Diagramming: The bird in the tree sang happily
I diagrammed the sentence correctly; but according to the author there is a potential trip to watch out for in the sentence she gave.
You found the prepositional phrase. You asked, “What question does it answer?” and you said “Where,” didn’t you? What the prepositional phrase “in the tree” really tells is “which one.” It does this by telling “where.” Now think about that. We often tell “which one” about a noun in this way. “Which dress will you wear?” “The one on the bed.” NOT the one in the closet, or over the chair, or under the dresser.
This is an example of how you must always think about what words and word groups are really doing. In most cases, word order will be a clue as to what a prepositional phrase modifies.
I have NO idea what she means. Can someone water down for me what she is trying to say?