Diagramming Sentences

Sentence Diagrams

~ One Way of Learning English Grammar ~

The Basics of Sentence Diagramming

~ Sentences 46-50 ~

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Sentence 46: Having spotted a school of fish near the surface, the pelican plunged into the water.

The verb spot (to catch sight of) has five participial forms: spotting (present active participle), being spotted (present passive participle), having spotted (present-perfect active participle), having been spotted (present-perfect passive participle), and spotted (past participle). Participles are verbal adjectives; they are diagrammed like having spotted in this sentence. As adjectives, they modify nouns and pronouns; as verbs, they can take direct objects or predicate nominatives.

Sentence 47: Walking through her garden, we saw vegetables of every size, shape, and color.

Here the present participle walking modifies the personal pronoun we.

Sentence 48: Bundled in blankets, but freezing nevertheless, they left at the end of the third quarter.

Bundled is a past participle, and freezing is a present active participle. As happens when attributive adjectives are compounded, coordinating conjunctions are placed on a broken line drawn horizontally between the two slanted lines.

Sentence 49: Diagramming sentences can be fun.

Gerunds are verbal nouns. They always end in -ing; however not all nouns ending in -ing are gerunds, e.g., housing in the phrase affordable housing or building in the phrase a tall building. One sure test of a gerund is this: If the ing-noun takes a direct object, as does diagramming in Sentence 49, it's a gerund.

Sentence 50: Seeing is believing.

The gerund seeing is the subject and the gerund believing is a predicate nominative. Of course, is is a linking verb.
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