Diagramming Sentences

Sentence Diagrams

~ One Way of Learning English Grammar ~

The Basics of Sentence Diagramming

~ Sentences 26-30 ~

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Sentence 26: Each year we give our next-door neighbors some cookies.

In this sentence, neighbors is an indirect object. The indirect object is one kind of adverbial objective (a noun used as an adverb). Adverbial objectives can also express time, place, and manner, among other things (cf. year in the sentence on the left). When diagramming adverbial objectives, place nothing on the first slanted line.

Sentence 27: Aunt Amy and Uncle Andy sent their nephews, Bruce and Bobby, some cake and cookies.

This sentence contains a compound subject, Aunt Amy and Uncle Andy; a compound direct object, cake and cookies; and a compound appositive, Bruce and Bobby, which is in apposition with the indirect object, nephews. The most common kind of appositive consists of a noun or nouns that follow and further identify another noun or nouns. This kind of appositive is often set off by commas. Note: the adjective some is diagrammed from a point on the direct-object line that pertains to both objects.

Sentence 28: My grandfather, a lifelong non-smoker, attributed his longevity to a healthy lifestyle.

In sentence diagrams, modifiers of an appositive should be placed under the appositive; thus, in this diagram, a and lifelong are placed under non-smoker.

Sentence 29: They mixed the dough quickly, put it into the oven, and waited.

This sentence has a tripartite predicate. Note that the conjunction and is placed between the second and third branches, according to its placement in the sentence. Some authorities like to place an x between any two branches not joined by a conjunction.

Sentence 30: They washed and dried the sticky pots and greasy pans.

Since the verbs washed and dried have a common direct object, one reconnects the branches before the vertical line preceding the direct object. The definite article, the, modifies both pots and pans; thus, in the diagram, it appears under the part of the horizontal line that belongs to both direct objects.
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