Peikoff Grammar Trees Lesson 1

I tried making some trees for some of the exercises for Homework 1 of Leonard Peikoff’s Grammar Course. I’ve embedded a preview of the PDF below, but I think the embedded preview is not very good, so it is probably best to view/download the PDF by using this link. I think the embedded feature may work better for stuff that is more one-sentence-at-a-time rather than huge things with multiple sentences together.

Peikoff HW 1 trees

I’ve gone through Lesson 1 of this course before. I looked at my notes a bit to refresh myself on some details but mostly focused on using the course content to practice making trees.

I also made a spreadsheet of some of the terminology in Lesson 1 order to test the import feature of an iOS flashcard app I had. The spreadsheet contents are below

Grammar is the study of what?How to put words together to form meaningful sentences.
InflectionChange in form of word in order to express a change in the use or meaning or role of a word.
E.g. "I" and "me" are the subject and object forms of "I".
SentenceGroup of words expressing complete thought or feeling.
4 types of sentencesdeclarative (says a fact), interrogative (question), imperative (gives an order), exclamatory ("whew!" or "aha!" which is why feelings are mentioned in definition of "sentence")
Meaning of the perioddemarcates the end of a unit
Expletivesempty word for getting a sentence started, which isn't in subject or predicate.
E.g. there in "There are three dogs on the corner."
PhraseThere are three dogs on the corner.
Prepositionsgovern spatial or temporal relationships for some bigger word that comes after them.
Adverbmodifies a verb, adjective, adverb. or modifies whole clause or sentence. (adverb often ends with "ly" like "ran quickly")
Conjunctioncombining word like "and" or "but"
Nounscan be objects but also e.g. "running" or "love" or "space". anything you could say "is" about.
Verbstalk about action (walking, hitting, thinking) or state of being (is healthy, smells good) of some subject.
Verbalsword derived from verb, but not a verb. like "running". there are 3 types of verbals:
- gerund: noun verbal ("running is fun")
- participle: adjective verbal ("running water")
- “Running quickly, he soon tired.” — “running” is a participle describing “he.”
- infinitive: typically "to [verb]", variety of uses including noun
Adjectives modifies a noun
Adverbsmodifies a verb, adjective, adverb. or modifies whole clause or sentence. (adverb often ends with "ly" like "ran quickly")
Complementcompletes a sentence. adds what's missing to e.g. "I hit" (what?) or "I met" (who?) or "I am" (what?)
Objecta complement that designates action rather than state. in "he hit the ball", the ball is the object of the action. but with "He is happy" then "happy" is a complement but not an object.
Main Clausemain part of complex multi-clause sentence, essence of thought. for good writing, your main idea should be in the main clause.

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