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Solution (2)What grade would you give to this diagrammed sentence? Thanks.

The man was Lewis Gothamburger whom she had lured into a bizarre scheme to make Russ Faria look like a violent man.

1) This is a simple sentence even though it sounds like it could be a complex sentence if it began with "To make Russ Faria look like a violent man" but "to make" is not an adverbial phrase although infinitive phrases functions as adverbs. I've never seen an adverbial phrase begin with an infinitive phrase.
2) I'm guessing that "whom" is a direct object that modifies "Lewis Gothamburger" instead of "man" so that could be wrong.
3) "into" is a prepositional phrase functioning as a "where" adverb so it modifies the verb phrase "had lured."
4) The verb "look" is an action verb because when I used the verb "is" for the test, it didn't sound right so "to make" is an infinitive phrase functioning as an adverb modifying the verb "look."
5) It sounds like "a violent man" is renaming the object "like" (look like what?) although "a violent man" could be an indirect object.

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Last edited by David, Moderator
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@clueless posted:

What grade would you give to this diagrammed sentence? Thanks.

The man was Lewis Gothamburger whom she had lured into a bizarre scheme to make Russ Faria look like a violent man.

Hi, Clueless—I'm glad that you have asked a question about sentence diagramming. This is a type of question that we do not often get. I see that you are using the Reed-Kellogg sentence-diagramming system, and that the sentence you have chosen is rather involved.

@clueless posted:

1) This is a simple sentence even though it sounds like it could be a complex sentence if it began with "To make Russ Faria look like a violent man" but "to make" is not an adverbial phrase although infinitive phrases functions as adverbs. I've never seen an adverbial phrase begin with an infinitive phrase.

Actually, it is not a simple sentence; it is a complex sentence. A complex sentence has one or more dependent clauses, and your sentence has a dependent clause, namely, the relative clause "whom she had lured into a bizarre scheme to make Russ Faria look like a violent man."

The relative clause should be set off by a comma, as it is nonrestrictive. "Lewis Gothamburger" pics out a unique individual. The relative clause would be restrictive if it modified "man": "The man whom she had lured into a bizarre scheme to make Russ Faria look like a violent man was Lewis Gothamburger."

The infinitival clause "to make Russ Faria look like a violent man" functions adjectivally, as a modifier of "scheme." It is a nonfinite relative clause. What was the nature of the bizarre scheme? It was a scheme to make Russ Faria look like a violent man.

@clueless posted:

2) I'm guessing that "whom" is a direct object that modifies "Lewis Gothamburger" instead of "man" so that could be wrong.

"Whom" is a relative pronoun whose antecedent here is "Lewis Gothamburger." The relative clause is nonrestrictive, as I explained above; it adds a nondefining detail about the man "Lewis Gothamburger." Within the relative clause, "whom" functions as the direct object of "had lured."

@clueless posted:

3) "into" is a prepositional phrase functioning as a "where" adverb so it modifies the verb phrase "had lured."

Yes, but bear in mind that the location (the "where") is abstract: a "scheme."

@clueless posted:

4) The verb "look" is an action verb because when I used the verb "is" for the test, it didn't sound right . . .

No. "Look" is a non-action verb here. "Look" means "appear" here.

@clueless posted:

. . . so "to make" is an infinitive phrase functioning as an adverb modifying the verb "look."

No. "To make Russ Faria look like a violent man" is an infinitival relative clause functioning adjectivally; the infinitival clause modifies "bizarre scheme."

@clueless posted:

5) It sounds like "a violent man" is renaming the object "like" (look like what?) although "a violent man" could be an indirect object.

No. The phrase "to make Russ Faria look like a violent man" means "to make Russ Faria look as if he were a violent man" and is equivalent in meaning to the phrase "to make Russ Faria appear violent." "Like a violent man" is a prepositional phrase modifying "look." How did he look?--Like a violent man.

Your diagram is a good attempt. You have diagrammed "The man was Lewis Gothamburger" correctly, and you have correctly represented "whom" as the direct object of "had lured" in the relative clause nonrestrictively modifying "Lewis Gothamburger." You have also correctly diagrammed "into a bizarre scheme" as a prepositional phrase adverbially modifying "had lured [whom]."

Below are the diagram's mistakes:

  • "She" is represented as the subject of the predicate "look like a violent man," but the sentence doesn't say, "She look like a violent man."
  • "Russ Faria" is not represented as the subject of "look like a violent man."
  • What you have drawn diagonally off of "look" is not a structure that is used in the Reed-Kellogg diagramming system.
  • You have "to make Russ Faria" adverbially modifying "look," as if the sentence said, "She look like a violent man to make Russ Faria."
  • You have incorrectly represented "like" as the direct object of "look," whereas, as I explained above, it is the head of the prepositional phrase "like a violent man," which functions adverbially, modifying "look" and answering the question "How?"
  • You have mysteriously drawn a subject-complement back-slash after "like."

Here is how I diagram the sentence using the Reed-Kellogg system.

Lewis Gothamburger

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Last edited by David, Moderator

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