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Elementary Grammar, Lesson 13. Elements

To complete this lesson, complete the following tasks:

  1.  Study the Lesson, carefully and completely.
  2. Complete the Exercises.
  3. Review past lessons.
  4. Complete the lesson Assessment.


We have seen that a sentence is composed of parts.  These parts are called Elements.

1. An Element is one of the distinct parts of a sentence.

2. The Subject and the Predicate are called Principal Elements, because no sentence can be formed without them. All other distinct parts of a sentence are called Subordinate Elements. The Copula is not called an element.

The word “principal” means first or most important.  In a family, the husband and wife are the principal parts because, without them, there can be no family.  The word “subordinate” means placed under or of a lower order.  In a family, parent are principal and children are subordinate.  This is why God says, “Children obey your parents.”. In sentences, the principal parts are the subject and the predicate.   All other parts that we learn about in Grammar will be subordinate parts.

3. Analysis is the separation of a sentence into its elements.

“Analysis” is breaking something down into its parts.  We use analysis to learn about things.  For example, if our computer stops working, a repair man might take it apart to look at its parts and find what’s causing the problem.  He can analyze or break down the computer into its parts, make a repair, and then put the parts back together. In Grammar, we will analyze sentences in the same way.  We will break a sentence down into its parts to understand it, then put it back together.

Analyzing Sentences

Any sentence can be analyzed (divided) into its parts.  Let us learn how to analyze sentences.  We will use the sentence:  Iron is heavy.

  1. First, we will state whether this is a sentence, and why.
    This is a sentence. Why? It is a group of words making complete sense.
  2. State what type of sentence this is, and why.
    It is declarative. Why? It states a fact.
  3. Next, we will analyze each word or phrase.  First, we will identify the subject.  
    Iron is the subject. Why? It is that of which something is affirmed.
  4. Next, we will identify the predicate.
    Heavy is the predicate. Why? It is that which is affirmed of the subject.
  5. Last, we will identify the copula (if there is one).  
    Is is the copula. Why? It joins the predicate to the subject.

Diagramming Sentences

After analyzing the sentence, we will use symbols to mark out the elements of the sentence and show their relationships to one another.

  1. First, we will use a bar to separate the subject from the rest of the sentence.
    Iron | is heavy.
  2. Second, we will use a colon to separate the predicate from the copula.
    Iron | is : heavy.

As we continue our study of Grammar, we will learn about other parts, or elements, of sentences, and will learn to analyze and diagram them.  This will allow us to show that we understand English Grammar.  The worksheet for the exercises below will help you learn to do this.


The worksheet below is designed to help you learn to analyze and diagram a sentence.


  • Elementary Grammar, Lesson 13 Exam