Hello beautiful people,

I am writing an exam on English grammar soon and one part is requiring you to draw a phrase diagram separating the noun phrases, verb phrases, etc..

Now I took a sentence from the first Harry Potter book (c) All rights reserved, and made it into a phrase tree.

Did I do everything correctly?

NP stands for noun phrase

VP for verb phrase

PP for prepositional phrase

Clause tree

All Feedback is appreciated!


I think you've diagrammed it as though Dursley is a director called Grunnings and that it's he who made drills personally. :-)

I'll let these step-by-step illustrations speak for themselves:

successive levels of diagramming for the whole sentence

Focusing on the portion of the sentence qualifying the word "director":

successive levels of diagramming for "a firm called Grunnings which made drills"

Alternatively, with the indefinite article, I think it can also be parsed this way, if we think of "Grunnings" as a unique identifier that, if applied first, would make "a" redundant, which it isn't:

Alternate treatment for the firm

I'll leave "called Grunnings" and "which made drills" as an exercise.

  • Wow, thank you very much for your awesome reply. At first I had to chuckle but now I am starting to understand. Here is also a very good graphic which helped me to understand imgur.com/a/ZVd7De6 . I will update you later on the correct graphic! :) – Hans Mo Dec 8 '18 at 13:21

In short, no, I don't think so. The basic structure is



Use a substitution test like He was something.

That's the top of the structure.

Then the subject complement is just


the dir.



                 a          firm

                              Reduced relative clause: [that was] called G.

                                                          Full relative clause:


                                                            which     V-----NP

                                                                     made  dills

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