Syntactic Analysis Simple Sentences with Types & Examples

Syntactic Analysis Examples

For example, a sentence includes a subject and a predicate where the subject is a noun phrase and the predicate is a verb phrase. Take a look at the following sentence: “The dog (noun phrase) went away (verb phrase).” Note how we can combine every noun phrase with a verb phrase.

Syntactic analysis Definition:

Syntactic analysis is the study of the function of each term in a sentence.

A term, or word, can be classified differently according to the function it plays in the sentence. Thus, it is necessary to understand the role of each one of them in order to perform their syntactic analysis.

Sentence terms are classified into: essential (when the sentence is structured around these terms), integral (when they complete the meaning of other terms present in the sentence) and accessory (when their removal does not affect the meaning of the sentence).

What is Syntactic Analysis in Linguistics?

Syntactic analysis is an analysis that focuses on understanding the logical meaning of sentences or of parts of sentences. While lemmatization focuses purely on feature extraction and data cleaning, syntactic analysis analyzes the relationship between words and the grammatical structure of sentences.

Types of Syntactic Analysis

Here are the levels of syntactic analysis:
  • Part-of-speech (POS) tagging. This is the first level of syntactic analysis. …
  • Constituency parsing. Constituency parsing involves the segregation of words from a sentence into groups, on the basis of their grammatical role in the sentence. …
  • Dependency parsing.

The subject of a sentence

Once the subject and predicate of the sentence have been located, we are going to analyze each of the parts separately. The subject is usually a noun phrase because the core of it is always a noun or a pronoun. Next, we will see what parts make up this phrase:

  • Core: it will always be a noun or a pronoun
  • Determinant: it can be an article, a possessive a demonstrative… .etc. this will always accompany the nucleus of the noun phrase, that is, the noun.
  • Name complement: it is made up of several words that accompany the name.
  • Attachment: they are adjectives that are always placed next to the noun.
  • Opposition: they are names that accompany the nucleus of the noun phrase and that are not preceded by any preposition. An example would be the name of certain rivers, for example, the Tagus River. In this case, the river would be the nucleus of the noun phrase and Tagus its apposition.

The predicate of the sentence

The predicate is the part of the sentence determined by the verb and that we will analyze once we have shelled the subject. The predicate is made up of a verb phrase in which different parts appear:

  • Verb (or nucleus): it is always formed by the conjugated verb.
  • Direct Complement: accompanies the verb and directly indicates the person or object that receives its action.
  • Indirect Complement: it accompanies the verb and indicates who or what receives the action of the verb, but in an indirect way. That is, it shows who the recipient or beneficiary of the action is.

Situational complements

circumstantial complements indicate additional information on how the action of the verb has been carried out and can be of different types:

  • Circumstantial Affirmation Complement: it is always accompanied by an affirmative particle.
  • Circumstantial Quantity Complement: can be quantified.
  • Circumstantial Cause Supplement: shows the reason.
  • Company Circumstantial Complement indicates with whom the action is carried out.
  • Circumstantial Complement of Purpose: indicates the purpose.
  • Instrument Circumstantial Complement: indicates the tool with which it has been carried out.
  • Circumstantial Place Complement: shows the place where the action takes place.
  • Circumstantial Material Add-on shows what it’s made of.
  • Circumstantial Mode Complement: shows the way in which the action of the verb has been carried out.
  • Negation Circumstantial Complement: it is always accompanied by a negative particle.
  • Circumstantial Time Complement: indicates when it has occurred.

Types of sentences

In order to carry out a syntactic analysis, in addition to knowing all the parts that we have indicated above, it will be necessary to identify the type of sentence we are dealing with. These are the ones you can find:

1-Copulative prayers

They are those sentences that have a copulative verb (to be, be or seem) without meaning. This is only used as a link between the subject and the predicate. This type of sentence will always have a Circumstantial Complement and does not have direct or indirect Complements. Let’s see an example: The highway is marked with blue signs.

2-Passive sentences

The passives are those in which the subject is suffering the action of the verb. The core of the verb phrase always appears in compound form. An example would be: The painting was made by the child.

3-Reflective Prayers

They are those sentences in which the subject makes or receives the action, for example, I dropped the glass of water on the floor.

4-Reciprocal prayers

These sentences are those in which we find two or more subjects who do or receive the action indicated by the verb at the same time. In this example we can see it: My brother and his co-workers went to dinner.


Its nucleus is a transitive verb and therefore will always have a direct object. This example will help you: Children have many toys.

6-Intransitive sentences

The verbal nucleus will be an intransitive verb and therefore they will not have a Direct Complement, as in this example: He ran through the park.

Simple sentence classification

Here are some of the most used analyzes when organizing simple sentences:

Analysis according to personality and sentence impersonality

Simple sentences can be divided into personal and impersonal sentences, depending on whether or not they have a subject in charge of carrying out the action described by the verb. For example, Lucia reads a book in front of It’s raining, the first is a personal sentence, as it has a subject, “Lucia”, which is also explicit because it appears expressly in the sentence.

However, the second sentence is an impersonal sentence (“to rain” is an impersonal verb) because it has no subject since there is no one to carry out the action exposed by the verb.

Analysis according to modality

The modality is reflected through the type of verb and the relationship that exists between it and the communicative intention of the speaker. Thus, real and true events are usually stated using the indicative mood, while unreal desires, possibilities, or situations are shown through the subjunctive mood.

In this way we distinguish the following types of sentences according to the modality:

  • Enunciative ( The classroom is too small for all students )
  • Imperatives ( Close the window, please )
  • Wishful thinking ( I hope it doesn’t rain this afternoon )
  • Exclamatory ( Long time no see! )
  • Questions ( What time is it? )

Simple sentences can be divided into two types depending on how the predicate is: copulative sentences and predicative sentences. The first ones are those sentences that have a nominal predicate (PN), that is, those that are formed with the copulative verbs “to be”, “we” or “seem” and that have an attribute. Predicative sentences are made up of a verbal predicate (PV), that is, a predicate that is not made up of copulative verbs.

Examples of parsing simple sentences

Having seen the definition and the different ways to classify simple sentences in English, now we are going to parse some examples of simple sentences so that you can learn with us how to do it:

Sentence 1: The doctor operated on the patient

“The doctor” is the subject because it agrees with the verb (“the doctor operated” – “the doctors operated”). The subject is explicit because it is shown in the sentence, it is also a personal sentence with the verb in the active voice. “To the patient” is the direct object because it can be pronounced by “lo” (“The doctor operated on it”) and if we change the sentence from active to passive, the direct object always becomes the patient subject of the passive sentence (“The patient was operated on by the doctor “).

The direct object is introduced by the preposition “a” because it is about a person. It is a simple sentence with a verbal predicate, in an active and enunciative voice.

Sentence 2: You eat very well in this restaurant

It is an impersonal sentence, specifically, it is a passive reflex sentence because it has no subject and the verb is formed with the structure “se + the verb in the active voice in the third person singular or plural” which corresponds to passive reflex sentences. The predicate is verbal because the verb “eat” is not copulative. It is a declarative sentence.

Sentence 3: Is this car yours?

The subject of this sentence is “this car” which is an explicit subject because it is present within the sentence. The verb is “to be”, so we are dealing with a nominal predicate. In addition, it is a direct interrogative sentence (it is written with question marks) and total (it is answered with “yes” or “no”).

Sentence 4: I like macaroni and tomato

The subject of this sentence is “macaroni with tomato” because they agree in number with the verb since if this were singular (“pasta with tomato”) the verb should also be singular (“I like pasta with tomato” ). The predicate is verbal because it is not a copulative verb. The sentence is declarative.

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