Diagramming Sentences

Sentence Diagrams

~ One Way of Learning English Grammar ~

The Basics of Sentence Diagramming

~ Sentences 36-40 ~

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Sentence 36: His classmates elected him class president.

An objective complement completes the action of the verb with reference to the direct object. In this sentence, president is an objective complement. In traditional diagrams, the objective complement precedes the direct object and is signaled by a line that slants from lower left to upper right; the slanted line rests upon the base line. A newer manner of diagramming places the objective complement, preceded by a backslash, after the direct object.

Sentence 37: He was elected class president by his classmates.

If Sentence 36 is expressed passively, its active verb, elected, becomes the passive verb was elected, which is considered a linking verb and is followed by a predicate nominative, president.

Sentence 38: The announcement made him happy.

In this sentence, the adjective happy is an objective complement. All objective complements, whether nouns or adjectives, are diagrammed the same way. As with Sentence 36, the upper diagram shows the traditional manner of diagramming an objective complement, while the lower diagram shows the newer manner.

Sentence 39: He was made happy by the announcement.

Expressing Sentence 38 in the passive voice produces a linking verb (was made) followed by a predicate adjective (happy).

 Sentence 40: Do you recognize the people who just walked in?

 Subordinate clauses are adverbial (those introduced by the subordinating conjunctions because, although, etc.), adjectival, and nominal (i.e., noun clauses). Prominent among the adjective clauses are relative clauses, which are subordinate clauses introduced by a relative pronoun. The relative pronouns are who, whom, whose, which, and that, and have an antecedent (a noun or pronoun previously mentioned in the sentence) to which they refer. In Sentence 40, who is the relative pronoun and people is its antecedent. A broken line connects the two. Notice that the word in, often a preposition, is an adverb in this sentence. Prepositions have objects.
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