Diagramming Sentences 101: Step-by-Step Guide

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:08
Learn the parts of speech and how they fit together Diagramming sentences might seem complicated at first, but you'll quickly get the hang of it with this comprehensive guide. Sentence diagramming helps you visually understand the function...
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Diagramming sentences might seem complicated at first, but you'll quickly get the hang of it with this comprehensive guide. Sentence diagramming helps you visually understand the function of every part of a sentence, which helps you construct better sentences and improve your writing. Once you understand the essentials, diagramming a sentence is as fun and addictive as your favorite puzzle.

Things You Should Know

  • Start by diagramming a simple sentence with a subject, verb, and direct object. For example, the sentence “Students read books.
  • Draw a horizontal line that’s split in the middle by a vertical line. Write the subject on the left side of the vertical line and the verb on the right side.
  • On top of the horizontal line, draw another vertical line on the right side of the verb. Write the direct object on the right side of this new vertical line.

Sample Diagram Worksheets

Sentence Diagram with a Gerund and Predicate
Diagramming Sentences Worksheet
Part 1
Part 1 of 3:

How to Diagram a Simple Sentence

  1. Step 1 Diagram the subject noun and predicate verb.
    Draw a horizontal line with a small vertical line through the middle. To the left of the vertical line, write your subject. To the right of the vertical line, write your verb. This is the most basic complete sentence.[1]
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    Add the direct object. Draw another vertical line going upward from the horizontal line. To the right of this line, write the direct object.
    Vegetables disgust Felipe.
    • In the above sentence, Vegetables disgust Felipe:
      • The subject is “vegetables.”
      • The verb is “disgust.”
      • The direct object is “Felipe.”
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Part 2
Part 2 of 3:

Advanced Sentence Diagramming

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  2. Eating vegetables is good for you.
    Draw a staircase for gerunds. Gerunds are verbs ending in -ing that act as nouns but often take direct objects. They are usually drawn on a pedestal or stepped line.[5]
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Part 3
Part 3 of 3:

Understanding Grammatical Parts

  1. Step 1 Review the parts...
    Review the parts of speech. Understanding how to identify a noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, conjunction, preposition, etc. is essential to sentence diagramming.[7]
    • Nouns: Words representing people, places, things, or ideas, e.g. dog, computer, Haiti, teacher, and dream.
    • Pronouns: Word that represent nouns, e.g. he, she, they, it, or who.
    • Verbs: Action words, e.g. to run, to swim, and to fly.
    • Adjectives: Describing words that apply to nouns, e.g. blue in blue water, big in big baby, and smelly in smelly garbage.
    • Adverbs: Describing words, like adjectives. However, adverbs apply to verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. E.g. quickly in quickly run, quite in quite slowly, and very in very beautiful.
    • Participles: Words formed from verbs that act like adjectives or nouns, e.g. working in working farmers, flying in flying birds, and flooded in flooded basement.[8]
    • Conjunctions: Words that join clauses or words within the same clause, e.g. and, but, or, for, nor, so, and yet.
      • Joining independent clauses: "Jalissa took the car keys and she drove to work."
      • Joining words in the same clause: "Arturo likes apples and oranges equally."
    • Prepositions: Words that tell you how nouns in a sentence relate to one another, whether by direction, time, location, or space. E.g. above, on, in, between, through, and to, among others.
    • Articles: Words that modify nouns, making them specific or unspecific: a and an (unspecific), the (specific).
  2. Step 2 Review other grammatical components.
    Some of these are related to parts of speech, while others are more advanced concepts that add meaning and complexity to a sentence. All of these components and their purposes are necessary to understand before you start to diagram sentences.[9]
    • Subject noun: The subject of a sentence is the doer of the action in the sentence. E.g. “Jesse” in Jesse went to the store.
    • Predicate verb: The part of a sentence that tells us the complete action of the sentence, which includes the main verb/action. E.g. “was easy” in The test was easy or “knows my father” in The man in the car knows my father.
    • Direct object: The noun that receives the action, e.g. “doll house” in Max made a doll house for Ellie.
    • Indirect object: The noun that receives the direct object, e.g. “Ellie” in Max made a doll house for Ellie.
    • Independent clause: A clause that can stand alone as a sentence, e.g. "He went to the library.
    • Dependent clause: A clause that must join an independent clause to become a complete sentence, e.g. “before swim practice” in He went to the library before swim practice.
    • Verb phrases: Main verbs, like lift, cook, or drive, that have been paired with auxiliary, or helping, verbs, like will, can, or may, which create a sense of time and mood in English sentences. In the following examples, the main verbs are bold and the auxiliary verbs are italic. The two combined make the verb phrase. Note that adverbs are not part of the verb phrase, even if they occur between the auxiliary and main verbs.
      • She will lift the box.
      • They can cook dinner for us tomorrow.
      • You may not have dessert. (Not is not part of the verb phrase).
      • Sam would have liked this movie. (Depending on the intent, auxiliary verbs can be strung together.)
  3. Step 3 Practice identifying grammatical...
    Practice identifying grammatical parts by analyzing sentences. It is much easier to diagram a sentence if you already have an idea of the grammatical contents of that sentence. You can write out and label the different words in the sentence, or you can mentally note which words serve what purpose. Some words are difficult to parse, so save those for last.
    • Determine your subject and verb. These are the foundations of a sentence and, thus, the foundations of a sentence diagram. The subjects of the following sentences are bold, and the main verbs are italic.
      • Children will listen.
      • Though John doesn't like broccoli, he will eat other vegetables.
      • Vegetables disgust Felipe.
      • Felipe was disgusted by vegetables.
      • Ira gave Cho her necklace.
    • Find the direct object if there is one. From the above examples, Children will listen does not have a direct object, but Vegetables disgust Felipe does. Felipe is the direct object of the verb disgust.
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