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How to Diagram a Sentence

13 October 2011

Ask Mr. Language Person

Q. Please explain how to diagram a sentence.

A. First spread the sentence out on a clean, flat surface, such as an ironing board. Then, using a sharp pencil or X-Acto knife, locate the “predicate,” which indicates where the action has taken place and is usually located directly behind the gills. For example, in the sentence: “LaMont never would of bit a forest ranger,” the action probably took place in a forest. Thus your diagram would be shaped like a little tree with branches sticking out of it to indicate the locations of the various particles of speech, such as your gerunds, proverbs, adjutants, etc.

Dave Barry

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3 Comments to “How to Diagram a Sentence”

  1. How do I love Dave Barry, let me count the ways…

  2. Having gone to a grammar school, this is the funniest thing I’ve seen in awhile!

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