George Washington, No Less!

This sentence is permanently inscribed in the United States capitol building in Washington, D.C.

The first Level 2 is a noun phrase (also called an appositive) that includes the thinly veiled metaphor of the birth of the nation by the founding fathers through the well-chosen nucleus noun, offspring. It also alludes to the fact that this new government was the result of the will of the people—also called a democracy.

The second Level 2 presents the parallel past participles being used by themselves as adjectives describing the government. They are further interesting through their negative prefix, un–. What positive adjectives might Washington have used instead? Can you think of two that might have been more effective?

Repeating the phrase

It’s cool to see that both of the present participial phrases start with the same word, trying, each followed by an infinitive, to hold and to transmit. The parallel structure is enhanced by the phrase at the same time. Other effective phrases would be on the other hand or the correlative conjunctions not onlybut also or both … and.

What a guilt trip!

Did you read this short story in school? You would not forget it, and it’s partly due to the multilayered sentences like this one. I love the parallel structure of the first Level 2, which heightens the ambiguity. The Level 4 is an infinitive phrase, which is a free modifier not included in these lessons because of its rarity. Note the rather archaic sound of should grow rather than grew in the final Level 5.