500 Sentence Diagrams

by Eugene R. Moutoux

 

 

The Basics of Sentence Diagramming, English Grammar and Usage 

Diagrams of Sentences from Literature, from the U.S. Constitution, from the Gettysburg Address, from Newspapers,  from Presidential Inaugural Addresses

250 Archived "Daily Diagrams" . . . and more

Click on items below to get started.

The Basics of Sentence Diagramming (Part One)

30 sentence diagrams

introducing

subjects

verbs

attributive adjectives

adverbs

prepositional phrases

direct objects

indirect objects

predicate nominatives

predicate adjectives

conjunctions

. . . and more

 

Examples:

Sentence 1: They laughed.

 

 

Sentence 22: Several students in her  class speak with the confidence of Demosthenes.

The Basics of Sentence Diagramming (Part Two

30 sentence diagrams

introducing

possessive nouns 

objective complements

 adverbial objectives 

adverb clauses

adjective clauses

noun clauses

participles

gerunds

infinitive phrases

 compound-complex sentences

. . . and more

 

Examples:

Sentence 31: The parents ate the cake, and the children ate the cookies.

 

 

Sentence 51: She earned a promotion by completing her projects promptly.

New!  Grammatical Terms  and Diagramming Symbols

Click on a page to enlarge it.

. . . from "absolute phrase" to "complementary infinitive"

. . . from "complex sentence" to "finite verb"

. . . from "future tense" to nominative absolute"

. . . from "noun" to "phrasal verb"

. . . from "phrase" to "relative pronoun"

. . . from "retained object" to "voice"

New! English Grammar   and Usage

Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs, Adjectives, Adverbs, Conjunctions, Prepositions, Expletives, 

Subjects, Direct Objects, Predicate Nominatives, Predicate Adjectives, Prepositional Phrases, Indirect Objects, Objective Complements, Adverbial Objectives, Retained Objects, Possessives, Imperatives, Vocatives, Infinitives, Gerunds, Participles, Adverb Clauses, Adjective Clauses, Noun Clauses, Compound-Complex Sentences

       

Long Sentences from the First Pages of Literature

10 diagrams

Sentences by

Charles Dickens

Benjamin Franklin

Robert Graves

Edith Hamilton

Henry Fielding

Thomas Wolfe

Oliver Goldsmith

Sir Walter Scott

Nathaniel Hawthorne

John Milton

 

Example:

Sentence 1. "There once lived, in a sequestered part of the country of Devonshire, one Mr. Godfrey Nickleby: a worthy gentleman, who, taking it into his head rather late in life that he must get married, and not being young enough or rich enough to aspire to the hand of a lady of fortune, had wedded an old flame out of mere attachment, who in her turn had taken him for the same reason." -- Nicholas Nickleby, by Charles Dickens (first sentence of the novel)

Anatomy of a Sentence: Diagramming a 100-Word Sentence Step by Step

1 long diagram

. . . and 15 steps to get there

You will see how to diagram

subjects, verbs, attributive adjectives, predicate adjectives, adverbs, direct objects, indirect objects, prepositional phrases, coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, relative adverbs, adverbial objectives, objective complements, compound expressions, independent expressions, relative clauses, noun clauses, adverb clauses, appositives, past participles, present participles, and infinitive phrases

while you examine each step and read the accompanying explanations. 

Example:

Every year on the afternoon of December 24, you, a Christmas procrastinator, loaded down with sacks and boxes, walk from store to store, down endless aisles, your eyes scanning windows and racks to find the perfect presents for Mom, Grandpa, and Uncle Joe, but since you know in your heart of hearts that Uncle Joe will appreciate nothing you give him and that you will capitulate to necessity and buy Grandpa a fifth of Seagramís, you concentrate on Mom, as you move into the aisle that you hope to be able to call the final stop of this holiday season.

Step 1:

       

German Sentences Diagrammed

36 diagrams

 

There's nothing else like this on the Internet!

Examples:

Sentence 13. Gestern hat meine Kusine angerufen und mich zum Kaffee eingeladen.

Sentence 30. Ilse bekam eine Rechnung  fŁr das, was sie nicht bestellt und nicht gegessen hat.

 

Latin Sentences  Diagrammed

65 diagrams

 

There's nothing else like this on the Internet!

Examples:

Sentence 18. Ille homo pater appellatur qui liberos suos curat.

Sentence 36. Multam pecuniam dare est divitias maiores habere.

       

Diagrams of Sentences by Contemporary Journalists

20 diagrams

New York Times

Washington Post

Associated Press

Los Angeles Times

 Gannett News Service

Louisville Courier-Journal

 

Example:

Sentence 1. "The federal government and many of the nation's leading telephone companies yesterday announced an agreement for a reshuffling of phone rates that would reduce the bills of tens of millions of less affluent consumers and lead to less significant cuts for other consumers and businesses."

        - Stephen Labaton, The New York Times (published on June 1, 2000, in Louisville, KY, in The Courier-Journal, page A1)   

Diagrams of Sentences from the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence

17 diagrams

Preamble

Amendments 1- 10 (Bill of Rights)

Amendment 13 

Amendment 15

Amendment 16

Amendment 18, Section 1

Amendment 19. Section 1

Opening Sentence of the Declaration of Independence

 

Example:

Preamble. "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

       

There are only ten sentences in "The Gettysburg Address." Do you know which sentence is the longest?

 

The Gettysburg Address Diagrammed

10 diagrams

 

The last sentence is by far the longest. It has 82 words.

Examples:

Sentence 1. "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are3 created equal."

Sentence 7. "The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far beyond our poor  power to add or detract."

Presidential Inaugural Addresses Diagrammed 

44 diagrams

Five U.S. presidents did not deliver an inaugural address: John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester Arthur, and Gerald Ford. For the first four, I have taken sentences from their first annual messages. For Gerald Ford, I used a sentence from a brief speech he gave upon taking the oath of office following the resignation of Richard Nixon. One president, Grover Cleveland, was both the 22nd and the 24th president. I selected one sentence from each of his inaugural addresses. I have tried to choose sentences that impress me for historical, intellectual, and linguistic reasons, not by reason of partisan political content.

 

The longest sentence in this section has 112 words. It was spoken by George Washington.

Example:

"Indulging no passions which trespass on the rights or the repose of other nations, it has been the true glory of the United States to cultivate peace by observing justice, and to entitle themselves to the respect of the nations at war by fulfilling their neutral obligations with the most scrupulous impartiality." James Madison (4), First Inaugural Address (March 4, 1809)

       

Archives of "The Daily Diagram"

250 Diagrams

 

Teachers,

You may want to select from these archives one sentence each day and challenge your students to diagram it. In time, many students will look forward to your "Diagram of the Day."

Examples:

Day 1. All insects have six legs.

Day 2. One of my friends exercises daily at the Y.

 

Examples:

Day 3. The individual players were outstanding; however, they didn't play hard enough to win the conference championship.

Day 34. Her decision was to go to the police and report that her friend was the terrorist everyone had been looking for.

Examples:

Day 109. Do you think that those people who say they prefer that their birthday  pass unmentioned really mean it?

Day 221. He said he was as good as or better than any other player in the NBA.

 

Example: 

Day 250. Although people with excellent writing and speaking skills but with little or no formal knowledge of grammar are unable to participate fully in a conversation about such germane topics as the proper use of participles, the correct choice of the pronouns "who" and "whom," the placement of possessives before certain gerunds, and the avoidance of redundant relative pronouns, they nevertheless can and do, by their positive modeling, act as powerful counterweights to the destructive forces in society that constantly introduce and propagate mindless changes in the grammar of the language--changes which, if left unchecked, would quickly spiral out of control. (101 words)

       

The system of diagramming used on this web site and in my books of sentence diagramming was introduced by Stephen Clark in 1847, modified by Alonzo Reed and Brainerd Kellogg some thirty years later (Higher Lessons in English: A Work of English Grammar and Composition, Clark and Maynard, 1884), and expanded by Homer C. House and Susan Emolyn Harman in 1931 (Descriptive English Grammar, 2nd ed., Prentice Hall, 1950) and by Martha Kolln in 1982 (Understanding English Grammar by Martha Kolln and Robert Funk, 8th ed., Bingo, 2009). I have tried to follow in their footsteps (and to create a few of my own) with my latest book, Drawing Sentences: A Guide to Diagramming (Butler Books, 2010) and my other books of sentence diagramming (see below).

My Latest Book

Published by Butler Books of Louisville

***Drawing Sentences***

~ A Guide to Diagramming ~

Drawing Sentences: A Guide to Diagramming is comprised  in large measure of the teacher's editions of my previously published books A First Book of Sentence Diagramming, A Second Book of Sentence Diagramming, and A Workbook of Sentence Diagramming. These books constitute Parts One, Two, and Three, respectively, of Drawing Sentences. In addition to hundreds of model diagrams and many pages of explanatory material, the new book contains scores of exercises, diagramming solutions for all sentences of all exercises, unit tests (and answers) in Parts One and Two, a detailed table of contents, a preface on the history of diagramming, an impressive section of grammatical terms and diagramming symbols, and an index.

Part One contains 115 model diagrams and 250 sentences for students to diagram. Part One has eight units, each consisting of three lessons and one review page. Thirteen pages of answers (i.e., diagrams of all 250 sentences) are found at the end of Part One. 

Part Two begins where Part One ends and has the same basic structure. Part Two provides 82 model diagrams and 201 sentences for students to diagram. Twenty-one pages of answers (i.e., diagrams of all 201 sentences) are found at the end of Part Two. 

Parts One and Two have eight unit tests each as well as solutions for all tests.

Part Three contains 115 diagramming examples ranging in difficulty from very easy to very difficult, 30 exercises containing 274 sentences to be diagrammed, a separate answer section with a diagram and a verbal analysis of each sentence, and a concluding section of 30 sentences of medium length (with solutions), intended as a review of most of the diagramming concepts presented in the book.

Drawing Sentences is the perfect choice for elementary-, middle-, and high-school teachers and for homeschool moms and dads. They can acquire a thorough knowledge of sentence diagramming by working through Part Three, thereby preparing themselves to guide their students through Parts One and Two. Part Three can also be used by industrious students to complement and supplement Parts One and Two.

Perhaps the best way to get to know a book is to view its pages. A series of links will allow you to do just that. Please excuse the less-than-perfect quality of my scans. The quality of the book pages themselves is excellent. The page size of the scans varies slightly but is approximately the same as the page size of the book (8 1/2/" x 11").

- Table of Contents: (four pages)

- Part One, Unit III (five pages)

- Part Two, Unit III (four pages)

- Part Three, Diagramming Examples (2 of 28 pages)

- Part Three, Solutions (4 of 68 pages)

- Grammatical Terms and Diagramming Symbols (1 of 5 pages)

 

If you have questions about Drawing Sentences or about any of my books, please write to me at ermoutoux@juno.com. To order, please go to the web site of Butler Books at www.butlerbooks.com and select my book from their menu, or click here to view an order form that can be printed and sent by fax or snail mail to Butler Books. My other books should be ordered directly from me.

* * * * *

Nota bene!

I still have on hand 12 copies of the teacher's edition of A First Book of Sentence Diagramming ($15), 11 copies of the teacher's edition of A Second Book of Sentence Diagramming ($16), and 9 copies of the teacher's edition of A Workbook of Sentence Diagramming ($14). I do not plan to reprint these editions when the present supply is gone. I would encourage you to consider buying Drawing Sentences: A Guide to Diagramming, which includes all three of these editions. Student copies of A First Book of Sentence Diagramming, A Second Book of Sentence Diagramming, and A Workbook of Sentence Diagramming (which can be used as student copies for Parts One, Two, and Three, respectively, of Drawing Sentences) will remain available for the foreseeable future. The price is $12.50 each.

* * * * *

***Diagramming Step by Step***

~ One Hundred and Fifty-five Steps to Diagramming Excellence ~

Diagramming Step by Step: One Hundred and Fifty-five Steps to Diagramming Excellence, my fourth book of sentence diagramming, is similar to the second edition of A Workbook of Sentence Diagramming; however, there are several important differences:

1 - The examples and exercises of Diagramming Step by Step are completely new.

2 - The teacher's edition of Diagramming Step by Step has 158 pages, 44 more than A Workbook of Sentence Diagramming. Student copies are also available. They do not have answers in the back; in every other respect, they are the same as the teacher's edition. 

3 - Diagramming Step by Step has 40 more diagramming examples than A Workbook of Sentence Diagramming.

4 - Diagramming Step by Step has 83 more sentences for students to diagram; moreover, ten of these sentences have more than 100 words each. A Workbook of Sentence Diagramming has no sentences of this length. Click here to see one of these 100-word sentences. 

5 - The instructional section of the book is divided into 24 lessons, each with a page of grammar explanation, a page of model diagrams, and a page of sentences to be diagrammed by the student. Click here to see an entire lesson (three pages). I regret the poor quality of some images.

6 - In a section entitled "People in the Park," a storyteller (that's me) tells stories about the lives of people in the park, and the student is expected to diagram the sentences of these stories. Grammar hints are provided for those who need them. Click here to see one of the stories.

Click here to see the table of contents.

Like the second edition of A Workbook of Sentence Diagramming, the teacher's edition of Diagramming Step by Step has, in the back, "answers" (diagrams and explanations) for every sentence in every exercise, including "People in the Park" and "100-word Sentences."

Should you buy this book if you already have A Workbook of Sentence Diagramming? Not necessarily, but if you are looking for additional diagramming challenges for yourself or your students, you will find plenty in this book. 

Should you buy this book instead of A Workbook of Sentence Diagramming? Again, not necessarily. This book may have more material than you need. 

Diagramming Step by Step is also available in an enlarged edition. It features 24 additional pages, each entitled "Writing Correctly." These pages offer students writing tips related to the topics of the corresponding 24 lessons. Click here to view two of these pages.

I have dedicated this book to my recently deceased wife of 41 years, Joni. For that reason, I have tried to make it my best diagramming book. If I ever seek a publisher for one of my books, this will be the one. Click here to view pictures of Joni and to read about her life and death.

Teachers purchasing a copy of this book may photocopy all or some of its pages for free distribution to their students. 

The price of the teacher's edition of Diagramming Step by Step is $18.* A student copy sells for $12.50. The enlarged edition (the teacher's edition with 24 pages of writing tips--182 pages in all) sells for $20. The prices, which include handling and media-mail shipment within the United States, are slightly less per book if multiple copies are ordered. If you want to buy one or more copies of this book, please email me at ermoutoux@juno.com. I will  send you my address and you can then mail me a check or money order (no cash or credit card numbers, please). Don't forget to include the address to which you want the book or books sent. Please allow 10-14 days for delivery. 

*As of November 2, 2009, I have fewer than ten copies of the regular teacher's edition ($18) left. This edition will not be reprinted; when the remaining copies are gone, the only teacher's edition available will be the teacher's enlarged edition ($20). 

* * * * *

New in 2009!

*** Analyzing the Grammar of Literature *** 

Diagrams of 130 Long Sentences from British and American Writers

This, my fifth book of sentence diagramming, is unlike any of the other four and, to the best of my knowledge, unlike any other book available. It is not for beginners. It offers 130 sentences gleaned from the works of 57 British and American writers. The shortest sentence in the collection has 70 words, the longest 472. The median length (the length of the sentence right in the middle) is 100 words; to be precise, Sentence 65 has 99 words, Sentence 66 has 100. 

Diagrams of all 130 sentences are contained in in the "back" of the book, i.e., in the final five-sixths of the book. Each diagram occupies at least one page of the book; the longest covers four pages.

Degree of syntactic difficulty played no role in the selection of sentences. Sentence length and authorís literary reputation were the major criteria. 

The authors represented in this book are Henry Adams, Matthew Arnold, Jane Austin, James Boswell, Charlotte BrontŽ, Samuel Butler, George Washington Cable, Lewis Carroll, Samuel Coleridge, Joseph Conrad,  James Fennimore Cooper, Daniel Defoe, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, George Eliot, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Faulkner, Henry Fielding, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Benjamin Franklin, Oliver Goldsmith, Graham Greene, Thomas Hardy, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ernest Hemingway, O. Henry, Washington Irving, William James, Thomas Jefferson, Sarah Orne Jewett, Samuel Johnson, James Joyce, Abraham Lincoln, Herman Melville, James Michener, John Stuart Mill, Cardinal Newman, Edgar Allan Poe, Budd Schulberg, John O'Hara, Sir Walter Scott, Adam Smith, Gertrude Stein, Lawrence Sterne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Thackeray, Henry David Thoreau, Anthony Trollope, Mark Twain, Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, Edith Wharton, Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Wolfe, Virginia Wolfe, and William Wordsworth.  

Teachers purchasing a copy of this book may photocopy all or some of its pages for free distribution to their students. 

Analyzing the Grammar of Literature has 185 8 1/2" x 11" pages; it has a soft cover protected by a plastic overlay. Click here to see the cover. The price of the book is $22, which includes handling and media-mail shipment within the United States. Multiple copies cost slightly less. If you want to buy one or more copies of this book, please email me at ermoutoux@juno.com. I will  send you my address and you can then mail me a check or money order (no cash or credit card numbers, please). Don't forget to include the address to which you want the book or books sent. Please allow 10-14 days for delivery.

May 31, 2011

Your website is fantastic. Iím teaching my college juniors and seniors to diagram (only one or two have ever done it) and Iím determined to make them capable writers in the process. Thank you.


Virginia Martin
Dept. of Communication
University at Albany (New York)

 

Received your wonderful book [Diagramming Step by Step] yesterday. It looks very professional and comprehensive! My husband and I look forward to putting it on our schedule to study.

Kathy Heerensperger, a retired teacher

 

A teacher in a small Christian school writes as follows about a classroom experience in her first year: "Can you imagine eight junior high students gathered around the board, discussing, analyzing, and diagramming sentences? I would not have believed it until this year." Like Kitty Burns Florey, author of Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog, Ms. Riege was introduced to sentence diagramming by a nun. "Sister Mary Redemptra had us all convinced that we would not get past the pearly gates unless we could pass a diagram test given to us by St. Peter." I am especially grateful to Ms. Riege for the following kind words: "When I discovered your books and saw the seriousness of your diagrams, the depth, and the respect for this old tradition, I was quite happy."

Cheryl Riege, Pierce, Nebraska

                 

"I am currently working with a 9th grader who has dyslexia and could not read in 7th grade.  After working with him for two years and teaching him to read up to a 12th grade level using the Barton Reading System--an Orton-Gillingham based method, I decided to incorporate sentence diagramming.  It's amazing how much easier I can teach grammar because he learns in a very linear and structured fashion!    . . . I have a student whom I taught grammar by simply underlining and labeling the parts of sentences and parts of speech.  However, she failed a quiz at school when she had to diagram ten sentences.  I quickly switched to sentence diagramming, and now she can easily toggle back and forth between labeling and diagramming.  Now, she visually sees the connections in a sentence!  . . .  I currently have ten clients who love to diagram sentences." 

Connie Whitcraft <http://www.whitcraftlearningsolutions.com>

 

 
If you want me to explain the grammar of a sentence, please email the sentence to me. If possible, ask specific questions about the sentence.

I will not diagram sentences for you.

 
The system of diagramming used on these web pages was introduced by Stephen Clark in 1863, modified by Alonzo Reed and Brainerd Kellogg (A Work of English Grammar and Composition, 1877), and expanded by Homer C. House and Susan Emolyn Harman (Descriptive English Grammar, 2nd ed., Prentice Hall, 1950).

Please send comments and questions to

ermoutoux@juno.com

Return to my home page

I recommend . . . 

For information about grammar and composition: 

http://www.grammarnow.com.

For information about the early history of sentence diagramming: 

Kitty Burns Florey's delightful book about sentence diagramming, Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog, won't teach you how to diagram; but if you like diagramming, you'll love this book with its happy combination of scholarship and reminiscence. Visit Florey's website at http://www.kittyburnsflorey.com/. To get a taste of her style, read her essay entitled "Boring Things," which is anything but boring. It's on the third page of her website.

http://www.polysyllabic.com/?q=olddiagrams.

For thoughts about the importance of learning grammar and about the ancillary role of diagramming:

http://www.redshift.com/~bonajo/diagram.htm#links.