# Thread: Diagramming gerunds - a toughie!

1. Newbie
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## Diagramming gerunds - a toughie!

How would you diagram the following sentence:

Watching the players destroy their opponents was fun.

What do you do with "destroy their opponents"? How is it functioning within the gerund phrase?

2. ## Re: Diagramming gerunds - a toughie!

It's a complement: [G watching + O the players + C destroy their opponents] (Note, the object is the subject of the bare infinitive destroy.)

Verb(al)s of perceptionhear, see, watch — and a handful of other verbs — help, let, and make — take a bare infinitive, an infinitive without the particle "to":

Verb: We watched the players destroy their opponents.
Gerund: Watching the players destroy their opponents ...

3. Newbie
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## Re: Diagramming gerunds - a toughie!

Wow, Soup, that helps a lot, but I can't find anyone who knows how to diagram something like that. Do you treat "destroy" like a subject complement without a linking verb (i.e.: Watching|players\destroy) , or do you treat it like an adjectival infinitive and diagram it underneath "players"?

Thanks so much for your time and knowkedge!

4. ## Re: Diagramming gerunds - a toughie!

It branches off the noun it modifies. After all 'the players' functions as the bare infinitive's subject.

5. Newbie
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## Re: Diagramming gerunds - a toughie!

Using the Reed-Kellogg method, would this be correct then?

Watch-
.........|ing | players | was \ fun
.................\the \(to) destroy| opponents
............................................. \their

(Ignore the dots - it's the only way I could get the diagram to space correctly and the 'the', '(to)', and 'their" would all slant down the slashed line (which I obviously can't do on the computer).

Thanks so much Soup; this has really been troubling me!

6. ## Re: Diagramming gerunds - a toughie!

Yes, if 'destroy their opponents' branches from 'players'.

____________________

GP watching the players destroy their opponents
GP branches to G and NP
G watching
NP the players destroy their opponents
NP branches to N and VP
N the players
VP destroy their opponents
VP branches to V and NP
V destroy
NP their opponents

[GP Watching [NP-SUBJ the players [VP destroy their opponents]]]

Where VP branches to [V destroy [NP-Object their opponents]]

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## Re: Diagramming gerunds - a toughie!

8. Senior Member
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## Re: Diagramming gerunds - a toughie!

Just a note: this is an objective complemement, not a subjective complement. It's the direct object being completed, not the subject.

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