Can someone diagram this sentence:

I thought it was best to let you decide to whom this needs forwarded.

In addition, is the sentence grammatically correct? If not, why?

closed as off topic by RiMMER, JSBձոգչ, aedia λ, Peter Shor , simchona Oct 10 '11 at 16:36

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  • Note to British readers: it appears that "sentence diagramming" means something specific to many Americans: the application of a particular method, which I presume is the Reed-Kellogg system mentioned in sentence diagram. – Colin Fine Oct 10 '11 at 14:08
  • @Peter Shor: Although needs washed, etc., seem awful to me, I do appreciate that it's normal in some US dialects. But surely users of this form are normally perfectly well aware that it's non-standard for the rest of us. Doesn't this imply that such speakers probably wouldn't use it in the same sentence as the much more formal to whom? – FumbleFingers Oct 10 '11 at 14:13
  • @FumbleFingers: No, judging from the questions we've had on this site, some of these speakers are unaware that it's not normal English. – Peter Shor Oct 10 '11 at 14:15
  • @Colin: "sentence diagramming" is something that used to be taught in elementary schools in the U.S. -- I certainly had to do it in the 1960s. I don't know whether it is pedagogically useful; I found it extremely tedious. My impression is that it is no longer in the curriculum where I live, but it may still be taught in some areas of the U.S. – Peter Shor Oct 10 '11 at 14:19

I’m not sure diagramming is possible on Stack Exchange, even if anyone wanted to do it. The sentence is grammatical, except for the last word. British English, at least, would require to be forwarded.

  • 1
    Except in Yorkshire. – Colin Fine Oct 10 '11 at 14:04
  • @ColinFine Or Scotland – neil Oct 10 '11 at 14:09
  • In British Standard English,then. – Barrie England Oct 10 '11 at 18:54

For the grammaticality of this statement, it uses the "needs washed" construction, regional in the U.S. to central Pennsylvania and environs, and which has been discussed here in these three questions. If you're not in a region where this construction is used, you should say "needs to be forwarded". As for how to diagram "needs forwarded", since it's not a standard construct, I don't know whether there's a standard way of doing it.

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