English people please help


I am helping my little cousin with homework, please help me!!!

This morning I was wide awake before sunrise.

Is morning an adverb describing awake? Is “This” an adverb describing morning?

It has been ages since I had to actually think about grammar.


morning is a noun

this is an adjective

You can google “parts of speech” to review the applicable areas of grammar


An adverb is a word used to tell more about a verb, and it almost always answers the questions how?, when?, where?, how often?, and in what way?. Words like slowly, loudly, carefully, quickly, or sadly are all adverbs. Adverbs usually, but not always, end in -ly.

based on this, i would say “wide” is the adverb and awake is the verb


She has to desribe the following parts of speech
Subject :
Object of preposition

So what is “This morning”… is it just a phrase?

Gosh I feel so silly. I use to be really good at this.


This morning I was wide awake before sunrise.

This = adjective
morning = noun
I = pronoun (subject)
was (helping verb)
wide = adverb
awake = verb
before = preposition
sunrise = noun


Here’s what I’m thinking, but I’m open to correction. “This” is an adjective, modifying “morning,” which is a noun. “Wide” is an adverb modifying “awake,” which is an adjective. (Adverbs can modify adjectives, but not vice versa, as far as I know.) “Wide awake before sunrise” “this morning” together form a predicate adjective, an adjectival phrase modifying “I.” “Was” is the “state of being” verb which is capable of linking the subject pronoun “I” with the predicate adjective.

Tricky sentence, however, so I could have made a mistake or two in there.


I notice some of our helpful posts contradict each other.:slight_smile: However, I’d still stick with “awake” being an adjective rather than a verb. If the sentence said “This morning I was awakened” etc., then awakened would be a verb. “Awake” is, I think, an adjective modifying “I.” Like “I was grouchy this morning”: grouchy is the predicate adjective modifying the subject, “I.”

Grammar. :shrug:


Just then, I heard dad calling me, and I raced down the stairs.

Here is another sentence.
Subject : I and I
Verb heard. raced
Nouns then, dad, stairs
Pronouns I , me, I
Adjectives just
Prepositions down
Object of préposition: stairs

This poor child is still awake and I’m afraid that I am confusing her.

I know that “dad calling me” is the direct object of I heard, but I am confused about calling. What part of speech is that.

BTW, I agree about awake being an adjective now that I looked at it again.

Thank you and I appreciate all your help


This morning I was wide awake before sunrise.

The subject of the sentence (a pronoun) is I.
The predicate (verb) is the being verb was.
The predicate adjective (what I was) is awake.
This morning” is an adverbial phrase modifying was. (tells when)
This is an adjective modifying morning.
Morning is a noun.
Wide is an adverb modifying the adjective awake.
Before sunrise” is an adverbial phrase modifying the adjective awake.
Before is a preposition
Sunrise is a noun

Gosh, I love grammar. I would love to diagram it for you.



Betsy, PLEASE HELP!!! I have sent the poor child off to bed with my best guess and told her to ask her teacher tomorrow. She is in the 4th grade so I hope they didn’t want her to talk about adverbial phrases. Well, at least I hope not. I had to help her over the phone which poses its own challenges.


Just then, I heard Dad calling me, and I raced down the stairs.

This is a compound sentence, that is, two complete thoughts joined by a comma and a conjunction, in this case, its , and.

The first complete thought, or independent clause, is
Just then, I heard Dad calling me.

The subject of the clause is the pronoun I.
The predicate is the verb heard.
The direct object of the verb heard is the proper noun Dad.
The adverbial phrase just then modifies the verb heard.
Just is an adverb modifying the adverb then.

Then is an adverb, part of the phrase modifying the verb heard.

Actually, I think Dad calling me might be a dependent clause serving as the direct object of heard. If that is the case, the proper noun Dad would be the subject, the verb is calling, and the direct object of calling would be the pronoun me. Sorry I’m not 100% sure of this one.

The second independent clause is I raced down the stairs.

The subject is the pronoun** I**.
The predicate is the action verb raced.
Down the stairs is an adverbial phrase modifying raced, telling where.
Down is an adverb. The is an article. Stairs is a noun. Here’s another place I’m not sure of. The stairs seems to be the object of down, but I’m not sure how that works.

This is really advanced stuff for fourth grade!



In school some times it’s better to be wrong than right, especially if your really trying. One of the worse things is to be right and not know why. The teacher can try to follow her logic, and try to figure out how to best correct her reasoning. Having said the wrong thing in class will help her keep the correct reasoning in mind when the rule has to be applied later.

If she is embarrassed when she is wrong in front of the whole class, tell her as long as you really tried, it is a good thing and nothing to be embarrassed about. Tell her be bold, answer the question with the wrong answer if it makes her feel better, but it is the smart ones that try to understand and attempt to answer. Learning is often trial and error. To be wrong is not to have failed, it is a success, you have discerned one wrong approach. What is a failure is to have not attempted the trial.

I’m sure for one you’ll have a much greater understanding of an adverb after this.


Do they still teach kids to diagram sentences? For some people that can be a helpful exercise to visualize this stuff.


This morning I was wide awake before sunrise.

Erm. Not sure ASCII art would work here, so… “I” is the subject, “was awake” - nominal verb, “wide” - adverb modifying verb (it modifies “awake” rather than “was”, but “was awake” is the verb of the sentence, even if “awake” is an adjective as a form of speech - unless you prefer to call “awake” the adjectival predicative of the subject, but come on, we’re talking about primary school…), “before sunrise” goes together and together forms an adverb of time.

This may be confusing because in English, parts of the sentence have mostly the same names as parts of speech, even if they don’t exactly (or always) correspond. For example, “awake” is not a verb as a part of speech, but “was awake” is a nominal verb. “Before sunrise” is not a single adverb as a part of speech (“before” in this case is a preposition, “sunrise” is a noun), but a single part of the sentence, known as adverb.

Additionally, the same words are not always the same parts of speech. Let’s take “before”:

“I’ve never seen you before,” - here, it’s an adverb (“when?”)
“I saw you before Christmas,” - here, it’s a preposition (“before what”) - as a part of speech, even if adverb (along with “Christmas” in “before Christmas”) as a part of the sentence

Admittedly, having learnt this on a different language first helps.

I think if you say “I” is the object, “was awake” the verb, “before sunrise” an adverb modifying the verb", “this morning” also an adverb modifying the verb, “wide” yet another adverb modifying the verb, it should be fine.


You know what I would do???

Rewrite it to:

I awoke early.

Keep it simple!!!:smiley:


I’m subscribing to this thread - I’m back in school myself and need help on my college papers…

…either that or Baltobetsy can start a tutorial thread…:smiley:


Thank you all. She gets the assignment back tomorrow. She was really understanding everything during the more simple sentences. I helped her see what are pronouns and adjectives and adverbs (a bit of a refresher for me too :D), so the exercise was not wasted. You should have heard me fumble around last night, trying to decipher what each part of speech was. I knew that “this morning” was an adverb, but how to explain that to a 10 year old is difficult. Personally, I thought that the harder sentences just confused her, because she was going really well until then.

God bless… hey exercising your brain keeps you young. So keep the answers coming:thumbsup:


And here I thought I was finished school 36 years ago


Schoolhouse Rock - I am hearing “so I unpacked my ajectives” song :slight_smile:


I grew up in an age when the theory was “Never stifle their creativity!”. Translation: Don’t teach diagramming. (I finally had to learn it in English 10). Don’t teach them handwriting, let them write however they want. (Thank God for typing class; I could never communicate with the world without a keyboard with my crummy writing). Etc, etc, etc, ad nauseum.
Diagramming is a very good idea. (Except I am now:p too old to remember it…).

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