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Question about MCT Island series - Practice & Sentence Island


SaDonna
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I must admit that I am relearning most of this over again WITH my kids as we go through it all. We have completed Grammar Island and are onto Sentence Island and 4 part sentence analysis in Practice Island. I am getting stumped on several pages of Practice Island as I know the kids are being asked things that they haven't gone over yet, and I can't make heads or tails of it.

 

Case in point - I know that it mentions in Sentence Island that if an Action Verb doesn't flow to a noun or pronoun, then there is no direct object in the sentence. I take that literally, and am wondering why no direct object is shown in Sent 22 (Wild winds whirled and curled around the island)... isn't island a noun? Why isn't it a direct object then? Is it because it is part of a prepositional phrase? I mean I can understand in Sent. 4 when it says (Oh, several swordfish submerged very suddenly)... clearly there is no noun there to be a DO. But in Sent 6 (Two blue schooners sailed by the island)... again Action Verb sailed and a 'island' as the noun... but it's not shown as the D.O. but there it is in a prepositional phrase again.

 

I guess I am just noticing that they are being asked in Practice Island to do things that as of yet I don't remember teaching them. Things are a little trickier with regards to figuring out parts of the sentence.. in Sent 19 (Then a strong evening breeze whipped the tall pines.) ... 'Then' is an adverb... can I explain to the kids why exactly? Unfortunately not. Also, in Sentence 20 when 'only' is shown as an adverb.. again it's not very clear to me. (It's only a hawk with its shrill squeak)

 

My question would be to have someone explain the D.O. question above, and also to point me to a resource that might help explain these things to me so that I don't feel like such a dunce teaching it to them when I don't really understand it all that well myself. Any help or advice would be appreciated!

Edited by SaDonna
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You are right that you encounter new things in Practice Island (& Sentence Island) that were not completely taught in Grammar Island.

 

So far as I have seen (Island, Town, Voyage), this is an intentional method in MCT. The Grammar text is intended to quickly introduce the *main* points, and those points are expanded upon in the subsequent books. (This is why many MCT users encourage people to use the entire program, not just one text, especially if grammar is your goal.) The practice sentences are NOT intended as a right-or-wrong exam, they are for exploration. Some are easier than others. Don't worry if the child or you have trouble with some of the trickier ones. Just figure it out together, read the explanation in the TM, and move on.

 

In the sentence you mention, the preposition 'around' makes 'island' into a 'object of the preposition'. You'll learn this label later if you haven't heard it yet. (Note that since it is an OBJECT, it will use object pronouns! Love that consistency!)

 

So, a word will not be both a DO & an object of a preposition. Essentially, prep. phrases remove their words out of the main essence of the sentence -- they are modifiers. You generally won't find any of the basic parts of the sentence (subj, pred, do, io, sc) within a prep phrase (nor several other phrase types you'll learn later). In fact, this is probably a universal rule, but I have learned not to be black & white about grammar through MCT, lol.

 

Also, if the sentence read 'the wind swirled and curled the island' (as in picked up the island and moved it around! LOL), THEN island would be your DO. As it is, the wind is not actually doing anything to the island. . . The prep. phrase 'around the island' is just giving you more details about how/where the wind whirled. The wind isn't actually DOING anything to the island. To be a DO, the word must be actually receiving the action of the verb.

 

HTH

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Thank you very much for your explanation. We have been enjoying every part of Grammar Island so far, but the sentence analysis was starting to get a little frustrating when as each sentence was really making them think (but without having fully explained it before)... like 'It's' and 'its' ... my youngest son wants to just easily label them both as pronouns, but we go through it with MCTs explanations at the bottom of the TM page, and then they both are like, "Oh, O.K."

 

I still wish for more info upfront for their poor mother who doesn't understand it enough yet either to just know these things already. I guess I don't mind learning like this, as long as at some point it IS explained further to all of us. ;-)

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I still wish for more info upfront for their poor mother who doesn't understand it enough yet either to just know these things already. I guess I don't mind learning like this, as long as at some point it IS explained further to all of us. ;-)

 

I think he does explain this, but it is very quickly.

 

If you have an action verb, there MAY BE a DO or IO - there does not have to be. In fact, there's a whole class of action verbs (intransitive) that can't take DOs (because as their name implies, they don't transfer action). But you haven't learned this, and don't have to. Just remember for now that thre MIGHT BE a DO or IO after an action verb.

 

The same goes for a Subject Complement after a linking verb. There MAY BE one there, but there doesn't have to be.

 

And yes, if it's the object of a preposition, it can't be any kind of sentence part - not subject, not DO or IO (and certainly not verb, since if it's an object it's a noun or pronoun ;)). The entire prep phrase acts like a modifier (adjective or adverb) - but you don't have to worry about that at this point either. :) Just know to leave it alone - that's why Easy Grammar has you cross out all the prepositional phrases before doing any other kind of sentence analysis. I still have my kids bracket them off first, even in MCT.

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The concept that a direct object cannot be part of a prespositional phrase is explained clearly in Sentence Island. You probably just haven't hit it yet. There are also a lot of practice sentences to analyze in S. I.

 

I do understand the grammar but it has been a long time. I can recommend the Rod and Staff Grammar Handbook as a reference. Very concise and clear. If your grammar education was lacking, you could always go through a higher level program yourself. I am thinking about getting the highest grade of R&S and reading through it so I am not fumbling around later on.

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