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    #1

    Sentence structure

    could someone help me diagram this sentence. I would like to learn to differentiate the technical parts in a sentence.

    He (subject) is (Av) a (article) boy (object). - I can figure out simple sentences like this. I have difficulty with the complex sentences.

    The birth of John was the greatest gift Joan ever had. - Please help me with this sentence.

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    #2

    Re: Sentence structure

    A learner

    The birth of John was the greatest gift Joan's ever had.

    Joan ~ subject
    has had ~ predicate
    ever ~ adverb of time
    The birth of john ~ object
    the ~ the definite article
    was ~ copula
    greatest ~ adjective
    gift ~ noun
    greatest gift ~ adjective of quality
    . ~ full stop

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    #3

    Re: Sentence structure

    The birth of John was the greatest gift Joan ever had.

    The birth of John was the greatest gift. Apposition.

    The birth of John was the greatest gift (which) Joan ever had.

    Your sentence has a zero relative clause: '(which) Joan ever had.' and could be read:

    1(The greatest gift), 2 (which [gift] Joan ever had), was 3(the birth of John.) This is a tripartite apposition.

    Your sentence says: The birth (of John) was the gift which Joan had. From there, it is not hard to diagram.

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    #4

    Re: Sentence structure

    If you taught me that way for a year or two I could be a teacher as well.
    Last edited by e2e4; 08-Sep-2010 at 17:47.


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    #5

    Re: Sentence structure

    He (subject) is (Av) a (article) boy (object). - I can figure out simple sentences like this. I have difficulty with the complex sentences.

    The(article) birth(noun) of(preposition) John(noun) was(verb) the(art. greatest(ajdective) gift(noun)
    Joan(noun) ever(adverb) had(verb). - Please help me with this sentence.

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    #6

    Re: Sentence structure

    To help you analyze sentences, and recognize the parts,I recommend an old system: Reed Kellogg diagrams. They are not the same thing as the tree diagrams of transformational grammar, but they will really help you. I like analyzing sentences, I find it amusing. Sometimes I have terrible arguments about what is what! (at the moment I am arguing about Past Participles being adjectives.)

    Here two links, but you can also search the Web for 'tree diagrams' or 'Reed Kellogg diagrams'.

    Reed-Kellogg syntax

    GERMAN

    If you find a sentence you can't analyze, I'd love to see it.

    The birth of John was the greatest gift Joan ever had.

    Take away the unnecessary bits: 'of John' 'greatest' and 'ever'

    The birth was the gift Joan had. Then work backwards.

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