Let's diagram a Frederick Douglass quotation together. "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free."
Once you learn to read, you will be forever free. = complex sentence
you will be forever free = independent clause
will be = verb phrase
will = helping verb
be = main verb, intransitive linking
free = predicate adjective
forever = adverb
Once you learn to read = dependent adverb clause
Once = subordinating conjunction
learn = verb, transitive active
to read = direct object, infinitive
If you've already learned a bit about diagramming, you might be feeling bold enough to try diagramming sentences yourself. Here are two more quotations from Frederick Douglass. Try diagramming them with a pen and paper or with the free Let's Diagram site. Answers are just below this section. Have fun!
1. Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave. (HINT: Unfit is an objective complement.)
2. It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. (HINTS: It is an expletive. Than to repair broken men is adverbial elliptical clause.)
1. Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.
2. It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
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