Sentence Diagrams

Sentence 19

Keeping your lips zipped when things sour is the best piece of blunt marriage advice the couple will offer in their sold-out appearances at the Louisville Public Library tonight and on public radio station WFPL tomorrow morning.

          - Tom Dorsey, TV and Radio Critic (published on June 12, 2000, in Louisville, KY, in The Courier-Journal, page F1)

Lesson 19: An objective complement is a noun or adjective that completes the action of the verb with respect to the direct object. In meaning, the objective complement is to the direct object as the predicate nominative is to the subject. In the above sentence, the objective complement is the past participle zipped. In diagramming, the objective complement is placed before the direct object and is preceded by a line that slants downward from right to left. Contrast this with the slanted line before the predicate nominative piece.
Apologia pro descriptione mea: 1. Compare the compounding of two sets of adverbial elements (each set consisting of  a prepositional phrase and an adverb) in the above sentence with a similar situation in Sentence 14. I find no precedent for my solution to the diagramming problem posed by this compounding; however, I think it accurately represents the syntax of the sentence.
On to the next sentence!

Return to Sentences by Contemporary Journalists

Return to Sentence Diagrams, title page