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Introduction to Sentence Diagramming
A Brief History of Diagramming
Diagramming Simple Subjects and Verbs
Diagramming Direct Objects
Diagramming Prepositional Phrases
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This will introduce you to the basics of sentence diagramming and help you begin diagramming sentences on your own!
When we finish, you should be able to diagram simple subjects,
verbs, direct objects, adjectives, and prepositional phrases! Click “Go” to start!
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How to move around…
Click the buttons below to get from one
place to another in the lesson:
Go to the next slide
Go back one slide
Go back to the last slide you viewed
Go back to the beginning
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Who started it?
Brainerd Kellogg and
Alonzo Reed wrote a
book in 1899 called
Graded Lessons in
English. In it, they
supported use of
diagramming as a
way to understand
Check out an
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What does it mean to diagram a
A sentence diagram is a different way to
look at the parts of a sentence. You use
lines to separate the sentence into its
parts. It’s a great way to let you see the
parts of a sentence that we talk about
every day and to understand how things
fit together to make a sentence.
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To start, draw a “T” on your paper
Remember: Only capitalize
words that are capitalized in
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On the line, the simple subject
goes on the left, and the verb goes
on the right.
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Adjectives go on slanted lines
underneath the words they describe.
simple subject verb
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The tall boy ran.
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Direct Objects (DO) follow a half
line that is after the verb.
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Bob saw Susie.
Bob saw Susie
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Prepositional phrases are shown
under the words they modify with a
slanted line for the preposition and a
straight line for its object.
obj. of prep.
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Bob saw Susie at the store.
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Got it? No?
Get help with...
simple subjects & verbs direct objects prepositional phrases adjectives Check your answer
Think about this one: Bill drove the car over the bridge.
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Get it right????????
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• Diagramming sentences is another way to understand grammar and sentence structure.
• Simple subjects and verbs go on a horizontal line, separated by a vertical line.
• Adjectives go under the words they modify.
• Direct objects go after a half vertical line that follows the verb.
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Let’s Review (cont.)…
• Prepositional phrases start on slanted
lines under the words they modify.
Prepositions are on slanted lines and the
objects are on horizontal lines.
obj. of prep.
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Click the letter of the correct diagram for
this sentence: The dog chased the cat.
c. d. The chased the dog chased cat
dog chased the The chased cat
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Quiz Time: #2 Click the letter of the correct diagram for
this sentence: The nice man drove his car.
The drove his
man drove his man drove car
man drove car
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Click the letter of the correct diagram for this
sentence: I ate dinner at the restaurant.
Quiz Time: #3
I ate dinner
I ate restaurant
dinner ate I
I ate dinner
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Find out more!
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For more examples and a presentation on diagramming all the parts of a sentence, click here.
For more advanced topics and practice exercises that you can do and check your answers, click here.
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Darling, C. (2004). Guide to Grammar and Writing. Retrieved November 20, 2004, from http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar
Moutoux, E. R. (2004). Sentence Diagramming. Retrieved November 18, 2004, from http://www.geocities.com/gene_moutoux/diagrams.htm
Reed, A., & Kellogg, B. (1899). Graded lessons in English : an elementary English grammar : consisting of one hundred practical lessons, carefully graded and adapted to the class-room. Retrieved November 17, 2004, from 19th Century Schoolbooks: http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/t/text/text-idx?c=nietz&view=toc&idno=00ABY4888m
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