Seeing How Words Combine

Syntax Trees
Grammar is the study of the structure of language.

Grammar is the study (of the structure (of language)).

Sentence Diagrams
What will we eat today?
We will eat pizza today.
Who will eat pizza today?
Will we eat pizza today?
When will we eat pizza?
Who] do you suppose [made the pizza (that we ate)?

4 Grammatical Concepts

    1. Grammatical Units:
         Words, Phrases & Clauses

        2. Grammatical Relationships:
               How words combine

        4. Functions of Grammatical Units:
               Parts of Sentences

        4. Forms of Grammatical Units:
               Parts of Speech

Five Grammatical Relationships
Unit CombinationRelationship
Subject + Predicate
1. Predication
Modifier + Head2. Modification
Head + ModifierModification
Head + Complement3. Complementation
Head + (Head + Unit)4. Subordination
Head + [Head + Unit]Subordination
Unit + Connector + Unit5. Coordination

Functions of Grammatical Units
7 Parts of

Subject= Word, Phrase or Clause

= Word or Phrase

Head= Word or Phrase
Particle= Word
Complement= Word, Phrase or Clause

= Word, Phrase or Clause

Connector= Word or Phrase

Standared Sequence of English Sentences:
          S V C = Subject Verb Complement

The Color Code's Components
The 15 Color-Styles
 Solid Dotted Dashed 
AquaDeterminer / (Adjective) {Adjective} [Adverb]
Blue(Noun ) / Pronoun {Noun} Pron. [Noun] Pron.
RedMain VerbVerbal[Adverb]
OrangeModal Verb Auxiliary VerbAux. Verb
BlackPreposition S. Conj.Conjunction[Adverb / Interjection ]
 (Parentheses) {Braces} [Brackets]

9 Parts of Speech
Types of Representations
1. Noun = People, Places, Physical & Abstract Things
2. Pronoun = Noun or Noun Phrase or Noun Clause:
3. Adjective = Descriptive Property of a Noun
4. Determiner = Universal Property of a Noun
5. Adverb = Property of an Adjective: very delicious food

5. Adverb = Property of a Verb Phrase or an Adverb
6. Main Verb = Processes: Actions or States - the food was delicious
6. Auxiliary Verb = Aspect of a Verb Phrase was eating / was eaten
    6. Non-finite Verb (Verbal) = Abstract Things / Nouns, Adjectives & Adverbs
                                                            Infinitives & Gerunds

7. Preposition = Relationship: leave [before the end (of the movie)]
8. Conjunction = Relationship: We left [before the movie ended]
8. Conjunction = Relationship boys and girls
9. Interjection & 5. Adverb = Point of View of the speaker Wow / Anyway

The Structures of Subjects and Predicates
Identification  +  Realization
Modifier(s) + Noun

Noun Phrase = Modifier(s) + Noun
Her best friend

NP = Noun Phrase + Mod. Phrase
Her friend from China

NP = Noun Phrase + Mod. Clause
Your friend who has an oven
Verb + Complement(s) + Modifier(s)

Verb + Complement = Core Verb Phrase
cooks pizza.

Modifier + Core VP = Modified Verb Phrase
seldom cooks pizza.

Aux. Verb + Complement = Completed V. Phrase
should cook us a pizza tonight.

Verb Phrase Complements

Auxiliaries + Modifier + Verb + 1 or 2 Complement(s) + Modifiers(s)

Noun vs. Adjective
physical: get your coat / existential: get angry
dynamic : smell the coffee / stative: smells delicious

One vs. Two Complements
physical: make a cake / existential: make Bill the boss
physical: found a dollar / mental: found the class boring /

dynamic: are considering the offer / stative: consider the offer generous

15 Predicate Patterns
Noneobject Pred. Adverb Pred. AdjectivePredicate Noun Predicate Verbal
She cooks
We were there.
The air is clean
Those birds are ducks
That is Bob singing
Bob found his keys
We looked [for the keys]
His hair was dyed black
Mary was elected president
We were forced to leave
I gave Bob a pen
He sent flowers [to her]
He dyed his hair black
They elected Mary president
He forced us to leave

00 Uncomplemented Predicate / 0. Linking Predicates
1. Single Complement Predicates
2. Double Complement Predicates

Active Voice: 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5
Passive Voice: 1.3, 1.4, 1.5
Active Voice: 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5
Active or Passive Voice: 00, 1.1, 1.2

Seeing Phrases
ice cream
quite well
make up
ought to
very fast
are everywhere
dare to dream  
should have been
Your friend / fast cars
should buy
have eaten
are sleeping
1. Same Color w/  
Same Line Style  
2. Same Color w/
Different Line Styles
3. & 4. Same Color Temperature w/
Same or Different Line Styles
like sports
became a doctor
to get angry
A friend (of mine) is {from France}.
be {who you are}
like [to drive fast]
to talk [about sports]
5. Verb Complements
Solid or Dotted
+ Dashed Blue
+ Dotted Blue
+ Dotted Aqua
        6. Marker Pairs
           ( ) = solid    { } = dotted    [ ] = dashed
            ( ) = solid    { } = dotted   [ ] = dashed
                                                    [ ] = dashed
                                                    [ ] = dashed

Multiple Meanings of Words
a kind person / a kind of fruit

I like sports / He looks like you

fell off the table / call off the game

dig a well / plays well / well, maybe they left

I want that phone / it's not that expensive

The phone that rang was hers. / She was lucky that you were there.

kind / like / off / well / that

Color-Coded Games
change your mind
the weather changes
change (of address)

Phrase Master: The Color Coded Phrase Game

You must be the change (you wish [to see [in the world]]).

[If you don't take change [by the hand]], it will take you [by the throat].

[just when I think [I have learned the way to live]], life changes.

Someone Said: The Color Coded Sentence Game

Color-Coded Karaoke
The Sound of Silence
Composer: Paul Simon
Hello darkness, [my old friend],
I've come [to talk [with you] again],
[Because a vision (softly creeping),
Left its seeds [while I was sleeping]],
And the vision (that was planted [in my brain])
Still remains [Within the sound (of silence)]

Color-Coded Grammar
English Training Wheels
Increase Vocabulary
Improve Comprehension of Complex Sentences

Copyright © 2018 Ted O'Brien

Grammatical Classifications