coming
Progressive   Had been coming   Had been coming
Future            Shall have been coming   Shall have been coming
Perfect           Will have been coming
Progressive   Will have been coming    Will have been coming

3. Care
Simple    I care                       We care
Present   You care                (Same as singular ‘you’)
                  He/She/It cares   They care
Simple   Cared   Cared
Past         Cared
.                Cared   Cared
Simple   Shall care   Shall care
Future    Will care
                 Will care     Will care
Present   Have cared   Have cared
Perfect    Have cared
.                 Has cared      Have cared
Past        Had cared   Had cared
Perfect   Had cared
                 Had cared   Had cared
Future   Shall have cared   Shall have cared
Perfect   Will have cared
.                Will have cared    Will have cared
Present           Am caring   Are caring
Progressive   Are caring
                          Is caring      Are caring
Past                 Was caring   Were caring
Progressive   Were caring
.                        Was caring   Were caring
Future            Will be caring   Will be caring
Progressive   Will be caring
                          Will be caring   Will be caring
Present          Have been caring   Have been caring
Perfect            Have been caring
Progressive   Has been caring       Have been caring
Past                 Had been caring   Had been caring
Perfect            Had been caring
Progressive   Had been caring   Had been caring
Future            Shall have been caring   Shall have been caring
Perfect           Will have been caring
Progressive   Will have been caring    Will have been caring

The Revenant of Obscure Adjectives

Considering Yagoda’s distaste for nouns, I found his affinity for adjectives interesting—since all they do is serve to modify each other or a noun. In spite of their rarity, and potential for abuse, Yagoda professes himself to be a collector of adjectives, and admits they do serve a useful purpose. His opinion on needlessly obscure adjectives—“NOAs”—confused me, however. It seems if a word is not in common usage, it does not deserve to be used adjectivally. I agree, if there’s a certain word that hasn’t been used since the 17th century and sounds like a tongue twister, that it probably should be replaced, but I enjoy coming across the occasional NOA and expanding my vocabulary. Sometimes obscure words find their way into pop culture and become common words. For instance, I had never heard of “revenant” until the 2016 film of the same name was released. While I’m sure many moviegoers have never bothered to look up the definition, I was able to learn a lot of what the movie was about, just by discovering that the title means “a person who returns.”Before ever seeing a trailer for The Revenant, I understood that the movie had to do with Leonardo DiCaprio returning to someone or somewhere. Now, I am just eagerly awaiting someone to inject this “new” word into modern vocabulary. While the noun may not catch on, I think it is a good example of how the media can bring formerly obscure words into clarity. Someone may not know the definition of revenant, but if they come across the word in the future, it will probably appear more familiar to them than obscure and confusing, and they may even be more inspired to find out its meaning. It seems the trick here is not to “kill” obscure adjectives, but employ them in a way that can make people familiar with its usage.

Burch pp. 33-37


p. 34

  1. Jerry broke the (D) leg (HW) of the (D) desk (NA) chair (HW) (PP).
  2. Our (D) small (ADJ) investment (NA) group made a (D) lot (HW) of money (PP) before the (D) crash (HW) of tech (NA) stocks (HW) (PP).
  3. Do you know the (D) way (HW) to the (D) computer (NA) center (HW) (PP)?
  4. In her (D) will (HW) (PP), Aunt Bea left her (D) antique (ADJ) china (NA) cabinet (HW) to Opie.
  5. Tanika’s (D) small (ADJ) clothes (NA) closet (HW) is stuffed with long (ADJ) coats (HW) (PP).

    p. 35

  1. …an (D) ordinary (ADJ) inspector (HW) in a (D) paper (NA) bag (NA) factory (HW)
  2. …a (D) dirty (ADJ) plastic (NA) bottle (HW) of about 200 (D) plain white (ADJ) pills (HW)
  3. …something about the (D) whole (ADJ) village (HW)
  4. …a (D) shrill (ADJ) sound (HW) of pain
  5. …a (D) fatal (ADJ) accident (HW) in the (D) gravel (NA) quarry (HW)
  6. …some (D) nasty (ADJ) rumors (HW) about deaths/from sickness
  7. …the (D) greenhouse (NA) effect (HW) of pollution
  8. …a (D) report (HW) from the (D) commodities (NA) market (HW)
  9. …the (D) soft (ADJ) sound (HW) of waves/on the (D) shore (HW)
  10. …a (D) wad (HW) of cotton
  11. …a (D) quart (HW) of light (ADJ) beer (HW)
  12. …a (D) new (ADJ) battery (HW) in the (D) radio (HW)
  13. …the (D) carpets (HW) in the (D) sitting (ADJ) room (HW)
  14. …an (D) electrified (ADJ) fence (HW) outside the (D) electrified (ADJ) fence (HW)/around the (D) perimeter (HW)
  15. …the (D) light (HW) over the (D) shaving (ADJ) mirror (HW)
    p. 37
  1. “a (D) tall (ADJ) man (HW) with a (D) slightly forward-leaning (ADJ) stance (HW)”
  2. “a (D) formidable (ADJ) hunter (HW), even in the (D) deep (ADJ) snows (HW)/of a (D) forest (HW) that was alien to him.”



p. 34

  1. those (D) track (NA) markers (HW) in the (D) corner (HW) (PP)
  2. the (D) touchdown (NA) zone (HW)
  3. my (D) feline (NA) friend (HW)
  4. her (D) gold (NA) teeth (HW) on the (D) countertop (HW) (PP)
  5. that (D) health (NA) inspector (HW) behind the (D) fridge (HW) (PP)

    p. 36a

  1. under my umbrella + smile = my smile under my umbrella
  2. before you go + warmth = the warmth before you go
  3. in my room + girl = this girl here in my room
  4. to me + possibility = a definite possibility to me
  5. of uncertainty stinging clear + fear = the fear of uncertainty stinging clear

    p. 36b

  1. the (D) delta (HW) of a (D) small (ADJ) stream
  2. a (D) demolished (ADJ) automobile (HW)
  3. the (D) rate (NA) change (HW)
  4. the (D) small, sleeping (ADJ) female (NA) bear (HW)
  5. some (D) yellow, curling (ADJ) sycamore (NA) leaves (HW)

    p. 37a

  1. the shoeless, smart-aleck philosopher in ancient Greece
  2. an ever expanding universe
  3. that unsolvable red herring
  4. his peg leg on the table
  5. a well-dressed beggar outside 7-Eleven

    p. 37b

  1. the aggressive white rabbit on the mountain
  2. the pelican brief
  3. this fine sunny afternoon
  4. the dusk before dawn
  5. one last-second decision in the nick of time

Key Terms #2

Predicate Noun: Noun that renames the subject & occurs after the verb (in the predicate). Its purpose is to rename the subject.

Linking Verb: A verb that joins the subject to the complement. Subjects and complements have the same referents in sentences with linking verbs.

Predicate Adjective: Adjective that describes or modifies the subject and occurs after the verb. As with predicate nouns, it has the same referent as the subject, and is joined to it by a linking verb.

Intransitive Verb: A verb with no complement. Also known as an intransitive complete because it is complete in itself. Prepositional phrases or adverbial words may be added on after the verb, but they do not complement it.
The sun shone brightly.

Form Classes: Major sentence building blocks that carry most of the meaning of a sentence. The classes are noun, verb, adjective, and adverb. Together with structure words, they constitute the English vocabulary.

Structure Words: The cement that joins form class words and makes their relationships clear. Do more to link, enhance, and clarify than present concepts. Includes pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, expletives, intensifiers, auxiliaries, and interrogatives.

Noun Clusters: A noun plus any modifiers or words that pattern with the noun or relate to it in some way. Adjectives and determiners that enhance/restrict/define/amplify the noun.

Possessive Case: Form of a noun that describes or indicates possession of a material object, shown by adding an apostrophe and the letter s.

Adjective: Describes, limits, and/or tells us more about a noun. Most closely related to nouns and clustering with nouns.

Emphatic: Transforming a sentence patter to shift emphasis. Seen in adjectives that occur after the noun, usually in pairs.

Comparative Form: Adjective or adverb used when comparing two items that has more or -er attached.

Superlative Form: Adjective that compares more than two items by adding most or -est.

Determiners: Word preceding and signaling a noun to help determine or specify it. Includes articles, personal possessive pronouns, demonstrative pronouns, and quantitative words.