# Thread: Diagram a sentence for me

1. Newbie
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Jun 2012
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1

## Diagram a sentence for me

"He knocked on the door and was surprisingly answered by Keira."

The sentence above does not seem correct to me.

He ... knocked on the door.

It, the door, was answered by Keira.

This surprised him.

This seems better. "He knocked on the door and was surprised when Keira answered." At least, to me, this one reads better, more natural.

Are both correct? If not, or yes, how would these two sentences be diagramed?

Any comments would be appreciated.

Mike

2. Key Member
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Dec 2009
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4,877

## Re: Diagram a sentence for me

Originally Posted by mike91848
"He knocked on the door and was surprisingly answered by Keira."

"He knocked on the door and was surprised when Keira answered."

how would these two sentences be diagramed?
Hello, Mike:

Diagramming is great fun, isn't it! The gentleman who shows us the diagrams will hopefully soon answer you.

While we are waiting, may I offer my two bits?

I agree with you: that first sentence is, well, pretty awful. It is, IMHO, ambiguous. It could mean that "he" was surprised when Keira answered the door, or it could mean that the fact that Keira answered the door was surprising to the person who wrote that sentence.

So I think that your sentence is much better. Now let's diagram it, shall we? That is, with words. I am not capable of actually showing a Reed-Kellogg diagram (I am computer illiterate).

Your basic sentence is:

He knocked and was surprised. (compound predicate)

He = subject

knocked = verb

and = conjunction

was surprised = verb

*****

On the door = prepositional phrase modifies "knocked." (What did he knock on?)

When Keira answered = abverbial clause that modifies "was surprised." (When was he surprised?)

HAVE A NICE DAY!

3. Newbie
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## Re: Diagram a sentence for me

Hi Mike,

This is your diagrammed sentence. I used a free website that diagrams sentences.

4. ## Re: Diagram a sentence for me

I guess that I am that guy.

There is a problem, I think, with "surprisingly" in this diagram.

Maybe it should be considered as an interjection, as. "He knocked on the door and, by golly!, was answered by Keira."

5. ## Re: Diagram a sentence for me

Originally Posted by Frank Antonson
There is a problem, I think, with "surprisingly" in this diagram.

Maybe it should be considered as an interjection, as. "He knocked on the door and, by golly!, was answered by Keira."
I don't see any problem in the grammar. I think 'surprisingly' is simply a comment adverb/sentence adverb(ial/content disjunct like (un)fortunately, sadly, amusingly, etc. Is it a problem to diagram such expressions?

6. ## Re: Diagram a sentence for me

No. It's no problem to diagram them. But the diagram would be different. "surprisingly" would not be shown as modifying "was answered", but rather, put on its own unconnected line. By this thinking, "surprisingly" should have been set off by commas in the sentence.

7. ## Re: Diagram a sentence for me

Originally Posted by Frank Antonson
By this thinking, "surprisingly" should have been set off by commas in the sentence.
I agree.

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## Re: Diagram a sentence for me

I think the issue really is one of prosody. The 'surprisingly' is interrupting a periphrastic verb and muddles the mix, so the speak.

I can see both diagrammings as being reasonable--either as an expletive or as an adverbial modifier. The trouble really stems from a lack of context.

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