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  1. #11
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: two sentence analysis and tree structures

    Quote Originally Posted by Haylee Schreiter View Post
    Well, let's see... This is what I think... The subject is indeed "it" and it has an appositive/noun clause that is "that I finally bought an instrument of my own" but don't forget that "of my own" is a prepositional phrase. The verb is "was" and "soon" is a predicate adjective. The part of the sentence left,"after leaving college" is a prepositional phrase and within the prepositional phrase is a gerund phrase "leaving college".
    Correct, except that 'soon' is an adverb, not an adjective!

  2. #12
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: two sentence analysis and tree structures

    Haylee,

    I think that "soon" can be an adjective, e.g. The answer was too soon. (As in "The answer was too quick") "A quick answer, a soon answer".

    I recognize your llama sentence from school. That objective complement may prove difficult for some of the readers here.

    What I like about the sentence is that it shows someone using intricate syntax simply for fun.

    A problem for many on this forum, I think, is that they do not have an easy way to draw a Reed-Kellogg diagram and post it. Have YOU found a way to do it yet?

    Frank

  3. #13
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: two sentence analysis and tree structures

    I must disagree strongly with some of the earlier posts.

    I. The great idea which pleased the tourist was to give the llamas bad anime so they would lose their minds.


    Subject: the great idea which pleased the tourist (article-adjective-noun-adjectival clause)

    Copula, simple past: was

    Subjective [NOT objective] complement, predicate noun: to give the llamas bad anime so that they would lose their minds (nominal verbal infinitive, direct object thereof [adjective-noun], adverbial clause of purpose modifying the verbal infinitive.

    NOTE: Complements complete. Subjective complements complete the subject, objective complements the object. In the sentence above the complement completes the subject, i.e. "the great idea".

    Here are two OBJECTIVE complements:

    He painted the fence red. (the fence, direct object; red, adjectival objective complement.)
    The board named Mr. Jones chairman. (Mr. Jones; direct object; chairman, nominal objective complement.)

    And here's another cute SUBJECTIVE complement:

    Mr. Jones was named teacher. (teacher is nominal subjective complement, completes the subject, Mr. Jones.)

    II. It was soon after leaving college that I finally bought an instrument of my own.

    Expletive: It (pronoun)
    Existential: was (NOT COPULA!)
    delayed topic said to exist (nominal): soon after leaving college that I finally bought an instrument of my own.

    Parsing of the topic:
    nominal clause: that I finally bought an instrument of my own

    Adverbial phrase of time, modifies "bought" in the nominal clause: soon after leaving college.

    III. The answer was too soon.

    Subject: answer
    Verb (neither existential nor copula): was (equiv. to "came", "appeared")
    compound adverb of time: too soon (adverb modifying + adverb).

    ----

    The other thing is that "to be" can be copulative, existential, or in fact an ordinary predicative verb, as the three cases above demonstrate.

    The authority I'm quoting is my elementary/junior-high English teacher. I remember these grammatical analyses because they fascinated me. Whether she was making the science up as she went along, I can't say, but it all made sense and I learned it well.
    Last edited by abaka; 16-May-2011 at 01:09.

  4. #14
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: two sentence analysis and tree structures

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    I must disagree strongly with some of the earlier posts.

    I. The great idea which pleased the tourist was to give the llamas bad anime so they would lose their minds.


    Subject: the great idea which pleased the tourist (article-adjective-noun-adjectival clause)

    Copula, simple past: was

    Subjective [NOT objective] complement, predicate noun: to give the llamas bad anime so that they would lose their minds (nominal verbal infinitive, direct object thereof [adjective-noun], adverbial clause of purpose modifying the verbal infinitive.

    NOTE: Complements complete. Subjective complements complete the subject, objective complements the object. In the sentence above the complement completes the subject, i.e. "the great idea".

    Here are two OBJECTIVE complements:

    He painted the fence red. (the fence, direct object; red, adjectival objective complement.)
    The board named Mr. Jones chairman. (Mr. Jones; direct object; chairman, nominal objective complement.)

    And here's another cute SUBJECTIVE complement:

    Mr. Jones was named teacher. (teacher is nominal subjective complement, completes the subject, Mr. Jones.)

    II. It was soon after leaving college that I finally bought an instrument of my own.

    Expletive: It (pronoun)
    Existential: was (NOT COPULA!)
    delayed topic said to exist (nominal): soon after leaving college that I finally bought an instrument of my own.

    Parsing of the topic:
    nominal clause: that I finally bought an instrument of my own

    Adverbial phrase of time, modifies "bought" in the nominal clause: soon after leaving college.

    III. The answer was too soon.

    Subject: answer
    Verb (neither existential nor copula): was (equiv. to "came", "appeared")
    compound adverb of time: too soon (adverb modifying + adverb).

    ----

    The other thing is that "to be" can be copulative, existential, or in fact an ordinary predicative verb, as the three cases above demonstrate.

    The authority I'm quoting is my elementary/junior-high English teacher. I remember these grammatical analyses because they fascinated me. Whether she was making the science up as she went along, I can't say, but it all made sense and I learned it well.

    (1) Yes, you have indeed learned your grammar well. That teacher of

    yours did a great job!!!

    (2) May I most respectfully disagree with your parsing of "It was soon

    after leaving college that I finally bought an instrument of my own"?

    (a) It = subject.

    (b) That I bought an instrument of my own = noun clause in apposition

    with "it." (That is, it explains what "it" means.)

    (c) was = full verb (as you said) = occurred.

    (d) after leaving college = prepositional phrase modifying the verb. Or --

    as one of the excellent posters above taught me -- actually

    complementing or completing the verb. (That is, one cannot say "It was,"

    but one can say "It was after leaving college.")

    (e) soon = adverb modifying the prepositional phrase.

    In other words: When did you finally purchase an instrument of your own?

    Answer: Soon after leaving college.

    (4) I am still thinking about what to call "soon" in "The answer was

    too soon." Adjective or adverb? Great question. I shall ask around and

    find out some opinions.


    Respectfully yours,


    James

  5. #15
    Haylee Schreiter is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: two sentence analysis and tree structures

    I am quite aware that soon can an adjective as well as an adverb as Mr. Antonson stated. It is good to see others taking interest in these things. It makes me happy!

  6. #16
    Haylee Schreiter is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: two sentence analysis and tree structures

    TheParser, you are quite advanced in these things and I was also gonna mention that "soon" could also modify the prep. phrase. I could learn much from you.

  7. #17
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: two sentence analysis and tree structures

    Quote Originally Posted by Haylee Schreiter View Post
    I am quite aware that soon can an adjective as well as an adverb as Mr. Antonson stated. It is good to see others taking interest in these things. It makes me happy!
    I have a real problem with this.

    "Soon" is never attributive. A soon car? A soon walk? A soon event? No, that's just not right.

    So if "soon" is ever an adjective, then it is a predicate adjective only.

    But such a beast seems wrong in English.

    I understand an inflexional difference between predicate and attributive adjectives exists in Gerrman. ("das Buch ist gut"/"ein gutes Buch", right?) I KNOW such a distinction exists in Russian ("milaja zhenshina" -- nice woman", "ona mila" -- she [is] nice), and in fact there is at least one Russian adjective that is always predicate -- "ona rada", she [is] glad, but NEVER *radaja zhenschina", a glad woman, or, to match a common English saying, NEVER *"radyje viesti", glad tidings.

    But the existence of exclusively predicate adjectives in other languages does not mean such a beast exists in English. Does it? It doesn't even seem necessary.

    Take "soon" as an example.

    You never really say "NOUN X will be soon" with a straight face, do you. "The event will be soon"? That seems odd. But let's accept it for the sake of argument.

    "It was soon (how soon) that x happened" is more natural. And here the "it" is no subject -- what does it really refer to? It is a placeholder, an expletive. I have called the "is" an existential rather than a predicative verb (of action), because in formal logic existence is NOT a predicate, but a quantifier.

    But even if you don't accept this formal distinction, then "was" becomes an ordinary verb meaning "occurred", and "soon" an ordinary adverb of time modifying "was".

    Likewise in "the event will be soon" = "the event will occur soon". Here "soon" is an ordinary adverb of time.

    I cannot see any cases where "soon" is indubitably adjectival.
    Last edited by abaka; 17-May-2011 at 00:06. Reason: more typos....

  8. #18
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: two sentence analysis and tree structures

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    Haylee,

    I think that "soon" can be an adjective, e.g. The answer was too soon. (As in "The answer was too quick") "A quick answer, a soon answer".

    I recognize your llama sentence from school. That objective complement may prove difficult for some of the readers here.

    What I like about the sentence is that it shows someone using intricate syntax simply for fun.

    A problem for many on this forum, I think, is that they do not have an easy way to draw a Reed-Kellogg diagram and post it. Have YOU found a way to do it yet?

    Frank


    Mr. Antonson,


    I have checked several good dictionaries and they all seem to

    agree that "soon" is considered an adverb nowadays. The newer

    dictionaries consider it an adverb; the older dictionaries say that it

    used to be an adjective, too, but nowadays "soon" as an adjective is

    not considered standard English. It is used only in certain "dialects."

    For example, you give as an example "a soon answer." Where I live in

    the United States, that would sound very strange for "a quick answer."

    One of those older dictionaries gave this example: "a soon result." And

    it then pointed out that few people speak like that today. It is certainly

    possible that there exist some local areas where " a soon result"

    would be perfectly correct. In "The answer was too soon," surely one

    should interpret that as: The answer came/arrived too soon -- thus

    showing "soon" to be an adverb modifying the verb.




    Respectfully yours,


    James

  9. #19
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: two sentence analysis and tree structures

    I am actually very content when I get this feeling that I am not quite smart enough to partake in the discussion that I am witnessing.

    I guess that behind it all, for me, is the question of how would it be diagrammed by the Reed-Kellogg system.

    As to the question of whether "soon" can ever be an adjective or not, I would say that it depends upon how it is used. Almost any word can be used as almost any part of speech. "In", for example, one would normally assume to be a preposition (or maybe an adverb). But if I say that "I have an in", it is clearly a noun, or if I say, "I am going to in it", a verb, whether the sentence makes sense or not. (I guess that words cannot arbitrarily become prepositions, pronouns, or conjunctions, which makes them members of a special class)

    On a somewhat different subject, I feel that I should take the time to welcome Haylee to this forum. I suspect that she is, by far, the youngest participant -- and that she can hold her own. I hope that we all treat her right -- teach her when we can, and learn from her when it becomes apparent that we can.

  10. #20
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: two sentence analysis and tree structures

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    Haylee,

    I think that "soon" can be an adjective, e.g. The answer was too soon. (As in "The answer was too quick") "A quick answer, a soon answer".
    Sorry, but the simple fact of being able to function as subject-complement to a copula does NOT make a word an adjective.

    Cf. The answer is here.

    'Here', like soon, is an adverb.

    As for the non-sentence

    *The answer is soon.

    it serves better than any ungrammatical example I could have made up to indicate the improbability of 'soon' being an adjective of any kind!
    Last edited by philo2009; 19-May-2011 at 11:00.

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