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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Smile Widely used ways of sentence diagramming

    Could you tell me if schoolchildren in the UK and the USA are normally taught how to diagram a sentence? Are they familiar with such terms as "subject" and "predicate"? And how do you usually mark these parts of the sentence? In Russia, we spend a lot of time at school teaching our students understand sentence structure. We always underline the subject with one line, the predicate with two lines, the object with a dashed line, the attributive with a wavy line and the adverbial modifier with a dash-and-dot line. I wonder how you do it in English-speaking countries?

  2. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #2

    Re: Widely used ways of sentence diagramming

    I went through school and studied English at university in the UK without being asked to diagram a sentence. There was some parsing, but I only found out about diagramming years later. Things may be different now, but I don't hear much about it in the UK. Many will understand terms like subject, though.

  3. VIP Member
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    #3

    Re: Widely used ways of sentence diagramming

    NOT A TEACHER


    Hello, Likea:

    I was very excited by your question, for I agree with the American poet Gertrude Stein: "I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences."

    1. At American universities, if you take linguistics classes, you learn to draw tree diagrams.

    2. In American secondary schools, there is almost no more diagramming, for the younger teachers do not know it, and the students do not want it.

    a. Until World War II, many American secondary schools tried (tried!) to teach the Reed-Kellogg system of diagramming.

    b. Gradually, however, most secondary schools stopped trying to teach it, for the students found it BORING and many teachers came to believe that it did NO good.

    c. I absolutely LOVE the Reed-Kellogg system, for it forces you to account for every part of speech in a sentence.

    d. I absolutely believe that foreign students of English should be taught the Reed-Kellogg system, but I realize that almost no one nowadays agrees with me.

    e. I strongly urge you to consider learning this system. You may love it so much that you decide to teach it to your students. And I believe some (many?) of your highly motivated students will be forever grateful to you.

    f. There is a website called German - Latin - English. It will teach you how to diagram Reed-Kellogg diagrams. (Messrs. Reed and Kellogg are credited with perfecting this system. I think that university linguistics students laugh at this system as being childish as compared with tree diagrams. I believe, however, that Reed-Kellogg is more suited to secondary students than are tree diagrams.)

    If you get a chance to visit that website, please let us know what you think of Reed-Kellogg.


    P.S. If you check out some of the older posts in this "Diagramming" forum, you will find many examples of Reed-Kellogg. Until a few years ago, a gentleman regularly posted Reed-Kellogg diagrams in this particular forum. Many of us miss him very much.

  4. Newbie
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    #4

    Re: Widely used ways of sentence diagramming

    Dear Tdol and TheParser,

    Thank you for your answers. You've helped me a lot. I will certainly look into the Reed-Kellogg system. Hopefully, it will help my students. I really believe in parsing (fortunately, it is compulsory in our schools), now it's time to learn something new! Thank you again!

  5. VIP Member
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    #5

    Re: Widely used ways of sentence diagramming

    I had a few weeks of sentence diagramming here and there in school in the late Sixties and early Seventies. I'm certain I learned nothing worthwhile from it.

    I eventually learned the fundamentals of English grammar in excellent high school French classes.
    Last edited by GoesStation; 14-Nov-2016 at 19:06. Reason: To add a bit of detail.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #6

    Re: Widely used ways of sentence diagramming

    I learned grammar in foreign language classes at school, and they taught it when I studied English literature at university in compulsory language courses, Maybe they thought we needed to catch up.

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