sentence structure

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satty1

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May 17, 2010
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Hi,

I hope you can help me! I am unsure how to analyse the structure of the following sentences.

1 - You (subject) look (linking verb) like your sister (prepositional phrase as subject complement).

2 - His knee seemed to swell.

3 - He (subject) seems to be (verb) a nice boy (subject complement).

the verb seem + infinitive, in particular, is giving me a headache

Do "seem to be" and "seem to" need to be analysed as whole units?

Thanks for your help.
 

TheParser

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Hi,

I hope you can help me! I am unsure how to analyse the structure of the following sentences.

1 - You (subject) look (linking verb) like your sister (prepositional phrase as subject complement).

2 - His knee seemed to swell.

3 - He (subject) seems to be (verb) a nice boy (subject complement).

the verb seem + infinitive, in particular, is giving me a headache

Do "seem to be" and "seem to" need to be analysed as whole units?

Thanks for your help.

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Good morning, Satty.

(1) Here is a somewhat similar sentence from one of my grammar books:

They seemed to be drifting about.

(a) The authors of the book analyze it this way:

(i) They = subject.

(ii) seemed = linking verb.

(iii) to be drifting about = infinitive phrase acting as a subjective complement (refers to "they").

Have a nice day!
 

yuriya

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Apr 23, 2010
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Hi,

I hope you can help me! I am unsure how to analyse the structure of the following sentences.

1 - You (subject) look (linking verb) like your sister (prepositional phrase as subject complement).

2 - His knee seemed to swell.

3 - He (subject) seems to be (verb) a nice boy (subject complement).

the verb seem + infinitive, in particular, is giving me a headache

Do "seem to be" and "seem to" need to be analysed as whole units?

Thanks for your help.


Analyzing aside, I believe sometimes it's best to trust your instinct. Yes, grammatically, what follow after verbs like look or seem are complements. However, your way of seeing "seem to be" as a verb can be more helpful to your students in learning the difference between he is a nice boy and he seems to be/like a nice boy.
 
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