How to Diagram Sentences

2 min read


Sentences are one of the most wonderful things in the world. It can make you laugh, cry, angry, and extremely happy. But it is sometimes annoying to see sentences that are not properly constructed. It may look so complicated at first, but ditching grammatical errors is easy as eating a piece of cake. Here are the steps on how to properly diagram sentences and make your grammar teacher the happiest.

  1. Look for the verb in the sentence. Verbs are action words. They indicate actions. Once you found the verb, draw a horizontal line with a vertical line standing in the center.
  1. Identify what is the subject of your sentence. This will be a noun. This is usually the doer of the action which can either be a thing, a person or an animal. Once you are able to identify what is the subject, place the subject to the left of the vertical line you just draw earlier. The subject answers the question “who did the action?”
  1. Find the direct object if there is one. This can be a person, a thing or even a place that is the receiver of the action. Even though this may be essential to the sentence, take note that not all sentences have a direct object. If there’s a direct object, draw a line after the verb and place the direct object there.
  1. Find the articles or possessions. Draw a slanting line below the word which is being modified by the articles.
  1. Look for the adjectives. Place the adjectives on a slanted line below the word it modifies
  1. Find the adverb. Do the same as what you did with the articles and the adjectives.
  1. Check if you have a prepositional phrase. If you do have it, then connect the prepositional phrase on a horizontal line below the word they modify.
  1. Examine if your sentence is compound. If it is, you will connect each compound part with a dotted line and the connecting words between them.
  1. For a complex sentence, connect the independent clause with the other clause using a dotted line.

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