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  1. #1
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    Default Can someone help us diagram two sentences?

    My daughter, currently a high school English teacher, asked me, a long-ago high school English teacher, to check the correctness of two sentences. I wanted to resort to diagramming them, then realized I no longer knew how to. In fact, I didn't know how to write the second sentence correctly!

    1) "The two sculptors I have studied are he and Alexander Caulder."
    I could affirm the correctness of the usage (assuming the "he" refers to a male sculptor mentioned earlier). But how do I diagram the sentence?

    2) "The sundial, or sun clock, is one of the oldest type of clock."
    This time I was stumped all across the sentence!
    Is it "oldest" or "older"?
    Is it "type" or "types"?
    Is it "clock" or "clocks"?
    Or are there two or three correct options?

    I see this as an equivalent sentence: "The golden retriever, or golden lab, is one of the sweetest breed of dog."
    Should it be "sweeter"?
    Should it be "breeds"?
    Should it be "dogs"?

    And how do I diagram the sentence?

    Thank you, anyone who can help.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can someone help us diagram two sentences?

    Hello Bonnie,

    This looks like fun! I have a website devoted to diagramming sentences. It's called English Grammar Revolution.

    So, I thought I would be the perfect person to help you out!

    1) "The two sculptors I have studied are he and Alexander Caulder."
    Yes, he is correct. It comes after the linking verb are, and it is acting as the predicate noun.

    I have studied is an adjective clause modifying sculptors. It has a missing - or implied- relative pronoun (that).

    2) "The sundial, or sun clock, is one of the oldest type of clock."

    sun clock is acting as an appositive renaming sundial. I'm not really sure about the or.

    It could be older or oldest depending on what you want to say. But, both of them should use the words "types" and "clocks."

    I attached photos of both of the sentences diagrammed.

    I hope that helps!

    :) Elizabeth
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Photo 103.jpg   Photo 104.jpg  

  3. #3
    orangutan is offline Member
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    Default Re: Can someone help us diagram two sentences?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonnie L. Stenson View Post
    2) "The sundial, or sun clock, is one of the oldest type of clock."
    This time I was stumped all across the sentence!
    Is it "oldest" or "older"?
    Is it "type" or "types"?
    Is it "clock" or "clocks"?
    Or are there two or three correct options?

    I see this as an equivalent sentence: "The golden retriever, or golden lab, is one of the sweetest breed of dog."
    Should it be "sweeter"?
    Should it be "breeds"?
    Should it be "dogs"?
    For what it's worth, I would certainly say "types" and "breeds" (but probably "clock" and "dog").

  4. #4
    orangutan is offline Member
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    Default Re: Can someone help us diagram two sentences?

    Quote Originally Posted by EnglishGrammarRevolution View Post
    This looks like fun! I have a website devoted to diagramming sentences. It's called English Grammar Revolution.

    Interesting - thanks for the link.

    I would be interested to know which theoretical frameworks you and other English teachers are most influenced by when diagramming sentences.

  5. #5
    Pedroski is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Can someone help us diagram two sentences?

    You are talking about Reed Kellogg diagrams, I like them, useless as they are, or tree diagrams?
    Last edited by Pedroski; 25-Jun-2009 at 08:14.

  6. #6
    orangutan is offline Member
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    Default Re: Can someone help us diagram two sentences?

    I must admit I had to look up what Reed-Kellogg diagrams were ;) - I am familiar with quite a lot of ways of representing sentence structure, but not that particular one.

    My question was really quite a general one, arising from the proliferation of grammatical theories these days in Linguistics. When people talk about (or actually do) sentence diagramming on this site, the result usually looks rather unlike any of the representations I am familiar with. So I was really wondering if there are any approaches that have reached such popularity in TEFL that one could think of them as "standard", and if so, which linguistics theories if any they are most influenced by.

    Trees are of course a popular way of representing sentence structure in Linguistics, but I haven't seen them widely used in TEFL. But that is one reason I use this site, to find out more about how EFL teachers apply linguistic theory. Any thoughts on this would be most welcome.

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    Pedroski is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Can someone help us diagram two sentences?

    Most learners of English, and their TEFL teachers, are blissfully unaware of linguistic theories. I don't think it does much good trying to teach grammar to people who can't speak the language. Except if they have a very good grasp of grammar in their own language, and want to know how it compares in English. Such a group will be a small minority, but then they will already be familiar with the terminology and principles.
    I think you can get a TEFL certificate by doing a course of 100 hours (2and1/2 weeks). Might impress employers, but wouldn't impress me.

  8. #8
    orangutan is offline Member
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    Default Re: Can someone help us diagram two sentences?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    Most learners of English, and their TEFL teachers, are blissfully unaware of linguistic theories. I don't think it does much good trying to teach grammar to people who can't speak the language. Except if they have a very good grasp of grammar in their own language, and want to know how it compares in English. Such a group will be a small minority, but then they will already be familiar with the terminology and principles.
    I am not suggesting teaching linguistic theories, but the use of diagrams generally implies some particular approach to sentence structure.

    I think you can get a TEFL certificate by doing a course of 100 hours (2and1/2 weeks). Might impress employers, but wouldn't impress me.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Can someone help us diagram two sentences?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    You are talking about Reed Kellogg diagrams, I like them, useless as they are, or tree diagrams?
    Did you ever use them at school? I had never come across them till I read a book on them a few years ago.

  10. #10
    orangutan is offline Member
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    Default Re: Can someone help us diagram two sentences?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Did you ever use them at school? I had never come across them till I read a book on them a few years ago.
    I have never come across them in Linguistics, but then there are so many approaches to syntax that that is not too surprising.

    Others who are similarly unfamiliar with it might find this introduction useful.

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