My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Tuesday, September 6

English Sentence Structure Simplified

For nearly my entire teaching career, I used a simplified system for explaining the structure of English sentences. It was sort of a reverse of the old "diagramming" that I and most others of my generation grew up with. And it could explain how very complex sentences work much better than we could show with diagramming. And I keep fearing the system will die with me. I put together a book explaining it called ES3 (English Sentence Structure Simplified), but the circles and arrows and symbol layers were so hard to create in a manuscript that the only place I could get it published with all its complications was on as an e-book. And now I'm asking, begging, anyone who has an e-reader and who might be interested in seeing how it works to go there and buy it for $2.99. And if anyone reading this knows an English teacher, please pass this news on to them. I don't want this method to get lost in the Ethernet, lost with my brain waves as they exit the solar system. To give you some idea of how it can explain complexity, look at this sentence:

There wouldn't be enough room on a hundred blackboards to diagram that sentence.

In ES3 I tried to eliminate most of the old grammatical terms that so confused (and probably still do) English students. When I say "most," not "all," I discovered that I still had to use subject, verb, object, noun, and appositive, but those are all pretty simple to begin with, and didn't require much explanation. I eliminated all the old grammatical bugaboos like subordinating conjuction, relative pronoun, subordinate clause, nominative absolute, gerund, infinitive, past participle, present participle, prepositional phrase, predicate noun, and predicate adjective, and substitued numbers. To show "understood words" and appositives I used parentheses, and I simply circled word groups used as objects, or "O" 's. For example, 1 = preposition, 2 = infinitive, 3 = present participle, 4 = past participle, 4a = adjective used as past participle. Simple, right? Let me give you some simple examples:

I'll demonstrate some simple uses of noun, adjective, and adverb clauses tomorrow.

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