Diagramming Sentences

Sentence Diagrams

~ One Way of Learning English Grammar ~

Sentences from the United States Constitution

Amendment 5: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Lesson 5: 1. Coordinating conjunctions like or and nor connect words, phrases, and clauses. As connectors of words and phrases,  they are placed on broken vertical or horizontal lines between the two elements. When they connect clauses, they are placed on the horizontal segment of a broken-line step-over, unlike the subordinating conjunctions unless and except, which are diagrammed on broken-line diagonals. These diagonals extend from verb to verb. 2. Line length has nothing to do with sentence analysis; one makes lines longer or shorter make the best use of the space available.
Apologia pro descriptione mea: 1. The words from nor shall any person be subject to without due process of law, which I have diagrammed above with the help of an x, could probably be diagrammed equally well with the skeletal configuration on the left below; however, the configuration on the right probably will not work, because the capture of one nor by another results in a double negative. 2. In this sentence, when is a conjunctive adverb, specifically a relative adverb. It stands for at the time at which, an expression which, if diagrammed, would give us at the time modifying the verb of the first clause and at which modifying the verb of the second clause, with a broken line drawn from time to which to show the connection between antecedent and  relative pronoun. In the diagram above, a diagonal line that is solid on both ends and broken in the middle is used; the solid portions designates the unexpressed adverbial expressions of both clauses, while the broken line shows the connective quality of when. 3. The x's after unless and except stand for he be held; those after when stand for they are.
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