I'm a software developer and I'm trying to write a consistent "grammar" for an audit log feature. An Audit log is basically a list of actions that happened in the past.

As it's a part of the database I need consistent naming for the parts of the sentences. Now I'm not natively english, so I could use some help.

In each example sentence below I appended a number to some words. Each of these words should be of the same "type" (e.g.: subject, object, ... other).

  • Anna[1] created[2] the_comment[4] on the_article[3]
  • Mark[1] voted[2] on the video[3]
  • Jessy[1] signed_in[2]
  • John[1] added[2] Jessy[4] to the list[3]
  • Anna[3] was blocked[2] by Dick[1]
  • Louis[1] replied[2] to the_conversation[3] with his_message[4]

I'm pretty sure 1: is the subject, and 2: is the verb. However I don't know how I should name 3 and 4, and I have a suspicion some sentence constructions should change.

Could you help me out?

  • 2
    Among objects, we have direct object & indirect object. From that lead, you may want to rethink which you would label [3] and which [4]. That should make things a bit clearer to you.
    – Kris
    Dec 6, 2013 at 13:24

1 Answer 1


Anna1 created[2] the_comment[4] on the_article[3] 4= direct object, 3 = object of the preposition on

Mark1 voted[2] on the video[3]
3 = prepositional phrase modifying voted

Jessy1 signed_in[2]

John1 added[2] Jessy[4] to the list[3]
4 = direct object 3 = to the list is a prepositional phrase modifying added

Anna[3] was blocked[2] by Dick1 3 = is the subject of the passive verb was blocked Note, Dick is not the subject.

Louis1 replied[2] to the_conversation[3] with his_message[4] 3 and 4 are the objects of the prepositions to and on

I hope I have answered your question. If you are familiar with a process no longer commonly taught in the USA called "diagraming sentences" it is a graphic way of answering the kind of questions you've asked. Here is a link you might find helpful Diagraming Sentences

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