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maryanne
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I have a multi-part grammar question

 

First how is this sentence diagrammed?

 

I let him look in the box.

 

 

The next part of my question is how important is it that things like this be learned?

 

I got through high school English, 3 years of German and 1 year of Latin in highschool, as well as engineering degree without learning the answer to this question. I have a better command of the English language than most engineers I know (although that may not be saying very much) so this doesn't really seem necessary in life to know. I just really want to know because not knowing stuff like this really bugs me.

 

Last part of my question: As a homeschool mom it is up to me to decide how much grammar instruction my dc need to get. So how far should we go? I know this is a controversial question as some educators don't really think grammar instruction is even necessary. On the other hand, Rod and Staff, which we are using, goes well beyond anything I learned in high school or college. How do I decide when to just stop and say enough? Does it depend on whether I think my dc will be a lawyer, writer or politician or if he is more likely to be an engineer, accountant, or scientist?

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I - subject

let - verb

him look in the box - infinitive clause (the "to" in front of "look" is understood) that is acting as the direct object

 

The infinitive clause is diagramed:

him - subject

(to) let - infinitive/verb

in the box - prepositional phrase that modifies "let"

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I - subject

let - verb

him look in the box - infinitive clause (the "to" in front of "look" is understood) that is acting as the direct object

 

The infinitive clause is diagramed:

him - subject

(to) let - infinitive/verb

in the box - prepositional phrase that modifies "let"

WOO HOO! Nicely done. ;)

 

I have a multi-part grammar question

 

First how is this sentence diagrammed?

 

I let him look in the box.

 

 

The next part of my question is how important is it that things like this be learned?

Diagramming can improve sentence writing, reading skills (understanding complicated sentences), understanding new or foreign languages and can also demonstrate a thorough knowledge of English.

I got through high school English, 3 years of German and 1 year of Latin in highschool, as well as engineering degree without learning the answer to this question. I have a better command of the English language than most engineers I know (although that may not be saying very much) so this doesn't really seem necessary in life to know. I just really want to know because not knowing stuff like this really bugs me. I never knew it either and got along just fine; however, now that I Do know how to do it, my understanding (and love) of English is far greater.

Last part of my question: As a homeschool mom it is up to me to decide how much grammar instruction my dc need to get. So how far should we go? I know this is a controversial question as some educators don't really think grammar instruction is even necessary. On the other hand, Rod and Staff, which we are using, goes well beyond anything I learned in high school or college. How do I decide when to just stop and say enough? Does it depend on whether I think my dc will be a lawyer, writer or politician or if he is more likely to be an engineer, accountant, or scientist?

I think a solid foundation in grammar is necessary and should be taught until high school level writing is acquired. You get to decide, of course, as a home educator. For some that may mean through 6th grade, others 8th and even still some instruction in high school. It's a valuable skill no matter the field. I read recently that engineers, etc (mathier professions) are often chosen b/c of their ability to communicate over their peers who may lack the skill. Writing well is an excellent way to communicate. I have 3 super mathy kids and they're all getting a strong and solid education in humanities, including grammar, Latin and writing. YMMV.
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One thing to remember is that sometimes what you learn in school isn't necessarily applied exactly in life or work. For example, I too am an engineer (electrical). Much of what I learned in EE courses I *never* used in the workplace. My dad has been a EE for 30 years. He had to learn things like Fast Fourier Transforms and such, but even though he still designs circuits and does actual EE work (unlike me who did software :tongue_smilie:), he never had to use FFTs in his work until a year or so ago when he knew that that would get him a type of signal that he wanted, and the software he was using to design the circuit had an FFT thing that you could drag and drop and make everything just work. So he didn't even have to remember how to do an FFT. He also has not had to use calculus in the last 30 years, yet he had to learn it in school.

 

FWIW, I did lots of diagramming of sentences in school. No, I've never had to diagram a sentence since leaving high school (didn't take any English courses in college, since I got AP credit and just had to take one technical writing course to get my degree). I did enjoy diagramming sentences... probably because it seems very math like. :D I don't know that I realized at the time why I was diagramming sentences, but now I do have a pretty good understanding of proper sentence structure... usually. I won't say this entire post is perfectly written. :lol:

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With that much language, especially German and Latin, I'm sure you learned the concepts, just not how to diagram. Diagramming is one option for teaching grammatical concepts. You can choose to use another method, but I think it is still important to teach them. Personally, diagramming makes the most sense, because I have a more mathematical brain.

 

We will continue to discuss and review grammar through 12th grade, but I am done with formally teaching it by 9th grade.

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I - subject

let - verb

him look in the box - infinitive clause (the "to" in front of "look" is understood) that is acting as the direct object

 

The infinitive clause is diagramed:

him - subject

(to) let - infinitive/verb

in the box - prepositional phrase that modifies "let"

 

Thanks, I figured look was some kind of verbal, but couldn't figure out which one. My grammar education in school never got to verbals, so I'm trying to sort them out now.

 

WOO HOO! Nicely done. ;)

 

 

I think a solid foundation in grammar is necessary and should be taught until high school level writing is acquired.

 

I absolutely agree that a solid foundation in grammar is necessary. I'm trying to figure out what constitutes a solid foundation in grammar though. My ds is already doing R&S 6. Is that a solid foundation? Does he need to get through R&S 8? How about the 9/10 books? And I'm specifically asking about the grammar portions of those books rather than the writing lessons.

 

One thing to remember is that sometimes what you learn in school isn't necessarily applied exactly in life or work. For example, I too am an engineer (electrical). Much of what I learned in EE courses I *never* used in the workplace. My dad has been a EE for 30 years. He had to learn things like Fast Fourier Transforms and such, but even though he still designs circuits and does actual EE work (unlike me who did software :tongue_smilie:), he never had to use FFTs in his work until a year or so ago when he knew that that would get him a type of signal that he wanted, and the software he was using to design the circuit had an FFT thing that you could drag and drop and make everything just work. So he didn't even have to remember how to do an FFT. He also has not had to use calculus in the last 30 years, yet he had to learn it in school.

 

:lol:

 

Oh boy, I have a vague recollection of Fourier Transforms and Laplace Transforms and a bunch of other stuff I haven't used since college. I got the EE degree and then went the software route also. I totally get the idea of building thinking skills through specific knowledge that you may or may not ever actually use.

 

I guess I'm trying to sort out what grammar is needed to achieve college level writing versus what grammar is needed for professional writing/communication and differentiating between grammar necessary to communicate with similarly "sciencey" collegues orally or in research papers vs. lawyers who need to persuade vs. politicians who need to persuade the general public vs. writers and journalists that need to communicate with, but not necessarily persuade the general public. I know I'm probably splitting hairs here over the grammar foundation required to support these various levels of writing, but I figure there comes a point where additional grammar is not necessary except for those who expect to make a living that depends primarily or solely on a very high ability to communicate.

Edited by maryanne
fix a grammar error
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Oh boy, I have a vague recollection of Fourier Transforms and Laplace Transforms and a bunch of other stuff I haven't used since college. I got the EE degree and then went the software route also. I totally get the idea of building thinking skills through specific knowledge that you may or may not ever actually use.

 

I always say that I couldn't analyze a circuit to save my life. :lol:

 

I guess I'm trying to sort out what grammar is needed to achieve college level writing versus what grammar is needed for professional writing/communication and differentiating between grammar necessary to communicate with similarly "sciencey" collegues orally or in research papers vs. lawyers who need to persuade vs. politicians who need to persuade the general public vs. writers and journalists that need to communicate with, but not necessarily persuade the general public. I know I'm probably splitting hairs here over the grammar foundation required to support these various levels of writing, but I figure there comes a point where additional grammar is not necessary except for those who expect to make a living that depends primarily or solely on a very high ability to communicate.

 

Well, you never know what type of language skills they'll need, even if they are in a "sciencey" field of work.

 

Just this past Sunday, one of the guys at my church who is a EE did a sermon on "persuasion". He's very high up in a very expensive defense program, and his company sent him to Harvard for 6 weeks to do some crash course (I guess in management... I think baby was wiggling/fussing at the point where he said what the course was). It was interesting that the topics he learned were exactly the things that SWB recommends for high school, including rhetoric. His company sent him to this course so he could write better proposals, communicate with government officials better, make persuasive arguments to politicians on why his program should continue to be funded, etc, etc. So while he is an engineer, he still needs to be able to communicate in a variety of ways, not just write technical manuals.

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You need to look at it with the end in mind. I think a solid, mastery-level understanding of punctuation and usage is essential. I don't think a student can reach that level of mastery without mastery of advanced grammar (verbals, phrases, and clauses). I also don't think you can master those items without diagraming; it's too complex.

 

BUT ... I don't think grammar is a large body of knowledge. R&S is a very thorough program, but it takes a LONG time to get to that end point. There are other ways of mastering grammar without spending that inordinate amount of time on it. More time should be spent on writing and literature.

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The poster who diagrammed the sentence is correct. My friend found a nearly identical sentence in Rex Barks, pg. 95 "Let's go to the store". The phrase "him look in the box" is diagrammed on top of the bottom part of a stick person (I don't know what that is called).

 

There is more explanation on pg 77 of Rex Barks. "Certain verbs, such as see, let, and make, may be followed by infinitive constructions which have a "subject" followed by an infinitive WITHOUT the "to." Examples: They let him him. We made him wait.

 

Ok someone else gave me a different take on the sentence "I let him look in the box." Anyone else care to take a stab at parsing this sentence?

Edited by Capt_Uhura
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I absolutely agree that a solid foundation in grammar is necessary. I'm trying to figure out what constitutes a solid foundation in grammar though. My ds is already doing R&S 6. Is that a solid foundation? Does he need to get through R&S 8? How about the 9/10 books? And I'm specifically asking about the grammar portions of those books rather than the writing lessons.

 

That depends. Are you using another language program, say Latin for example, in middle or high school, that has a strong language focus? If not, I'd stick w/ RS until the end of the 8th grade book. I think RS6 rounds out an elementary understanding, while 7&8 add meat to grammar. I haven't seen 9/10, although I imagine it to be thorough and full of writing?!

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Quote from Bobscopup:

"FWIW, I did lots of diagramming of sentences in school. No, I've never had to diagram a sentence since leaving high school (didn't take any English courses in college, since I got AP credit and just had to take one technical writing course to get my degree). I did enjoy diagramming sentences... probably because it seems very math like. I don't know that I realized at the time why I was diagramming sentences, but now I do have a pretty good understanding of proper sentence structure... usually. I won't say this entire post is perfectly written. "

 

I just wondered because you knew how to diagram did it help you with your AP test.

 

I just wanted to say that my older son enjoys diagramming also. He sees it like a math problem. I personally feel that diagramming is logic. There is a lot of processing in the brain when you diagram. Also, I found out that to be a speech pathology major, you need diagramming.

 

Oh, and the first person who diagrammed did it correctly.

 

Blessings,

Karen

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/testimony

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I just wondered because you knew how to diagram did it help you with your AP test.

 

I have no clue. It's been so long that I don't remember what was on the test! I do know I did well enough to get college credit, but it wasn't my best AP score. I liked grammar, but hated literature analysis. When asked what the symbolism of something was, I didn't care! Of course now that I study the Bible, some of that analysis would come in handy.

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Diagraming is not the goal. Mastery of advanced grammar is the goal and is almost impossible without diagraming.

 

You don't need to know how to diagram for the SAT. You will need to know advanced grammar, though, and diagraming is (IMHO) the fastest, easiest way to get there.

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