Diagramming Sentences

Sentence Diagrams

~ One Way of Learning English Grammar ~

The Basics of Sentence Diagramming

~ Sentences 31-35 ~

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Sentence 31: The parents ate the cake, and the children ate the cookies.

A compound sentence consists of two or more main clauses (clauses that are able to stand alone if necessary), often joined by a coordinating conjunction (usually and, or, or but). In a sentence diagram, one arranges the clauses from top to bottom according to their position in the sentence. The absence of a coordinating conjunction can be shown with an x.

Sentence 32: We are staying home tonight because we have too much homework.

A complex sentence contains a main clause and a subordinate clause; the latter cannot stand alone. The subordinating conjunction, in this sentence the word because, is placed on a broken diagonal line that runs from the main verb down to the verb of the subordinate clause.

Sentence 33: Although he was aware of the big game, the math teacher assigned enough work for a week.

Even when the subordinate clause (sometimes called dependent clause) comes first, it is diagrammed below the main clause (sometimes called the independent clause). Like because in the previous sentence, although is a subordinating conjunction; others are since, while, after, if, unless, and so that. Subordinate clauses introduced by subordinating conjunctions are called adverbial clauses. Note: the prepositional phrase for a week modifies the attributive adjective enough.

Sentence 34: Sue left school early because she felt sick, but her mother brought her back because she had forgotten her Latin book.

If a sentence contains two or more main clauses and at least one subordinate clause, it is called a compound-complex sentence. In the sentence above, the coordinating conjunction is but, and the subordinating conjunction (used twice) is because.
Sentence 35: Scott is Jennifer's boyfriend.  
The possessive case is used to show 1) possession or belonging to (Jennifer's boyfriend), 2) the subject (agent) of an action (the king's departure), 3) the object of an action (the town's destruction), and 4) description (three months' pay). A possessive is placed on a slanted line below the noun to which it pertains.
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