Sentence Diagrams

Sentence 7

Using a new kind of stroke rehabilitation therapy, scientists have shown for the first time that the brain can be coaxed into reorganizing its circuitry so that people regain nearly full use of partially paralyzed limbs, even if the stroke happened years ago.

          - From New York Times and AP Dispatches (published on June 2, 2000, in Louisville, KY, in The Courier-Journal, page A8)

Lesson 7: The words a and an are called indefinite articles. Like definite articles, they are diagrammed on lines extending down from the nouns they modify. While articles and adjectives modify nouns, adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, subordinating conjunctions, and clauses. In the above sentence, the adverbs nearly and partially modify adjectives, and the adverb even modifies the subordinating conjunction if. Adverbs are not always diagrammed on the side of the modified word; for example, if the author had written "scientists have definitively shown," definitively would be placed on a line extending down from the verb have shown. Adverbs often end in -ly; however, many, like often, do not.
Apologia pro descriptione mea: 1. The clauses beginning with so that and if are dependent (or subordinate) clauses. A dependent clause is diagrammed below its main clause (even if, in the sentence, it precedes the main clause), and the subordinating conjunction is written on a broken, slanted line drawn from the verb of the main clause to the verb of the subordinate clause. 2. The word year is an adverbial objective, i.e., a noun used as an adverb. Ago is a postpositive attributive adjective. 3. The gerund phrase reorganizing its circuitry is the object of the preposition into.
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