I need a sentence diagrammed!

If there is anyone out there who is able & willing to diagram the final “sentence” of The House that Jack Built, I would be greatly indebted to them. I’m looking for something to entertain & intimidate my students when I introduce/reinforce embedded clauses.
Thank you!
If you find it easier to email your response (as sentence diagrams can get quite messy), please do so here: ardoriel@sbcglobal.net
You know you want to!

You might perhaps wanna post the sentence??

I remember it’s something along the lines of “This is the chrysanthemum that grew in the space alien that titrated the penguin that nibbled the tobacco that smelled up the fountain pen that splashed the weasel that…<etc>…lived in the house that Jack built” but I sure don’t remember any of the particulars.

mmmmmm… pureed penguin.
Do teachers still teach how to diagram a sentence? I was never taught it in school. Is it something I should learn how to do immediately?

This is the farmer sowing the corn,
That kept the cock that crowed in the morn,
That waked the priest all shaven and shorn,
That married the man all tattered and torn,
That kissed the maiden all forlorn,
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn,
That tossed the dog,
That worried the cat,
That killed the rat,
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.
So who’s got nothing better to do today?

Several years ago the National Council of Teachers of English did a large study on the value of diagramming sentences. They concluded that considering the many decades of including such instruction in English classes, that the primary result of teaching it is that people know how to do it. It has virtually no impact on ability to comprehend written material, nor does it improve one’s ability to write. In essence, it is an archaic and useless component of a person’s language learning. Note, incidentally, kell’s agenda. Entertain students - fine. Intimidate? What place does that have in a humane educational system? We have met the enemy, and it is us.

Not sure if this is the same as ‘diagramming’ – I learned how to construct syntax trees for sentence in university, when I took an intro linguistics course, and I’d say that was a useful exercise in understanding the concept of syntax in general and how words come together differently to form sentences in different languages. But I can see the argument that it isn’t as important in grade school.

chrisk, so did I. Syntax trees aren’t the same as diagramming sentences – it’s not X’ notation, it’s the use of certain graphics to represent classical grammar.

Here’s a source for the symbols used in diagramming.

Here’s my take on it.

It’s been a long time since 8th grade so I won’t be insulted if you use your students’ graph to show me how it’s done rather than vice versa.

Thank you, AHunter3, for your diagram.
CC is right, sentence diagramming (or syntax trees, for that matter) is quite archane. That is a moot point. I’m not teaching sentence diagramming, but embedded clauses (and their usefulness in constructing sentences, as well as the disaster of getting carried away with them). Most high school students are, however, familiar with the concept of sentence diagrams, and often even have some examples in their textbooks for purposes of explaining how sentences are constructed. The House that Jack Built diagram: entertaining? Yes. Does it illustrate both the usefulness and possible disaster of embedded clauses? Yes. Is it intimidating? Well, quite frankly, yes. I mean, look at it! Fortunately for my students (and myself!), however, they won’t be asked to diagram something like that. By intimidation I was, of course, being humorous.
Thanks again for the replies!

I did OK then? :slight_smile:
Actually, if you want to do a truly intimidating one, try the opening sentence of the Declaration of Independence:

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the bonds that have connected them to another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that they declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

I DID diagram that one once, AHunter3! And the funky thing was that it was for FUN; I never took diagramming in school.

You want real fun, though, try the Nicene Creed.