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Diagram of Declaration
July 04, 2017

July 4, 2017
Dear,

Here in the United States, we're celebrating Independence Day today. For our family, that means spending time together, watching fireworks, and reflecting on the freedom we are so fortunate to enjoy.

English Grammar Revolution

In honor of Independence Day, I'm sharing a sentence diagram of the opening sentence of the Declaration of Independence. I hope you enjoy it!

Happy Learning,


Elizabeth O'Brien

Sentence Diagram of the
Declaration of Independence

The opening sentence of the Declaration of Independence is kind of a beast.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


Seeing the sentence diagram can help you understand the meaning of the sentence, but the diagram can be pretty overwhelming at first. (Click the diagrams below to see larger images.)

Here's a color-coded diagram. This is my attempt to simplify it and help you see the main parts of the sentence. You'll also find a key chart below that will help you identify the parts of the sentence.

a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes
independent clause
respect
subject of independent clause
requires
verb of independent clause (transitive active)
that they should declare the causes
noun clause - direct object of requires
which impel them to the separation
dependent adjective clause - modifying causes
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary . . . Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them
dependent adverb clause modifying requires from independent clause
it
subject of dependent adverb clause
to dissolve the political bands . . . and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station
compound infinitive phrase - noun appositive
becomes
verb of adverb clause (intransitive linking)
necessary
predicate adjective of adverb clause
which have connected them with another
dependent adjective clause modifying bands
to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them
dependent adjective clause modifying station

I know that those diagrams look crazy! Just remember that they are diagrams of a very complicated sentence.

If you'd like to learn how to diagram sentences, you can start learning with much easier sentences here.

Have a wonderful week!

About Elizabeth

English Grammar Revolution

Elizabeth O'Brien is founder of www.GrammarRevolution.com, a company devoted to helping people learn and love grammar.

Through her website, books, and programs, Elizabeth shows people how to teach and learn grammar the easy way. She's on a mission to inspire and motivate people by making grammar fun and friendly.

If you liked today's issue, you'll love Elizabeth's grammar and sentence diagramming programs, which will help you learn or teach grammar through simple, step-by-step instructions and sentence diagrams.

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