[quote=“alecinwonderland”] Suddenly, he heard all of the young people screaming with joy, for out there _________ an oak tree covered with hundreds of yellow handkerchiefs.
A to stand B stood C standing D had stood
A ________ ________ over the classroom ________ as the teacher walked in.
No multiple choice. Required answer from Chinese translation = A hush fell over the classroom just as the teacher walked in.
Obviously I know the correct answers, but “Why isn’t it A/B/C/D teacher?”
Ask them, “What ‘did’ what?” in the second part of the sentence.
They won’t know, so tell them the tree stood. What stood? The tree. What did the tree do? It stoods. The tree stood because that is what trees do. They stand. They blow in the wind, they fall down, they shade the old lady sitting at the park bench and they stand. Mostly they stand. Trees stand (you could adopt a big tree like standing posture, proud and yet somehow longsuffering too.) Then ask, “Where did the tree stand?” They won’t know that either so ask if it stands in the middle of the bathroom. No? Did it stand on my head. Hahaha, no? “Where” did it stand?" “Look at the text.” “Out there?” The tree stood out there. That is what the sentence says, but for stylistic reasons we have switched the subject and verb around and put the place expression at the end.
Draw the appropriate diagram.
Explain that it’s an SV relationship between tree and stood that you are talking about and since an SV combination like “the tree stands” can take any permissable verb form (has/had stood, has/had been standing, was standing, is standing, stood, stands, will stand, will be standing, will have been standing) you just need to choose the right one of those.
“To stand” does not combine in a SV relationship, EVER, because “To stand” isn’t that kind of verb. It DOESN"T SAY WHAT THE SUBJECT DOES. It’s more like NOUN or an ADVERB in that sense.
(I like sandwhiches. I like to stand (noun). I am happy to have stood (adverb) behind Eric Stevick once. It behaves like a verb in the sense that a certain, restricted, number of forms are possible (to “have been” but not to “will have been”) as are objects with transitive verbs. (I like to eat cake) but TO VERB is NOT acceptable in relation to the subjects of sentences. EVER. It’s an absolute rule. Tell them to memorize it. Give LOTS of examples.)
“Standing,” with no be verb in front, isn’t that kind of verb either. It’s a NOUN or an ADJECTIVE. I like sandwhiches. I don’t like standing in standing water. “Ing” verbs with no “be” verb in front behave somewhat like a verb (they can take adverbs for example) but without a “be” verb in front, the “ing” form of a verb NEVER exists as a verb in relation to the subject. Give lots of examples, mark the SVOs and draw arrows to show what decribes what.
The “ing” form with no be verb in front can sometimes be used as an adverb as well. “Dying, she reached for the phone.” Adverbs are pretty movable so you could just as well say, “She reached for the phone, dying”
Essentially though, since you know that tree and stand exist in an SV relationship (they answered the “what did what” question) you also know that only B and D could be correct grammatically. And semantically only B makes much sense. It was an oak tree, not the dogs of war.
As an aside you might tell them that “for” is an artsy fartsy way to say “because” and probably best avoided lest one attempt to sound poetic and end up sounding, lets say, “awkward.”
All of this, of course, assumes that you even want to answer a “why” question with regard to grammar as complicated as this. If you do decide to answer it you should answer it completely IMHO. You should do it in a way that pounds away once again at the basic concepts because if you just throw around a lot of jargon nobody will understand a thing, or worse yet, they’ll think they do when they don’t.