English Language, Analysis & Grammar, Conclusion of Part 2, Example Practice Sentences

I did most of the example practice sentences in part 2 of curi’s English Language, Analysis & Grammar article

I did not do one but I made some initial remarks on it.

I am trying a new posting method so apologies in advance if anything is wrong, and please let me know if there is something wrong. I did do a test before posting this and everything seemed okay. This new posting method will permit me to simultaneously email the list and post to my blog (hopefully). I am using the Postie WordPress plugin. Btw the [grammar] tag 🏷 works as a blog category tag 😃

Part 2 Exercises

I work hard and I play hard.

Conjunction: Two clauses are joined by the coordinating conjunction “and.”

Main clause: I work hard.
Verb: work.
Subject: I.
Complement: hard.

Main clause: I play hard.
Subject: I.
Verb: play.
Complement: hard.

Conclusions: I work hard. I play hard.

Farting or belching is mildly impolite.

Conjunction: Two nouns (“farting”, “belching”) are joined by the coordinating conjunction “or” into a compound subject. With this conjunction and in this context, the predicate applies to each element of the compound subject separately. It is similar to if you said “A burger or pizza would be good for dinner.” The meaning there would be that a burger would be good for dinner, and pizza would also be good for dinner.

Verb: is.
Subject: Farting or belching.
Complement: impolite.
“mildly” modifies “impolite.”

Conclusions: Farting is mildly impolite. Belching is mildly impolite.

I went to a fancy university, yet I’m still quite ignorant.

Conjunction: Two clauses are joined by the coordinating conjunction “yet.” This conjunction indicates that the clause that follows the conjunction is contrary to the expectation that would follow from the first clause.

Main clause: I went to a fancy university.
Verb: went.
Subject: I.

Prepositional phrase: “to a fancy university” is an adverbial prepositional phrase describing where I “went.”
Preposition: “to.”
Prepositional object: “university”
“a” and “fancy” modify “university.”

Main clause: I’m still quite ignorant.
Verb: am.
Subject: I.
Complement: ignorant.
“quite” modifies “ignorant.”

Conclusions: I went to a university. It was fancy. Contrary to the result one would typically expect from these facts, I am still quite ignorant.

I write because I like good ideas.

Conjunction: The subordinating conjunction “because” joins two clauses, and indicates that the activity in the first clause (“I write”) follows as a result of the state of affairs in the second clause (“I like good ideas.”)

Main clause: I write.
Verb: write.
Subject: I.

Subordinate clause: I like good ideas.
Verb: like.
Subject: I.
Object: ideas.
“Good” modifies “ideas.”

Conclusions: I write. I do this activity for the reason that I like good ideas.

The bully hit my buddy and me pretty hard.

Conjunction: Two nouns (“buddy” and “me”) are joined by the coordinating conjunction “and” into a compound object.

Verb: hit.
Subject: bully.
Objects: buddy, me

“The” modifies “bully.”
“my” modifies “buddy.”
“hard” is an adverb modifying “hit.”
“pretty” modifies “hard.”

Conclusions: The bully hit me. The bully hit my buddy. The hits were pretty hard.

I seriously think that Ayn Rand was wise.

I’m not sure how to analyze this just with the material discussed up to this point in the grammar article, but elsewhere in his grammar educational materials curi says sentences like this mean the following:

Ayn Rand was wise; I seriously think that.

And curi also treats the semicolon as being like an “and.”

So basically, you analyze this as two main clauses.

Main clause: Ayn Rand was wise
Verb: was
Subject: Ayn Rand
Complement: wise

Main clause: I seriously think that
Verb: think
Subject: I
Object: that
“Seriously” modifies “think”

Note: “seriously” is a bit ambiguous. It could mean the person isn’t joking or that the person has thought about the matter carefully.

Don’t chew quickly while your mouth is open.

Conjunction: “While” is a subordinate clause. Here, it indicates that the scope of the advice given in the main clause (“Don’t chew quickly”) is limited to the situations described in the subordinate clause (“your mouth is open.”)

Main clause: [You] don’t chew quickly.
Verb: chew.
Auxiliary verb: do.
Subject: [You]
Complement: Quickly.
The contracted form of “not”, “n’t”, is an adverb modifying the auxiliary verb “do.”
“Quickly” is an adverb modifying “chew.”

Subordinate clause: your mouth is open.
Verb: is.
Subject: mouth.
Complement: open.
“Your” modifies “mouth.”

Conclusions: Don’t chew quickly. This advice is limited to when your mouth is open.

My daughter likes big dogs, but my son likes adorable cats.

Conjunction: “But” is a coordinating conjunction joining two main clauses and indicating a contrast between the two clauses (in this case, the contrast is which animal is favored by the speaker’s children).

Main clause: My daughter likes big dogs
Verb: likes
Subject: Daughter.
object: dogs
“my” modifies daughter.
“big” modifies dogs.

Main clause: my son likes adorable cats.
Verb: likes.
Subject: son.
Object: cats.
“my” modifies son.
“adorable” modifies “cats.”

Conclusions: My daughter likes big dogs. In contrast to that, my son likes adorable cats.

If universities are full of uncurious professors, don’t attend one.

“If” is a subordinating conjunction appearing at the beginning of the sentence. It functions to indicate that if the state of affairs described in the subordinate clause (“universities are full of uncurious professors”) is the case, the advice in the main clause (“don’t attend one.”) should be followed.

Main clause: [You] don’t attend one.
Verb: attend.
Subject: [You]
Object: one.

EDIT: Auxiliary verb: do
EDIT: “not” is an adverb modifying “attend”.

Subordinate clause: universities are full of uncurious professors.
verb: are.
subject: universities
complement: full.

prepositional phrase: of uncurious professors. adverb, modifies “full.”
preposition: of.
object of preposition: professors.
“uncurious” modifies “professors.”

conclusions: There is a condition under which you should not attend a university. That condition is if universities are full of uncurious professors.

After you throw a small, red ball, while you sing, you should stamp your feet loudly, and you should clap your hands energetically, if it’s still daytime.

I find the sentence ambiguous. Are the subordinate clauses supposed to refer only to the nearest main clause or to both main clauses together? And how does that affect how you think of the grammar/make a tree diagram.

I think that a subordinate clause can, in terms of meaning, refer to more than one main clause. For example, in “If you are hungry, you should eat and you should drink,” the meaning is that if the status described in the subordinate clause is the case, you should both eat and drink. But what is the subordinate clause being subordinated to? “You should eat?” Or the combination of the main clauses conjoined by the “and”? And how would we diagram that?

Also, I’m unclear why “if it’s still daytime.” is preceded by a comma. I believe that is irregular and contrary to standard punctuation of subordinate clauses.

I wrote more on this example but I’ll limit my remarks to this for now.

English Language, Analysis & Grammar, Conclusion of Part 1, Example Practice Sentences

I did the example practice sentences in curi’s the Conclusion of Part 1 to curi’s English Language, Analysis & Grammar article.


  • John is wise.

Linking Verb: is.
Subject: John.
Complement: wise.

  • John quickly drank milk.

Action Verb: drank.
Subject: John.
Object: milk.
“Quickly” modifies “drank.”
Conclusions: The sentence is about John drinking milk. He drank it quickly.

  • John likes big, fast cars.

Action Verb: likes.
Subject: John.
Object: cars.
“Big” and “fast” both modify “cars.”
Conclusions: John likes a particular type of car: those that are big and fast.

  • John went to the new store.

Action Verb: went.
Subject: John.

Prepositional phrase: “to the new store”; this phrase is an adverb modifying “went.” It describes where John “went.”
“To” is the preposition, “store” is the object of the preposition.
“The” is a determiner/adjective modifying “store.”
“New” is an adjective modifying “store.”

Conclusions: John went to the store. It is a new store.

  • The ferocious dog chased three cats over the chair.

Action Verb: chased.
Subject: dog.
Object: cats.
“The” is a determiner/adjective modifying “dog.”
“ferocious” modifies “dog.”
“three” modifies “cats.”

Prepositional phrase: “over the chair” is an adverb modifying “chased.”
“Over” is a preposition. It tells us the chasing was over the chair (not through or under).
“The” is a determiner/adjective modifying “chair.”
“Chair” is the object of the preposition.

Conclusions: A dog chased three cats. The dog was ferocious. The chase went over a chair.

  • Clever John carefully ate the very juicy steak.

Action Verb: ate.
Subject: John.
Object: steak.
“Clever” modifies “John.”
“Carefully” modifies “ate.”
“Juicy” modifies “steak.”
“Very” modifies “juicy.”
“The” modifies “steak.”’

Conclusions: John ate the steak. He did so carefully. The steak was very juicy. John was clever.

  • John thought hard about chemistry.

Action Verb: thought.
Subject: John.
“hard” modifies “thought.”

Prepositional phrase: “about chemistry” is an adverb modifying “thought”; it is telling us what the topic of his thinking was.
“About” is a preposition.
“Chemistry” is the object of the preposition.

Conclusions: John thought hard. The topic of his thinking was chemistry.

  • John put the toy soldier in the compartment in the box on the shelf in his room.

Action verb: put.
Subject: John.
Object: soldier.
“the” and “toy” modify “soldier.”

Prepositional phrase: “in the compartment in the box on the shelf in his room.” is a big prepositional phrase telling us where John “put” the toy soldier.
“in” is the first preposition.
So the whole phrase modifies “put” and is an adverb.

It is all one big phrase cuz all of the prepositions nested inside modify the object of the previous part of the preposition. So it is a big chain of prepositional phrases. I will explain below. I won’t go through each word for these — I will just discuss at phrase level cuz I think that’s sufficient.

“in the compartment” tells us where John put the toy soldier. So this prepositional phrase by itself is an adjective.

“in the box” tells us the location of this compartment that John put the toy soldier in. There is a box, and it has a compartment that John put the toy soldier in. So “in the box” modifies “compartment” and is an adjective.

“on the shelf” modifies “box.” It’s telling us that the box is located on a shelf. So it’s giving us information about the box. So it’s an adjective.

“in his room” modifies “box.” it’s telling us where the box is. so it’s an adjective.

EDIT: “in his room” actually modifies “shelf.” See comments on this blog post for discussion.

the whole phrase “in the compartment in the box on the shelf in his room” is an adverb cuz the part that connects to the rest of the sentence, “in the compartment”, is an adverb. So that defines the entire prepositional phrase, regardless of how many adjective prepositional phrases are piled on. It’s kinda like how a noun phrase is a noun phrase even if there’s 20 adjectives modifying the noun. The noun is the defining thing of the noun phrase and any modifies to the noun inherit the status of being part of the noun phrase.

Conclusions: John put a toy soldier in a compartment. The compartment was inside a box. The box was on a shelf. The shelf was in his room.

I made a grammar tree to try to show how I was thinking of this sentence https://i.imgur.com/afNmkVg.png

  • The delicious cake with berries unfortunately fell onto the dirty floor from the table.

Sad story 🙁

Action Verb: fell.
Subject: cake
“the” and “delicious” modify “cake.”

“Unfortunately” modifies “fell.”
Comment: “unfortunately” seems in a bit of a weird place in the sentence. I would expect it at the beginning, like “Unfortunately, the delicious cake…”.

Prepositional phrases:
“with berries” is an adjective prepositional phrase modifying “cake” and telling us what kind of cake. “With” is the preposition and “berries” is the object of the preposition.
“onto the dirty floor” is an adverb prepositional phrase modifying “fell” and telling us where the cake fell. “onto” is the preposition, “floor” is the object of the preposition, and “the” and “dirty” modify “floor.”
“from the table” is an adverb prepositional phrase modifying “fell” and telling us from where the cake fell. “from” is the preposition, “table” is the object of the preposition, and “the” modifies “table.”

Conclusions: A cake fell. The cake was delicious. The cake had berries. The cake fell onto a floor. The floor was dirty. The cake fell from a table. The cake’s fall was unfortunate.

Criticism of “I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas

I made a video criticizing the music video for the song “I Gotta Feeling” by “The Black Eyed Peas.”

Here is one additional comment which I did not include in my YouTube video:
I found the YouTube comments on the music video I criticize to be kinda sad. E.g.:

You spend your childhood wanting to grow up and spend your adulthood wishing you were a child again.

Skankhunt 42
1 month ago
Three words for this song!
-Memories >-Childhood >-Nostalgia!

Lucas Michaud
3 weeks ago
me in 2009 “amazing song!”
me in 2019 “the nostalgia is hitting me hard”

Adrian Lobo
2 weeks ago
We were in the golden days without knowing it 😢

For lots of people, the song reminds them strongly of a particular time, and brings up strong emotions. But given the values promoted in the video, it’s bad if this song means much to you. The video promotes things like mindless “enjoyment” as an escape from ongoing stressful life problems. That sort of thing is a value of someone who doesn’t do much in their life.