Jump to content


Need diagramming help!

Kimberly in IN

Recommended Posts

Sentence  -  John was running. What is running?

Back story, I am a part-time Resource Room teacher at a small parochial school. I was helping a fifth grader today with his ELA. The assignment was diagramming sentences. The teacher told the students what to look for in each sentence - gerund, direct object, prepositional phrase. This sentence was on the assignment sheet.

The sentence "John was running." was marked as having a predicate nominative/predicate adjective. I was surprised and asked the teacher. She said running is a gerund and is acting as the predicate nominative. Silly me, I thought "was running" was  past progressive, was running was the simple predicate. 

Can someone please explain it to me? I feel so silly but I don't see "running" in that sentence as a predicate nominative.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, MFG said:

The teacher is wrong. You are correct. 

This.  Running is what John was doing, not who he was.  I am not grammar pro, but I think for running to be a predicate nominative, the sentence would need to be something like:  John's favorite pastime was running.   Running renames pastime.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...