Sentence Diagrams

                                                                    Sentence 1 

The federal government and many of the nation's leading telephone companies yesterday announced an
agreement for a reshuffling of phone rates that would reduce the bills of tens of millions of less affluent
consumers and lead to less significant cuts for other consumers and businesses.

- Stephen Labaton, The New York Times (published on June 1, 2000, in Louisville, KY, in The
Courier-Journal
, page A1) 

 
Lesson 1: A noun is a word that represents a person or thing (including ideas, states, and qualities). A
noun can be, among other things, the subject of a sentence. Often placed at the beginning of an English
sentence, the subject is the noun (or pronoun--more about that in a later lesson) about which the rest of
the sentence says something. In a sentence diagram, it is always placed before a vertical line that passes
through the horizontal line upon which the subject sits. In the present diagram, there are several nouns,
among them government, companies, agreement, bills, consumers, and businesses. The compound
subject of the sentence consists of government (a noun), and many (a pronoun); that is the subject of
the subordinate clause.
Apologia pro descriptione mea: 1. The second the logically modifies nation's, not companies. One can demonstrate this by restating the phrase the business associates of my uncle as my uncle's business associates. Notice that the possessive adjective my stays with uncle and does not modify associates. 2. The entire gerund phrase a reshuffling of phone rates functions as the object of the preposition for. The adjectival modifiers a and of phone rates are placed before the step of the gerund; if either were an adverbial modifier, it would come after the step. 3. The antecedent of the relative pronoun that is reshuffling; this is shown by the broken line between the two words. 4. Other logically modifies both consumers and businesses, which justifies its placement below the horizontal line common to both nouns. 
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