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Dear teachers,

Sorry to bother you but I would be very grateful if you could help me analyze the following sentences. Sometimes some sentence elements appear ambiguous to me and I don’t know how to analyze them. Have you got a clue which would help me not to hesitate anymore ?

1) He is without a job = subject complement or adverbial ?

2) She is respected by her students. =

"is respected" = intransitive verb?

"by her students" = ??

3) = Are the following: S V Direct Object + Indirect Object?

a) The senator asked a question of the Supreme Court Justice.

- is "of" the normal preposition which should follow the expression "to ask a question"?

b) I ordered myself something to eat.

c) The antique dealer purchased the World War I plane for The Smithsonian.

(Who are the Smithsonian(s?)?)

4) She is ahead of her fellow students.

= SV + subject Complement or Adverbial ?

- "ahead of her fellow students" is an adverb phrase or an adjective phrase ? How should I know?

5) The was only a glinting trickle far below.

= S V Subject complement + Adverbial of place?

6) I talked to myself.

a) talked = intransitive verb ?

b) to myself = indirect object?? / subject complement ?

7) Talk to me. = ??

8) I am behind in my rent.

a) “behind in my rent” = subj compl; or

b) “behind” = ? + “in my rent” = ?

9) a) We had quite a good time. = S V Od?

b) They are such good friends. = S V Cs?

10) All the people in the house left for good. = SV + ?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Kind regards,

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Hello Hela

I'm not an English teacher and I don't think I'm qualified to answer such an intriguing question like this. But I found this remained unanswered, and I don't like to see any question is left unanswered. So I'll try to answer this in spite of my poor grammar knowledge. First of all I would like to remind you that there are many ways to analyze English sentences and the grammar terms in the analyses are defined differently from one scholar to another. So I am quite uncertain about whether my answer will agree with the way your English teachers are teaching.

1) He is without a job.
"Without a job" here is an adjectival PP (=prepositional phrase) and works as the subject complement.
2) She is respected by her students.
"(He) is respected" is a verbal phrase in a passive construct of "(They) respect (him)". "By her students" is an adverbial PP indicating the agent of the action "respect".
3-a) The senator asked the question of the Supreme Court Justice.
"Ask a question of him" is a formal form of "ask him a question". "The question" is the direct object of the verb "ask" and "of the Supreme Court Justice" is the adverbial PP, which modifies "ask" and indicates the source from which the senator could get the answer of "the question".
3-b) I ordered myself something to eat.
"Myself" is a reflective pronoun and here it works as the indirect object of the verb "order". "Something to eat" is the direct object of "order".
3-c) The antique dealer purchased the World War I plane for the Smithsonian.
"The World War I plane" is the direct object of "purchase" and "for the Smithsonian" is an adverbial PP to indicate the purpose of "purchase the plane". The Smithsonian Institution is a science museum named after James Smithson who donated the fund.
4) She is ahead of her fellow students.
"Ahead" is an adverb and "of her fellow students" is an adverbial PP to modify "ahead". Semantically "ahead of her fellow students" works as the subject complement.
5) The Indus was only a glinting trickle far below.
This sentence is a bit tough to analyze. I take the whole of "a glinting trickle far below" as the subject complement. "Far below" is an adverbial phrase but semantically it works as an adjectival modifier to indicate where the glinting trickle was.
6) I talked to myself.
"Talk" here is an intransitive verb and "to myself" is an adverbial PP indicating the direction of "talk".
7) Talk to me.
"Talk to me" is an imperative sentence.
8) I am behind in my rent.
"Behind" is an adverb and "in my rent" is an adverbial PP, which means "in the process of paying the rent". I take the whole of "behind in my rent" as the subject complement.
9-a) We had quite a good time.
"Quite a good time" is the direct object of "had". "Quite" is a pre-determiner adverb and intensifies "good".
9-b) They are such good friends.
"Such good friends" is the subject complement. "Such" is a pre-determiner adverb indicating the degree of "good".
10) All the people in the house left for good.
"All the people in the house" as a whole works as the subject. "Left (leave)" is an intransitive verb. "For good" is an adverbial PP to indicate the purpose of "leave".
paco
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Hi Eugenia,

OK. Post your ideas about this sentence here, and then we will be happy to offer you comments.

Best wishes, Clive
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Comments  
hi my name is eugenia and I need some help to analyse this sentences can you help me:

you can not know what the future behaviour of a company is until you know who owns it, because the distribution of its returns depends on the quality of the ownwers.

my email is Email Removed
 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.
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Dear All,

I am so bad at this "Sentence Analysis". Can any one help me with the following sentence plezzzzz.

1. David has worked at the head office for seven years.

2. She insisted on paying the bill.

4. He must have stayed at home

5. He might have stayed at home

6. He's loser.

The other question that I have is, how do you explain the difference between " he might have stayed at home and He must have stayed at home".

Would really appreciate if any one can bail out this.

Thanks in advance,

SSJ