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  1. #1
    jayjay5531 is offline Newbie
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    Default Trying to diagram participle/complement-y thing?? URL: http://able2know.org/topic/2

    Okay so the sentence I'm looking at is from Madame Bovary: "His hair was cut square on his forhead like a village choir boy; he looked reliable, but very ill at ease" (Flaubert 2).

    So I'm just looking at the first clause right now excluding the prepositional phrases:

    "His hair was cut square"

    I'm tempted to consider "was cut" a linking verb and "square" the predicate adjective, but I don't think that'd be right. "Cut" is the past participle, so I should diagram it as such, right? And what about "square"? Where do I put that?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    jayjay5531 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Trying to diagram participle/complement-y thing??

    Sorry, ignore the URL in the title.

  3. #3
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Trying to diagram participle/complement-y thing??

    "square" is an objective complement. That always seems to slip by.

    Think of inserting the words "to be" and that might help -- an in "He was elected (to be) president."

    Frank

  4. #4
    Shoreditch is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Trying to diagram participle/complement-y thing??

    Grammar is quite interesting. I studied some linguitics at school, but I never dug deep into English.

    His hair was cut short.
    His hair was short.

    Does the function of short change? In terms of meaning, I am sure they are not one. Cutting happened to the hair, and as a result, the hair became short.
    The second sentence tells us less. We do not know why the hair is short. Function might be the same when the meaning differs. am I making a point here, or just rumbling on about nothing?
    That was cut, it expresses an action. Linking verbs usually do not. What is the matter here?

  5. #5
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Trying to diagram participle/complement-y thing??

    It's all about objective complements. They are a distinct part of a sentence. They only follow certain verbs. Think of it as "His hair was cut (to be) short." It is still, however, an objective complement. It COMPLETES the object in the predicate, i.e. "hair".

  6. #6
    jayjay5531 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Trying to diagram participle/complement-y thing??

    Thank you Frank! So should I diagram it on the main horizontal line, preceded by a slanted vertical line?

  7. #7
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Trying to diagram participle/complement-y thing??

    Quote Originally Posted by jayjay5531 View Post
    Thank you Frank! So should I diagram it on the main horizontal line, preceded by a slanted vertical line?
    Yes. Before or after the "cut". I've seen it done both ways. But it must, of course go after the "subject/predicate dividing line" and "short" should be preceded by a SLANTED line going upward to the right and beginning at the base line.

    I taught about this in my Youtube course. I explain it all and show it.

    Frank

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