1

For a Reed–Kellogg sentence diagram, how would you diagram a sentence with a causative verb like "made"? For example:

The hot weather made her want to swim.

I understand that "weather" is the subject and "made" is the verb, but is the direct object "her" or "want to swim"? And either way, how would you diagram "want to swim"? As a participial phrase, or as an infinitive phrase with a blank space where the "to" would usually be?

Thanks for any help you're able to offer! I've been trying to figure this out for days...

  • In this particular sentence, the direct object of made is the infinitive clause verb phrase want to swim (which itself contains another infinitive complement verb phrase). The subjects of both want and swim are the same as her, which is the indirect object of made, and they are deleted by Equi-Subject Deletion (aka Control). A Reed-Kellogg diagram wouldn't have any way to indicate all this, but you can make it up yourself; that's what everybody else does, after all. – John Lawler Jun 7 '17 at 22:45
  • I see it as a complex catenative construction where "her" is the syntactic direct object of "made" and the 'understood' (not syntactic) subject of the subordinate clause "want to swim", which functions as catenative complement of "made". Within the subordinate clause is the further subordinate clause "to swim" as catenative complement of "want". We call "her" a raised object since the verb it relates to syntactically ("made") is higher in the constituent structure than the one it relates to semantically ("want"). I doubt if Reed-Kellogg could cope with this analysis! – BillJ Jun 8 '17 at 10:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.