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    #1

    ran [up] a huge bill: tree diagram.

    Hi Everyone,

    Just trying to construct a tree diagram for the sentence:

    The businessmen ran up a huge bill

    I am having trouble in deciding whether [up] is a verb in this sentence or a preposition?

    Thanks in advance!


    Suzie

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: ran [up] a huge bill: tree diagram.

    "Ran up" is a phrase verb. There was no running to any location.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #3

    Re: ran [up] a huge bill: tree diagram.

    run up is a phrasal verb. When I get home, I will draw the x' representation of the sentence.

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    #4

    Re: ran [up] a huge bill: tree diagram.


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    #5

    Re: ran [up] a huge bill: tree diagram.

    And this is the Reed-Kellog representation:


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    #6

    Re: ran [up] a huge bill: tree diagram.

    "ran up" could probably also all be on the base line -- as opposed to "up" modifying "ran".

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    #7

    Re: ran [up] a huge bill: tree diagram.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    "ran up" could probably also all be on the base line -- as opposed to "up" modifying "ran".
    RK is a syntactic representation. Even though the words in 'run up' cohere semantically, they are separate units when it comes to diagraming. There is not a watertight one-to-one relationship between them. 'up' is an adverbial particle that is tagged onto the verb in the same way as 'in' is onto 'come' in 'May I come in?'.


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    #8

    Re: ran [up] a huge bill: tree diagram.

    I don't pretend to know much about diagramming, but the two words in the phrasal verb "ran up" do not share the same relationship as the two words in "come in."

    As a phrasal verb, they work together to create a new meaning that is not closely tied to their individual meanings.

    In "come in," the verb is simply "come" and "in" tells you where. You can say come in, come out, come up, come down, etc., and the basic meaning of "come" doesn't change.

    However, "ran up" a bill is very different verb than "ran up the stairs."

    Just like "look up" a word is a completely different verb than "look up" at the stars.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #9

    Re: ran [up] a huge bill: tree diagram.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    the two words in the phrasal verb "ran up" do not share the same relationship as the two words in "come in."
    In other words, 'come in' is a free combination of verb plus particle, while 'run up' is a phrasal verb. I agree wholeheartedly, but the point you are making is beside the point I was making, which is that when I diagram these combinations, I regard them equal in that they both comprise a verb plus an adverbial particle.

    run ≠ run up --> up = modifier
    come ≠ come in --> in = modifier
    Last edited by corum; 18-Mar-2010 at 14:38.

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    #10

    Re: ran [up] a huge bill: tree diagram.

    Probably the etymology of those verb phrases could shed light on the issue -- i.e. where did they come from? The American text House and Harmon is pretty good at considering etymology. The OED could probably help too.

    But that's more research than I am willing to do. In a CSD (competitive sentence diagramming) situation, as judge, I would accept either version.

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