What's your diagram?
- For Teachers
"And there, resting his head on Daniel's lap was the biggest lion, purring like a little kitten." This is a sentence that we tried to diagram and was trying to verify the diagramming and pattern but we can't get it verified. The Reed-K software states that its not a complete sentence.
What's your diagram?
If you wish, I will diagram it as a Youtube video, but consider it two independent clauses -- two sentences, if you will, with elliptical words supplied in the followng way:
"And there, resting his head on Daniel's lap, was the biggest lion, AND IT WAS purring like a little kitten"
"resting...lap" is a participle phrase modifying lion. Use "x"'s for the understood words. That should make it more doable.
There are other ways to look at this, but that is probably the easiest.
Last edited by 5jj; 23-Mar-2013 at 21:04.
Knowing fairly little about diagramming sentences and more out of curiosity: is there any chance to consider "resting...lap" an adverbial modifier of "was"? Also, I hope it won't be altogether wrong to regard "purring...kitten" as a participle phrase modifying "lion"?
Yes. There are other ways to interpret this sentence. In a way, it comes down to trying to figure out what syntax, exactly, was in the mind of the speaker or writer.
But ellipsis in speech is a reality. I like to try to limit myself to the fewest supplied words as possible.
But to 5jj, I would say, "What ist the alternative to R-K? What does this sentence look like as a tree diagram? And is it more helpful?"
For those who find pleasure/value in an analysis of a sentence for its own sake, there seem to be several other methods out there. I make no pretence of offering a 'better' one - most of them seem flawed to me.But to 5jj, I would say, "What ist the alternative to R-K? What does this sentence look like as a tree diagram? And is it more helpful?"
And you didn't answer my question: What is the justification for considering 'resting ...lap' as a participle phrase but 'purring ... kitten' as an ellipsis of an independent clause?
"Purring...kitten" could be considered a participial phrase, sure. That also works. But its placement make it for me easier to understand as the progressive form of the verb phrase "was purring" with the "was" understood. I guess what I wanted to object to is that an automated program determined that "purring like a kitten" was an incomplete sentence. Maybe automated programs don't do well with ellipsis. "Purring...kitten" could also be considered the second half of a compound simple predicate, sharing the "was", but I find that awkward.