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Mixed Level One Subordinate Clauses
Based on “The Nightingale
From Stories from Hans Andersen with illustrations by Edmund Dulac
Analysis Key

1. The next night [NuA] [ [#1] when he heard it (DO) again] he would again exclaim,

[DO “Heavens [Inj], how [#2] beautiful (PA) it is!”] |
 

2. [Adv. to "said" When they heard the nightingale (DO)] they all said, [DO 

This is better (PA) (than anything}!” |
 

3. There was hurrying (PN) [#3] to and fro, | and *there wasa great draught 

(PN), | but this was just [PN what made the bells ring [#4] ]. |
 

4. [Adv. to "could sing" When the bird was wound up] it could sing one (DO) {of the songs} [Adj. to "songs" the real one sang]. |
 

5. But one evening [NuA] [ [#1] when the bird was singing its best [#5] ], and  [ [#6] 

*when* the emperor was lying {in bed} listening [#7] {to it}], something gave

way [#8] {inside the bird} {with a “whizz.”} |
 

6. The poor fishermen [#9] [Adj. to "fishermen" who had heard the real nightingale 

(DO)] said, [DO It sounds very nice (PA)], and [DO it is very {like the real

one} (PA) [#10] ], but [DO there is something wanting [#11] ].” |
 

7. It sang {about the quiet churchyard}, [ [#12] when the roses bloom], [Adj. to 

"churchyard" where the elder flower scents the air (DO)], and [Adj. to "churchyard" 

where the fresh grass is ever moistened (P) anew {by the tears} {of the mourner}]. |


Notes
1. Most readers probably chunk this clause to "night," which would make it an adjective. Some people, however, may prefer to explain it as an adverb to "would exclaim."
2. "How" functions simultaneously as a subordinating conjunction and as an adverb to "beautiful."
3. "Hurrying" is a verbal (a gerund).
4. "Bells" is the subject of the verbal (infinitive) "ring." The infinitive phrase functions as the direct object of "made."
5. Grammarians will have a variety of explanations for "it best." Some people might consider it to be a direct object of "singing," but to me it explains how the bird was singing, so I would consider it a noun (pronoun) used as an adverb.
6. Note that the "and" connects this clause to the preceding one, creating a parallel construction in which both clauses function in the same way.
7. "Listening" is a verbal (gerundive} to "emperor."
8. "Gave way" is idiomatic for "broke."
9. This seems as if it should be singular, but "fishermen" is what is in the source.
10. Alternatively, and equally validly, some people will explain this phrase as an adverb to "is."
11. Students will intuitively sense that "something wanting" goes together, but they will be confused about how to explain it. Take anything that makes sense. "Something" can be explained as a predicate noun and "wanting" as a gerundive that modifies it, but this explanation reduces "wanting" to a modifier. Ultimately, KISS explains "something wanting" as a noun absolute that functions as a predicate noun
12. "When" is an unusual conjunction for a subordinate clause that modifies a noun that is not a time word, but clearly this clause specifies the setting of the churchyard that is sung about.