Grab THIS.

The code:

[code]Instead of jumping:
say “You jump as hard as you can and grab the inner rim of the tire. You kick your heels in the air and gain enough momentum to swing yourself over solid ground.”;
now player is in Cemetery;
now monster is in Bottom of the Grave.

Instead of looking when player is in Bottom of the Grave: say “Just bare dirt walls. When you look up, all you see is that tire swing.”

Understand “grab swing/grab tire/grab tire swing” as jumping.[/code]

And the parser answers:

grab swing
I didn’t understand that sentence.

grab tire
I didn’t understand that sentence.

grab tire swing
I didn’t understand that sentence.

I thought understand rules were simple and straight-forward.

Here’s what will actually work, given your code:

>grab swing tire tire swing

Slashes in Understand statements don’t apply to the whole phrase, just to one word; and they can only be applied to nouns, not verbs. So you could write:

Understand "grab swing/tire" or "grab tire swing" as jumping

But it’s really better to implement a tire swing object that the player can examine and do other things with, and then implement an action to grab it and swing across, so you can support variations.

ON POSTING: This is basically a longer version of Sequitur’s comment.

When you put a slash in an understand rule, it only works for the words on either side of it. So, instead of “(grab swing)/(grab tire)/(grab tire swing)” as you intend, Inform thinks you’re saying “grab (swing/grab) (tire/grab) tire swing”; which means that the inputs that match your Understand statement are things like “grab swing tire tire swing” or “grab grab grab tire swing.”

This is often pretty unintuitive, but if you think about it Inform doesn’t know that “grab swing” is a unit. Often we might want to understand something like “road toward/towards Babylon,” and it would be bad if Inform decided that we meant either “road toward” or “towards Babylon” rather than “road toward Babylon” and “road towards Babylon.”

The way you get the effect you want is with “or,” thus:

Understand "grab swing" or "grab tire" or "grab tire swing" as jumping.

…however, in this case it’d be much friendlier to the player to implement the tire swing as a thing–the way you have it if they type “x swing” they’ll get the response “you can’t see any such thing,” which is unfriendly. If you implement the tire swing then you can create a grabbing action so that grabbing the tire swing is redirected to jumping. (You’d want to make sure that it’s very clear that “grab” is the verb they want though–maybe the description of the swing says it looks low enough to grab or something like that.)

I didn’t believe at first that “>grab swing tire tire swing” would work, but it did, and I can’t figure out why. I like your following suggestion, however.
Just read matt w’s message, apparently written while I was writing this response, and I think I get it now. I also think I’m done for the evening, so goodnight fellows, and thanks for all the replies. And the fish.

It works because:

Understand "grab swing/grab tire/grab tire swing" as jumping.

Translates to:

Understand "grab [swing|grab] [tire|grab] tire swing" as jumping.

Because in an Understand phrase, Inform understands a slash as meaning a choice between two or more words, not phrases.

Also, BTW, the way you’ve written your instead rule, it doesn’t matter WHERE the player character is when the command ‘jump’ is given. The PC could be across town in Harvey’s Bristol Pub. The command ‘jump’ will always take him to the Cemetery, which is probably not what you want. For that matter, if the player is in Bottom of the Grave, ‘jump’ will get him out of the grave.

I implemented the swing as a room – you think making it a thing is better?

Yes. It seems much more like a thing than a room–the player won’t be spending a lot of time there or putting things down there, will they?

No, it is a device to get out of the gravesite and to trick the monster into falling into the open grave. I think it works that way, but I’m willing to listen to advice.

Right, the way you describe it it doesn’t sound like it makes sense to have the tire swing be a room. A room is a location you can travel to and do things in, usually. Something that you need to do something with in another room should usually be a thing. (It can be scenery or fixed in place to make sure the player can’t pick it up or carry it around.)

Right, I think I’ve worked it out as a thing. Thanks.

Or even better “The tire swing is an enterable supporter.” so the player can get on the tire swing if they want.