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SYNTACTIC ANALYSIS: EXERCISES


 

 

 

EXERCISE 1
Do a complete analysis of the structure in the following sentences either by making a diagram (a graphic display of the structure) of each or by giving an account of each. You don't need to identify definite ("the") and indefinite ("a"/"an") articles. For an account, you should use the following abbreviations:

n = noun
• prn = pronoun
• subj = subject
• do = direct object
• io = indirect object
• op = object of preposition
• vb = verb
• pred = predicate
• adj = adjective
• adv = adverb
• prep = preposition
• conj = conjunction
• vbl = verbal (infin, part, ger)
• phr = phrase
• dept cl = dependent clause
• ipt cl = independent clause

During our meeting time, you should be able to identify both the class and the function of each word, phrase, or clause.

1. Little Ms. Muffet sat on the Supreme Court bench.

2. The grey monkey quickly chased the brown weasel around the mulberry bush.

3. I am trying to run slowly, because I know that you are not in shape.

4. When Peter picked a peck of pickled peppers, he was very busy.



 EXERCISE 2
Do a complete analysis of the structure in the following sentences. Consult the instructions given in Exercise 1. Be sure that you have memorized the definitions of classes and functions of words, phrases, and clauses.

1. After careful consideration of their needs, Jack and Jill went up the hill.

2. The two looked in the well, when they reached the summit.

3. For a reason which is not immediately apparent, the children, Jill and Jack, fell down the hill.

 

EXERCISE 3
Do a complete analysis of the structure in the following sentences.

1. Part of the problem in Plato's Meno is that Meno himself has too much "culture."
2. For nearly a decade, the Vietnam War divided our nation in bitterness and violence.
3. The public has a right to know that private gain may be influencing public decisions.


OPTIONAL EXERCISES

If you don't yet feel confident about your ability to analyze syntax, here are some more sentences, thanks to a former student named Stephen Kern, for practice. Do a complete analysis of structure in each.

1. When Binky tried to touch his toes, he discovered that he couldn't.
2. This year's acid rain was by far the worst.
3. If you don't know the answer, guess.
4. While pondering the world's mysteries, Anaximander ate grapes.
5. Sing a song of sixpence and a pocket full of rye.
6. After the death of Mr. Mangrove, the town mourned for many days.
7. I couldn't help overhearing the terrible news about Igor.
8. Ludmilla and Rowena, two girls from Latvia, went on a long bike ride through the Black Forest.

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