Sentences can be very complex, and can contain many different parts of speech which implicate many different grammatical rules. Even the simplest of sentences must have a subject and a verb, and grammatical rules dictate how the subject and verb interact. Diagramming sentences can help you to make sure each piece of your sentence is grammatically correct, and can give you a deeper understanding of the English Language
There are a number of different reasons diagramming sentences can be useful, all of which are related to developing a deeper understanding of English grammar. Diagramming sentences can help you to:
Sentences can contain a number of different components, which must work together. Diagramming sentences allows you to separate and identify these different components of sentences by arranging them pictorally.
Although there are several different methods of diagrammng a sentence, each involves separating the subject, the predicate (the verb), and the other components of a sentence.
Those components can include:
When writing sentences, subjects and verbs must agree in number (for example, a singular subject must have a singular verb). Modifiers also must be placed as close as possible to the subject or object being modified. Sometimes, in complex sentences, it can be difficult to determine which subject and which verb are related, or what an adjective is describing.
By diagramming sentences, you learn to how to identify how the components of a sentence work together, and you develop a deeper understanding of the function that words play in sentences. This can help make your own writing clearer and free of grammatical errors.
Your base line is the top line of your diagram which explains what your sentence is about. It is the fundamental pieces of the sentence.
Each of the other components of the sentence - modifers, prepositional phrases, subordinating clauses, interjections, and so on, are placed below the base line of the sentence, according to specific sentence diagramming rules.
The easiest way to understand sentence diagramming is to study sentences that have been diagrammed and to practice diagramming your own. A quick Internet search will locate websites, such as Guide to Diagramming Sentences which have examples and pictures of diagrammed sentences and explanations.