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Conquering Hard Passages

Drill: Trim the Fat

Find the subject, verb, and object in each of the following sentences. Write down a simpler version of each sentence: You may need to include a little more than those three main parts to get the basic meaning in each sentence. Check your answers at the end of the drill.

1.Wild pigs in Hawaii, which first arrived on the islands with Polynesian settlers over 1,200 years ago, are now a major threat to the delicate native ecosystem because of their destructive foraging habits.

Subject:__________________________

Verb:____________________________

Object:__________________________

Simple version:_________________

2. While still an undergraduate at Yale, Maya Lin, the youngest daughter of Chinese immigrants, won the open competition for the design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., the first of many such honors she has subsequently received.

Subject:__________________________

Verb:____________________________

Object:__________________________

Simple version:_________________


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3. The curious children peeking over the sides of the boats out on the river in great numbers for the holiday weekend seemed to be mocking Sophie, as she sat on shore and glumly stared at her half-submerged rowboat.

Subject:__________________________

Verb:____________________________

Object:__________________________

Simple version:_________________

4. Two different inventors, Frank Whittle in Britain and Hans von Ohain in Germany, simultaneously developed the jet engine, which has become standard apparatus in modern aircraft, in the 1930s.

Subject:__________________________

Verb:____________________________

Object:__________________________

Simple version:_________________

5. Alfred Nobel, who invented dynamite as a safer alternative to earlier explosives that had burned down his factory two times, founded the Nobel Prizes to counteract the reputation he had earned as a “merchant of death” because of his success in the explosives business.

Subject:__________________________

Verb:____________________________

Object:__________________________

Simple version:_________________

6. The major reason time-turners are closely regulated by the Ministry of Magic is that the magic related to time travel is unstable, and the potential for a catastrophic mistake, such as a the accidental death of one’s past or future self, is high.

Subject:__________________________

Verb:____________________________

Object:__________________________

Simple version:_________________

7. In 1572, a pug named Pompey saved the life of William the Silent, Prince of Orange, by barking at the approach of Spanish troops who had come to assassinate the prince while he slept.

Subject:__________________________

Verb:____________________________

Object:__________________________

Simple version:_________________

8. Anakin’s first prosthesis, which was a replacement for the right arm he lost in a fight with Dooku, was connected to his body by a synthennet neural interface, which allowed him to register feeling in the mechanical limb.

Subject:__________________________

Verb:____________________________

Object:__________________________

Simple version:_________________