Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Analysis of Complex Sentences, interpretation

For better understanding and convenience the presentation has been divided into three parts, as listed below:

Part-I: General introduction of different types of sentences

Part-II: The clauses and phrases used in complex sentence

Part-III: Detailed Analysis / interpretation of complex sentence

Part-I


General introduction of different types of sentences

To making a better judgment for analysis of complex sentence we should have a simple introduction of all the sentence types. After that, we will be in better position to analyze the complex sentences. There are four types of sentences i.e;


(1) SIMPLE SENTENCE:

A simple sentence, also called an independent clause, contains a subject and a verb, and it expresses a complete thought. In the following simple sentences, subjects are in yellow, and verbs are in green.

A. Some students like to study in the mornings.


B. Juan and Arturo play football every afternoon.


C. Alicia goes to the library and studies every day.

The three examples above are all simple sentences. Note that sentence B contains a compound subject, and sentence C contains a compound verb. Simple sentences, therefore, contain a subject and verb and express a complete thought, but they can also contain a compound subjects or verbs.

(2) COMPOUND SENTENCE:

A compound sentence contains two independent clauses joined by a coordinator. The coordinators are as follows: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. (Helpful hint: The first letter of each of the coordinators spells FANBOYS.) Except for very short sentences, coordinators are always preceded by a comma. In the following compound sentences, subjects are in yellow, verbs are in green, and the coordinators and the commas that precede them are in red.

A. I tried to speak Spanish, and my friend tried to speak English.


B. Alejandro played football, so Maria went shopping.


C. Alejandro played football, for Maria went shopping.

The above three sentences are compound sentences. Each sentence contains two independent clauses, and they are joined by a coordinator with a comma preceding it. Note how the conscious use of coordinators can change the relationship between the clauses. Sentences B and C, for example, are identical except for the coordinators. In sentence B, which action occurred first? Obviously, "Alejandro played football" first, and as a consequence, "Maria went shopping. In sentence C, "Maria went shopping" first. In sentence C, "Alejandro played football" because, possibly, he didn't have anything else to do, for or because "Maria went shopping." How can the use of other coordinators change the relationship between the two clauses? What implications would the use of "yet" or "but" have on the meaning of the sentence?

(3) COMPLEX SENTENCE

A complex sentence has an independent clause joined by one or more dependent clauses. A complex sentence always has a subordinator such as because, since, after, although, or when or a relative pronoun such as that, who, or which. In the following complex sentences, subjects are in yellow, verbs are in green, and the subordinators and their commas (when required) are in red.

A. When he handed in his homework, he forgot to give the teacher the last


page.

B. The teacher returned the homework after she noticed the error.


C. The students are studying because they have a test tomorrow.


D. After they finished studying, Juan and Maria went to the movies.


E. Juan and Maria went to the movies after they finished studying.

When a complex sentence begins with a subordinator such as sentences A and D, a comma is required at the end of the dependent clause. When the independent clause begins the sentence with subordinators in the middle as in sentences B, C, and E, no comma is required. If a comma is placed before the subordinators in sentences B, C, and E, it is wrong.

Note that sentences D and E are the same except sentence D begins with the dependent clause which is followed by a comma, and sentence E begins with the independent clause which contains no comma. The comma after the dependent clause in sentence D is required, and experienced listeners of English will often hear a slight pause there. In sentence E, however, there will be no pause when the independent clause begins the sentence.

Part-II


The clauses and phrases used in complex sentences

Now in the second phase we’ll try to learn about the clauses and phrases used in a complex sentence, so that we can examine them during analysis of sentence.

Clause:

A clause is a division of a sentence, containing a verb with its subject. Hence the term clause may refer to the main division of the complex sentence, or it may be applied to the others,-the dependent or subordinate clauses. A principal, main, or independent clause is one making a statement without the help of any other clause. A subordinate or dependent clause is one which makes a statement depending upon or modifying some word in the principal clause.

With concern to complex sentence we discuss three types of clauses one by one

(1) Noun Clauses.

Examine the group of words in italics in the following sentences:

1. I expect to get a prize. [Expect what?]

2. I expect that I shall get a prize [Expect what?]

The first group of words, to get a prize, does not contain a Subject and a Predicate of its own. It is therefore a phrase. This phrase is object of the verb expect and hence does the work of a noun. It is therefore a noun phrase. The second group of words, that I shall get a prize, contains a subject and a predicate of its own. It is therefore a clause. This clause is the object of the verb expect and so does the work of a noun. We therefore call it a Noun Clause. Noun clauses have the following uses:-

  • Subject: "That such men should give prejudiced views of America is not a matter of surprise."
  • Object of a verb, verbal, or the equivalent of a verb: (a) "I confess these stories, for a time, put an end to my fancies;" (b) "I am aware [I know] that a skillful illustrator of the immortal bard would have swelled the materials."
  • Just as the object noun, pronoun, infinitive, etc., is retained after a passive verb (Sec. 352, 5), so the object clause is retained, and should not be called an adjunct of the subject; for example, "We are persuaded that a thread runs through all things;" "I was told that the house had not been shut, night or day, for a hundred years."
  • Complement: "The terms of admission to this spectacle are, that he have a certain solid and intelligible way of living."
  • Apposition. (a) Ordinary apposition, explanatory of some noun or its equivalent: "Cecil's saying of Sir Walter Raleigh, ' I know that he can toil terribly,' is an electric touch." (b) After "it introductory" (logically this is a subject clause, but it is often treated as in apposition with it): "It was the opinion of some, that this might be the wild huntsman famous in German legend."
  • Object of a preposition: "At length he reached to where the ravine had opened through the cliffs."

(b) Adjective Clauses:

Look at the words in italics in the following sentences:

1. The umbrella with a broken handle is mine. [which umbrella?]

2. The umbrella which has a broken handle is mine. [which umbrella?]

The first group of words, with a broken handle, describes the umbrella; that is, it qualifies the noun umbrella, and does the work of an adjective. It is what we call an Adjective phrase. The second group of words, which has a broken handle, also describes the umbrella and so does the work of an Adjective. But because it contains a Subject and a Predicate of its own, it is called and Adjective Clause. So, An Adjective Clause is a group of words which contains a Subject and a Predicate of its own, and does the work of an Adjective. The adjective clause may be introduced by the relative pronouns who, which, that, but, as; sometimes by the conjunctions when, where, whither, whence, wherein, whereby, etc. Frequently there is no connecting word, a relative pronoun being understood. Adjective clauses may modify:-

  • The subject: "The themes it offers for contemplation are too vast for their capacities;" "Those who see the Englishman only in town, are apt to form an unfavorable opinion of his social character."
  • The object: "From this piazza Ichabod entered the hall, which formed the center of the mansion."
  • The complement: "The animal he bestrode was a broken-down plow-horse, that had outlived almost everything but his usefulness;" "It was such an apparition as is seldom to be met with in broad daylight."
  • Other words: "He rode with short stirrups, which brought his knees nearly up to the pommel of the saddle;" "No whit anticipating the oblivion which awaited their names and feats, the champions advanced through the lists;" "Charity covereth a multitude of sins, in another sense than that in which it is said to do so in Scripture."

(c) Adverb Clauses:

Look at the groups of words ihn italics in the following sentences:

1. They rested at sunset. [Rested when?]

2. They rested when evening came. [Rested when?]

It is evident that both the group s of worked in italics, in 1 and 2, do the work of an Adverb as they modify the verb rested, showing when the action was performed. Since the clause, when evening came does the wok of an Adverb, it is called an adverb clause. So, an Adverb Clause is a group of words which contains a Subject and a Predicate of its own, and does the work of an adverb. The adverb clause takes the place of an adverb in modifying a verb, a verbal, an adjective, or an adverb. The student has met with many adverb clauses in his study of the subjunctive mood and of subordinate conjunctions; but they require careful study. Adverb clauses are of the following kinds:

  • TIME: "As we go, the milestones are grave-stones;" "He had gone but a little way before he espied a foul fiend coming;" "When he was come up to Christian, he beheld him with a disdainful countenance."
  • PLACE: "Wherever the sentiment of right comes in, it takes precedence of everything else;" "He went several times to England, where he does not seem to have attracted any attention."
  • REASON, or CAUSE: "His English editor lays no stress on his discoveries, since he was too great to care to be original;" "I give you joy that truth is altogether wholesome."
  • MANNER: "The knowledge of the past is valuable only as it leads us to form just calculations with respect to the future;" "After leaving the whole party under the table, he goes away as if nothing had happened."
  • DEGREE, or COMPARISON: "They all become wiser than they were;" "The right conclusion is, that we should try, so far as we can, to make up our shortcomings;" "Master Simon was in as chirping a humor as a grasshopper filled with dew [is];" "The broader their education is, the wider is the horizon of their thought." The first clause in the last sentence is dependent, expressing the degree in which the horizon, etc., is wider.
  • PURPOSE: "Nature took us in hand, shaping our actions, so that we might not be ended untimely by too gross disobedience."
  • RESULT, or CONSEQUENCE: "He wrote on the scale of the mind itself, so that all things have symmetry in his tablet;" "The window was so far superior to every other in the church, that the vanquished artist killed himself from mortification."
  • CONDITION: "If we tire of the saints, Shakespeare is our city of refuge;" "Who cares for that, so thou gain aught wider and nobler?" "You can die grandly, and as goddesses would die were goddesses mortal."
  • CONCESSION, introduced by indefinite relatives, adverbs, and adverbial conjunctions,- whoever, whatever, however, etc.: "But still, however good she may be as a witness, Joanna is better;" "Whatever there may remain of illiberal in discussion, there is always something illiberal in the severer aspects of study."
  • These mean no matter how good, no matter what remains, etc.

PHRASE:

There are tree types of phrases which we should know before the interpretation of complex sentences, i.e;

(A) Adjective Phrases:

An Adjective Phrase is a group of words that does the work of an Adjective. For example;

Adjectives

Adjective Phrases

A golden crown

A crown made of gold

A deserted village

A village without any inhabitants

The longest day

The day of greatest length

(b) Adverb Phrases:

An Adverb Phrase is a group of words that does the work of an Adverb. For example;

Adverbs

Adverb Phrases

Bravely

IN a brave manner, or with bravery

Unwisely

In an unwise manner, or without wisdom

Soon

Before very long, or at an early date

(c) Noun Phrases:

A Noun Phrase is a group of words that does the work of a Noun. For example;

Early to bed is a good maxim.

We enjoy playing cricket.

Did you enjoy reading this book.

Standing about in a cold wet wind did me no good.

Part III

Analysis / Interpretation of Complex Sentences

Usually when a complex sentence is given for analyzing, detailed analysis is not required; the usually wanted is clause analysis. Complex-Sentence is the sentence which has two or more subordinate clauses besides the main clause. The analysis of Complex sentences is the analysis of the clauses in those sentences. We can analyze the clauses in the Complex Sentences to become familiar with the formation of sentences. But I’ll try to analyze the complex sentence in two ways:

Clause analysis of complex sentence &

Tree format detailed analysis of complex sentence

(A) Clause Analysis of Complex Sentence:

First step is to find out the Principal or Main Clause. The next step is to find out the subordinate Clause or Clauses, showing the relation which each Clause bears to the Principal Clause. We’ll try to understand by following examples;

Example 1:

Sentence: “Whenever he heard the question the old man who lived it that house, answered that the earth is flat.”

Analysis: This complex sentence containing three subordinate clauses, clause analysis is as below;

1. The old man ……….. answered. (Principle clause)

2. Whenever he heard the question. (Adverb clause of time, modifying


answered in 1)

3. Who lived in that house. (Adjective clause, qualifying main in 1)

4. That the earth is flat. (Noun clause, object of answered in 1)

Example 2:

Sentence: I knew a man, who believed that, if a man were permitted to make the ballads, he need not care who made the laws of the nation.

Analysis: This sentence has four subordinate clauses, besides the principal clause.

a. I knew a man. (Principal Clause)

b. Who believed …(Adjective Clause)

c. That he need not care. (Noun Clause)

d. Who made the laws of the nation? (Noun Clause)

e. If a man is admitted to make the ballads. (Adverb Clause)

Example 3:

Sentence: Whenever he heard the question, the old man who lived in that house, answered that the earth is flat.

Analysis: There are three clauses in this sentence.


a. The old man…..answered. (Principal Clause)


b. Whenever he heard. (Subordinate Clause)


c. Who lived in that house? (Subordinate Clause)


d. That the earth is flat. (Subordinate Clause)



Example 4:



Sentence: I knew a man, who believed that, if a man were permitted to make the ballads, he need not care who made the laws of the nation.



Analysis: This sentence has four subordinate clauses, besides the principal clause.



a. I knew a man. (Principal Clause)


b. Who believed …(Adjective Clause)


c. That he need not care. (Noun Clause)


d. Who made the laws of the nation? (Noun Clause)


e. If a man is admitted to make the ballads. (Adverb Clause)

(B) Tree format detailed analysis of complex sentences

In tree format analysis we analyze the complex sentence as per clause, phrase and word level. It can easily be illustrated by following examples:

Example 1:

Sentence: He, the manager was working with his workers.

Clause level: S V C

Phrase level: NP VP PP (P‾)

P NP H.V M.V P C

Art N NP

PosP N

Word level: He the manager was working with his workers.

Example 2:

Sentence: The President of Pakistan will be visiting America shortly.

NP VP NP Adverb Phrase

PP Complement Aux Aux

Article Head (Noun) (H).P N H.V H.V M.V N Adverb

The President of Pakistan will be visiting America shortly.

Example 3:

Sentence: He destroyed the letter, which you sent there.

Clause level: Principal clause Subordinate clause

He destroyed the letter, which you sent there.

Phrase level: VP NP Subject N.P VP Adverbial Phrase

Pronoun M.V Article (H) Noun Subordinatory Noun M.V Adverb

Conjunction of place

Sentence

Level: He destroyed the letter which you sent there.

Example 4:

Sentence: The man is generally the man who can play most heartily.

Clause level: Main clause Subordinate clause

The man is generally the man who can play most heartily.

Phrase level: NP VP Adverb Phrase NP VP Adverb phrase

Article (H) Noun Linking Adverb article (H) Noun Aux (H.V) M.V Adverb

Verb

Relative Pronoun Adverb

(the man)

The man is generally the man who can play most heartily.

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