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Diagramming Sentences

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A Brief Introduction

Diagramming sentences has now not been lots in style as a pedagogical device for the beyond thirty years or so. There are, however, many grammarians and English teachers who preserve that studying a sentence and portraying its shape with a steady visual scheme can behelpful—both for language beginners and for those trying to make experience of the language at any degree, specially for language learners who have a tendency to be visual-gaining knowledge of kinds. Watching a sentence take root and ramify in space can even be a laugh.

I genuinely do now not realize that some thing has ever been greater interesting than diagramming sentences.

— Gertrude Stein    

There are different methods to symbolize graphically the shape of a sentence, however the most famous approach is primarily based on schemes evolved by Alonzo Reed and Brainerd Kellogg over a hundred years in the past. The diagrams in this segment are Reed-Kellogg diagrams; in some instances, an optional method is recommended. In nowadays of three-dimensional pc photographs, it might not be long earlier than we are able to see colourful, three-dimensional, nonlinear representations of the way sentences paintings, something like the Visual Thesaurus, by way of Plumb Design, Inc. (If you go there, please do not wander off. And come lower back soon!)

If your laptop is prepared with PowerPoint, click on the PowerPoint icon to the proper for a brief PowerPoint presentation on Diagramming Sentences. You can watch diagrams develop before your eyes.

Click HERE for assist with Powerpoint.

For in addition statistics about diagramming, see Martha Kolln's Understanding English Grammar (4th Edition. MacMillan Publishing Company: New York. 1994) or Thomas Klammer and Muriel R. Schulz's Analyzing English Grammar (second Edition. Allyn & 1st Baron Verulam: Boston. 1996). The order of diagrams offered here is based on a comparable challenge at America Online's homework and instructional reference vicinity (Keyword: homework), however the sentences and diagrams are totally our personal. If you need assist with the definitions of any of the terms or principles indexed right here, check with the Index.

What Diagramming Teaches Us

When Joseph R. Mallon Jr. bumps up towards a complicated trouble, he thinks again

to a lesson he discovered in excessive school from the Sisters of the Immaculate


The Philadelphia-location college's Catholic nuns taught him the art of

diagramming a sentence. Once all the elements of speech lined up, Mallon pulled

readability from the chaos. It's a method he makes use of today to tackle difficult problems

as chief govt and chairman of Measurement Specialties Inc.

"Sit down quietly. Take (the problem) aside into its component components. Make positive

all of the additives fit collectively well. They've were given to be nicely selected, in shape

together and make experience. There are few (commercial enterprise) problems that can't be

solved that way, as dire as it would seem," Mallon stated. "Sentence

diagramming is one of the first-rate analytical techniques I ever discovered."

Investor's Business Daily

17 October 2000

If you've got any recommendations (or corrections) for this page, please ship them to Grammar English. Because of the photographs-wealthy nature of this enterprise, we cannot respond with help on diagramming questions beyond what is obtainable right here.

The diagrams themselves are in my view listed on every other page (click on the "enter button" below). Click on a word or clause type in the pinnacle frame, and the diagram will show up within the bottom frame. If you prefer to see the diagrams indexed in two long documents, you may use the summaries indexed beneath.


There aresingle-file summaries of the diagrammed sentences.Since many photos are involved, you can need to be patient for an entire down load.

Basic Sentence Parts, Phrase Configurations

Sentence Types, Clause ConfigurationsPledge of Allegiance (through popular call for)Preamble to the U.S. Constitution (with the aid of popular call for)


Q. Please explain a way to diagram a sentence.

A. First spread the sentence out on a smooth, flat surface, consisting of an ironing board. Then, the use of a sharp pencil or X-Acto knife, locate the "predicate," which suggests in which the motion has taken region and is generally positioned without delay at the back of the gills. For example, within the sentence: "LaMont by no means would of bit a woodland ranger," the movement probably befell in a woodland. Thus your diagram would be shaped like a touch tree with branches protruding of it to indicate the locations of the various particles of speech, such as your gerunds, proverbs, adjutants, and many others.

— Dave Barry 

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