Diagramming a sentence is a superb train to achieve a deeper understanding of its grammatical construction. A sentence diagram is a visible illustration of a sentence’s construction and its phrases’ capabilities. When doing this train, you place every phrase in its respective place throughout the diagram, which makes use of traces to symbolize which phrases relate to one another and the way. With observe, this ability of breaking down and diagramming a sentence won’t solely enable you perceive the underlying rules of sentence construction but additionally assist hold your writing mistake-free.
Though sentence diagramming just isn’t a crucial a part of language studying, it’s nice for working towards and understanding grammar and syntax, particularly for visible learners. Beneath, we clarify the way to diagram a sentence, together with some sentence diagram examples so you’ll be able to see for your self.
What’s a sentence diagram?
A sentence diagram is a visible group system that you should utilize to see how the components of speech like nouns, verbs, prepositions, and articles work collectively and relate to one another in any given sentence.
We’ll clarify all the pieces it’s good to know beneath so that you just, too, can perceive sentence diagrams. Figuring out the way to establish what roles every phrase performs in a sentence based mostly on their perform and placement is a wonderful observe for each bettering your English writing and studying the way to write higher sentences.
Sentence diagramming makes use of a hard and fast algorithm and a standardized “code” of line sorts (e.g., diagonal traces, dotted traces, and so on.) in order that anybody who is aware of the way to diagram a sentence can learn different individuals’s sentence diagrams. Probably the most generally used methodology is named the Reed–Kellogg system, which is what we talk about right here.
What grammatical parts it is best to have the ability to establish earlier than diagramming?
Earlier than we get down to really diagramming sentences, let’s overview the technical parts that sentences are composed of: components of speech and sentence constituents. Sentence diagramming offers closely with the capabilities of phrases, and it’s good to establish every phrase or phrase’s function so you understand the place to place it in your sentence diagram.
You may acknowledge a few of these are components of speech like articles and conjunctions, however others are ideas that describe the constituents of a sentence like predicates or subordinate clauses. Constituents could be a single phrase or a set of phrases that kind a single perform.
- Topic noun or noun kind: The topic is the doer of the motion in a sentence.
- Predicate verb: The predicate specifies the whole motion of the sentence, and at its middle is the predicate verb.
- Direct object: The direct object is the noun that receives the motion.
- Oblique object: The oblique object is the noun that receives the direct object.
- Preposition: Prepositions comparable to in, at, to, or behind present relationships like path, time, location, and area.
- Modifier: Modifiers, like adjectives and adverbs, add extra description to nouns, verbs, or different modifiers. Possessive nouns like my, your, or Mother’s act as adjectives, so that they’re additionally thought-about modifiers.
- Article: Articles are additionally a sort of modifier, they usually outline a noun as both particular (the) or unspecific (a, an).
- Appositive: An appositive is a noun or noun phrase and is a particular sort of modifying element. Appositives additional establish and even rename one other noun for descriptive functions.
- Conjunction: Conjunctions like and, however, and or be part of phrases or phrases collectively.
- Subordinate clauses: Subordinate clauses comprise a topic and a predicate however want to hitch an impartial clause to kind an entire sentence. These can embrace each noun clauses and infinitive clauses.
- Gerund: Gerunds are verbs that act as nouns, utilizing the participle or –ing kind.
How one can diagram a sentence in 5 steps, with examples
To point out you the way to diagram a sentence, let’s begin with easy sentences and work as much as extra superior constructions. For this part, we’ll use the instance sentence:
The canine introduced me his previous ball within the morning.
Diagram the topic noun and major predicate verb first
The topic and major verb are the core of all sentence diagrams, so begin there. Start by drawing a protracted horizontal line (the “bottom line”) beneath the sentence after which draw a brief vertical line down the center of the horizontal one. The topic noun, canine, goes on the left aspect and the verb, introduced, goes on the suitable aspect.
Auxiliary verbs which can be essential to kind totally different tenses (like have or will) are written along with the primary verb. This additionally contains modal verbs like may or can.
Add the direct object
The direct object, ball, goes on the bottom line after the verb. The verb and the direct object are separated by one other vertical line that sits on prime of the bottom line and does not go by means of it.
Then add the oblique objects
Oblique objects (on this instance: me) go on a small horizontal line beneath the verb, related by a diagonal line.
Put the prepositions in place
For a prepositional phrase like within the morning, draw a small horizontal line beneath the phrase it modifies and join it with a diagonal line. On this case, within the morning refers back to the time that the motion befell, so the horizontal line would go beneath the verb introduced. Then write the preposition (in) on the diagonal line and the preposition’s object (morning) on the horizontal line.
Putting prepositional phrases appropriately on the diagram might be difficult as a result of prepositional phrases don’t at all times go subsequent to the phrases they modify. That is very true with sentence starters. For instance, let’s say you have been diagramming this sentence:
Within the morning, the canine introduced me his previous ball.
Although it’s proper subsequent to the topic, the canine, the prepositional phrase within the morning would nonetheless go beneath the verb introduced as a result of it describes when the motion occurred.
Lastly, add the modifiers and articles
Place modifiers and articles on diagonal traces beneath the phrases they describe.
Superior guidelines for diagramming sentences and examples
As soon as you’ll be able to deal with the fundamentals, it’s time to maneuver on to extra superior sentence diagramming. There are dozens of advanced constructions in English grammar. Listed below are just a few with their very own specific methodology with regards to diagramming sentences.
How one can diagram a sentence with linking verbs
Linking verbs like be, appear, and grow to be have particular guidelines for sentence diagrams after they’re adopted by a predicate adjective or predicate noun, which describe the topic. Write the verb usually after which write the predicate adjective/noun after it on the identical bottom line. Then, separate the verb and predicate adjective/noun with a vertical line slanted to the left. Similar to with direct objects, the road does not intersect the bottom line.
She appears happier after the breakup.
How one can diagram a sentence with noun clauses, noun phrases, and infinitive phrases
Noun clauses, noun phrases, and infinitive phrases are distinct concepts nested inside one other sentence and are diagrammed as extensions from the primary diagram bottom line. To do that, you’ll use “pedestals”—lengthy vertical traces with triangular bases—to attach it to the primary diagram. Put pedestals immediately on the bottom line the place a single noun would go; then draw a horizontal line on prime of the pedestal. On the brand new horizontal line, you’ll be able to diagram the noun clause or phrase similar to a separate sentence.
I wager it’ll rain within the night.
How one can diagram a sentence with conjunctions
Conjunctions are difficult in sentence diagramming as a result of the strategy is totally different relying on how they’re used. Let’s have a look at some sentence diagram examples for the totally different makes use of of conjunctions.
For compound topics, separate the topic line into two or extra horizontal traces and use conjoined diagonal traces to attach them to the bottom line the place the primary predicate verb sits. Write every topic on one of many horizontal traces, with their respective modifiers beneath every. On the level the place the diagonal traces begin, draw a vertical dotted line and write the conjunction sideways on the road.
For correlative conjunctions like each . . . and or neither . . . nor, write each conjunctions sideways on the dotted line, one on all sides.
Each the lecturers and the scholars wished a half day.
Compound predicates use a mirrored model of the development for compound topics. You’ll possible must make the horizontal traces longer to suit extra phrases.
The cat woke from its nap and went to its meals bowl.
If you happen to’re diagramming a compound sentence with two impartial clauses, diagram every clause individually after which join their verbs with a dotted line that appears like a step. On the horizontal a part of the dotted line, write the conjunction.
English is an effective language, however Spanish is simpler.
A number of nouns
If a conjunction connects two or extra nouns that aren’t the topic, diagram the nouns on separate traces stacked like a listing and draw a dotted vertical line between them. Write the conjunction sideways on the dotted line.
Nothing scares me besides snakes, darkness, and bugs.
A number of modifiers
For a number of modifiers, write every adjective or adverb individually on diagonal traces beneath the phrase they modify. Then, draw a dotted horizontal line between them close to the highest and write the conjunction on that line.
The turtle ran slowly and steadily.
How one can diagram a sentence with subordinate clauses
Just like compound sentences, begin by diagramming every clause individually, with the impartial clause on prime. Then, join the clauses with a diagonal dotted line between the verbs and write the conjunction on that line.
If you don’t vote, you shouldn’t complain.
How one can diagram a sentence with gerunds
Gerunds are written on a stepped line.
My favourite exercise is sleeping.
How one can diagram an crucial sentence with no topic
Crucial sentences, or instructions, usually don’t have written topics as a result of it’s assumed the topic is whomever the speaker is speaking to. When making a sentence diagram for an crucial sentence, merely put “(you)” within the topic place.
Give me your cash!
How one can diagram a sentence with appositives
Appositives have their very own particular diagramming guidelines that may appear complicated. When diagramming, it’s helpful to do not forget that appositives are a type of renaming—due to this perform, the noun of the appositive is written in parentheses on the identical line because the noun it describes or modifies. Modifiers of the nouns are on diagonal traces beneath, extending from whichever noun they modify.
A human-made waterway, the Panama Canal connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Sentence diagram FAQs
What’s a sentence diagram?
A sentence diagram is a visible software to assist perceive sentence construction, which reorganizes a sentence’s phrases alongside interconnecting traces as a way to display every phrase’s perform.
What’s the goal of a sentence diagram?
Sentence diagrams are a studying help to assist simplify sophisticated sentences by grouping phrases visually.