Unreal Rectangles

Last night, as I reviewed Younger’s English homework, I pointed to one particular sentence in the assignment. “What is the subject of that sentence?”

“Moss,” he answered confidently.

“No, ‘moss’ is the object of the preposition ‘of,’ ” I responded keeping my finger on the sentence. “What is the subject? What is the sentence about?”

“Green,” he offered.

I frowned at him. “No, ‘green’ modifies ‘moss.’ The ‘of green moss’ is a prepositional phrase. What is the subject?”

“It can’t be ‘rectangles,’ ” he announced, challenging me to argue.

Undaunted, I stated, “Yes, it is ‘rectangles.’ The ‘rectangles of green grass covered . . .’ The rectangles covered.”

“No, no,” he assured me. “It can’t be ‘rectangles.’ Rectangles aren’t real.”

This young man just received his ACT score, and, somehow, he earned an impressively high score in the English section.

But he cannot identify the subject of a sentence because rectangles aren’t real.

I don’t even know any more.



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