Sentence Diagrams

Sentence 14

The new investigation found no credible evidence to support allegations in recent years from former Memphis bar owner Loyd Jowers and former FBI agent Donald Wilson, and earlier from Ray himself, that a mysterious "Raoul" or others, including federal agents, police or black ministers, participated in a plot to kill King.

          - Michael J. Sniffen, Associated Press (published on June 10, 2000, in Louisville, KY, in The Courier-Journal, page A1)

Lesson 14: In English, an infinitive is usually preceded by the particle to: for example, to help (present active infinitive), to be helped (present passive infinitive), to have helped (present-perfect active infinitive, and to have been helped (present-perfect passive infinitive). Infinitives can function as nouns, e.g., To travel is fun (subject) or They want to travel (direct object); as an adverb, e.g., We were not able to go (the infinitive modifies the adjective able); or as an adjective, e.g., He doesn't have time to play (the infinitive modifies the noun time). An infinitive phrase consists of an infinitive plus objects and modifiers, if any. In Mr. Sniffen's sentence, there are two infinitive phrases (to support allegations . . . from Ray himself and to kill King); each is used adjectivally. Infinitives are diagrammed like prepositional phrases.
Apologia pro descriptione mea: 1. I think it is clear that the conjunction and between Wilson and earlier is meant to connect the two prepositional phrases that immediately precede it with the adverb and prepositional phrase that immediately follow it. I've not seen prepositional phrases diagrammed quite this way, but I can see no objection to doing so. 2. The that-clause is an appositive.
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