How to Dissect a Sentence

Each word in a sentence must serve a particular function, and the order of those words make a sentence complete. The strength of the sentence depends on its overall syntax and grammar. Dissecting a sentence involves identifying each word and the function it serves. Making sure each sentence contains a subject, action phrase and whole idea is the final test in identifying a complete sentence, says Cabrillo College.

Step 1

Find the subject of the sentence. The subject is typically the noun -- the person, place or thing -- in the sentence. "Fred," the person, is the subject of the sentence "Fred likes reading," for example.

Step 2

Find the verb phrase. The verb is the word — or words — that denote the action in each sentence. More specifically, a verb phrase is composed of multiple words to make up the action.

Step 3

Look for adjectives. Adjectives are the descriptive elements of each sentence. "Brown," the description, is the adjective in the sentence "Brown bunnies hop," for instance.

Step 4

Search for pronouns. Pronouns are modifications -- and replacements -- for standard nouns. Some examples of pronouns are: I, he or she, him, her, you, them.

Step 5

Look for adverbs. Adverbs modify the standard verb by describing how and when the action is taking place. "Eat" is a verb. If someone says that that you "eat enthusiastically," the word "enthusiastically" is an adverb.

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