SENTENCE DIAGRAMMING

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					                              SENTENCE DIAGRAMING

Every sentence must contain two parts: a subject and a predicate. All the other words in
a sentence merely describe, limit or modify the subject or the verb of the sentence. We
use diagraming to help us visualize the pattern of a sentence. Diagraming involves
discovering and displaying each part of a sentence.

I. THE BASIC PATTERN: Subjects and Verbs

The basic pattern for diagraming a sentence involves writing the subject on a horizontal
line followed by the verb with a vertical line separating them.

Thus, sentences such as "Mrs. Sutton ran" and "Mrs. Sutton is running" would be
diagrammed as:

Mrs. Sutton    ran                            Mrs. Sutton           is running

Note—Always capitalize the first letter in the sentence, wherever it appears in the
diagram:

Will children laugh?

       children        Will laugh

Note 2: Figure out whether the verb is an action verb or a linking verb; this will help you
to determine how to diagram objects and predicate adjectives/nouns later.

Mrs. Sutton ran the football.(ran = action vb.)     Mrs. Sutton is silly. (is = linking
verb)

Mrs. Sutton    ran     football               Mrs. Sutton           is      silly



All the other words in a sentence revolve around the two essential parts of every sentence
--the subject and the verb.

II. ADDING TO THE BASIC PATTERN--Adjectives

   A. Diagraming Adjectives. The words that modify or describe the subject and verb
      of the sentence are diagrammed by placing them on slanted lines beneath the
      words that they modify.

   B. Adjectives. Adjectives are words that modify, or describe, nouns or pronouns.
        They answer the following questions: Which one? What kind? How much? Or
        How many? If a word does not answer these questions about a noun or pronoun,
        then it isn’t an adjective.



        Examples of adjectives and the questions that they answer:

        Which one? That smart girl kept her opinions to herself.

        What kind? The smart girl.

        Both “that” and “smart” are adjectives, describing the girl.

        How much or how many? I ate much pizza. I ate three pizzas.

        Note: Adjectives modify or describe nouns or pronouns, not verbs! “Three” and
        “much” describe the pizza, not how I “ate.”

   C. When diagraming, place adjectives beneath the noun or pronoun that they modify,
      IF THEY PRECEDE THAT NOUN. IF THE ADJECTIVE FOLLOWS A
      LINKING VERB OR LINKING VERB PHRASE, IT STAYS ON THE SAME
      LINE AND FOLLOWS THE BACKSLASH. THESE ADJECTIVES ARE
      CALLED PREDICATE ADJECTIVES OR SUBJECT COMPLEMENTS.

class                  clapped                        class                was     happy



III. ADDING TO THE BASIC PATTERN--Adverbs

   A. Adverbs. Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.
      They often end in the suffix “ly,” but not all words that end in “ly” are adverbs,
      and not all adverbs end in “ly.” (e.g., “only” = not an adverb; “well” = adverb
      sometimes). Adverbs answer the following questions: How (in what manner)?
      When? Where? How often? And Why?

        Examples of adverbs and the questions that they answer:

        How? The dog plays well.

        When? I went yesterday.

        Where? I went there.
       How often? I went regularly.

       Why? The dog played because he was friendly. (an adverb clause. Don’t worry
       about this now.)

        E. Adverbs are placed beneath the verb according to the following
pattern:



       Billy            bobbed                      Jane          jumped




The three sentences below would be diagrammed as on the right with the adjectives being
placed beneath the noun and the adverbs beneath the verb, which they modify:



                 The boy ran.



                 The boy ran fast.



                 The tall boy ran fast.



Practice Set #l--Diagram the following sentences looking carefully for the subject and
verb in each sentence and any adjectives or adverbs modifying them.

1. Diana sang.



2. Maria ran slowly.
3. Gary spoke softly.



4. The small child fell down.

5. Mark is studying.

6. Juan is very quiet.

These exercises appeared in
http://www.uottawa.ca/academic/arts/writcent/hypergrammar/adverbs.html