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  1. #1
    satty1 is offline Newbie
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    Default sentence structure

    Hi,

    I hope you can help me! I am unsure how to analyse the structure of the following sentences.

    1 - You (subject) look (linking verb) like your sister (prepositional phrase as subject complement).

    2 - His knee seemed to swell.

    3 - He (subject) seems to be (verb) a nice boy (subject complement).

    the verb seem + infinitive, in particular, is giving me a headache

    Do "seem to be" and "seem to" need to be analysed as whole units?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    TheParser is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: sentence structure

    Quote Originally Posted by satty1 View Post
    Hi,

    I hope you can help me! I am unsure how to analyse the structure of the following sentences.

    1 - You (subject) look (linking verb) like your sister (prepositional phrase as subject complement).

    2 - His knee seemed to swell.

    3 - He (subject) seems to be (verb) a nice boy (subject complement).

    the verb seem + infinitive, in particular, is giving me a headache

    Do "seem to be" and "seem to" need to be analysed as whole units?

    Thanks for your help.
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good morning, Satty.

    (1) Here is a somewhat similar sentence from one of my grammar books:

    They seemed to be drifting about.

    (a) The authors of the book analyze it this way:

    (i) They = subject.

    (ii) seemed = linking verb.

    (iii) to be drifting about = infinitive phrase acting as a subjective complement (refers to "they").

    Have a nice day!

  3. #3
    satty1 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: sentence structure

    Thanks for your help!!

  4. #4
    yuriya's Avatar
    yuriya is offline Member
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    Smile Re: sentence structure

    Quote Originally Posted by satty1 View Post
    Hi,

    I hope you can help me! I am unsure how to analyse the structure of the following sentences.

    1 - You (subject) look (linking verb) like your sister (prepositional phrase as subject complement).

    2 - His knee seemed to swell.

    3 - He (subject) seems to be (verb) a nice boy (subject complement).

    the verb seem + infinitive, in particular, is giving me a headache

    Do "seem to be" and "seem to" need to be analysed as whole units?

    Thanks for your help.

    Analyzing aside, I believe sometimes it's best to trust your instinct. Yes, grammatically, what follow after verbs like look or seem are complements. However, your way of seeing "seem to be" as a verb can be more helpful to your students in learning the difference between he is a nice boy and he seems to be/like a nice boy.

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