I'm a beginner with linguistics and I'm wondering if some of the syntax trees I've made are correct. Also, how would one make trees for posessive noun phrases such as:

  1. Larry’s exciting trip to Portugal
  2. My friend’s brother’s dog’s bed
  3. Your long-lost uncle’s boat

Here are the trees: enter image description here

Thank you all. The trees aren't fully labeled but I just would like to know if the main structure is correct.

  • You have some ternary branching, which is unusual..... Commented Apr 24, 2016 at 2:27

2 Answers 2


No, but I'll just concentrate on the first one. I would also recommend that you use a ruler or graph paper or whatever, until you can draw well aligned, neat trees.

Your first problem is that you are not expanding the nodes properly. While 'the kids' is one NP, it is made up of two elements: a determiner and a noun. You need to show this in your tree. Similarly, even if a constituent has just one element, you still need to expand it. So 'VP-->coming' should really be 'VP-->V-->coming'.

However, if you mean to skip a few steps, please use a triangle to show that you did intend to condense the tree.


The trees are messy. The most obvious mistake is that the first two examples should not begin with complementizers (C) and should not be diagrammed as complementizer phrases (CP).

For the example "my friend’s brother’s dog’s bed", you should make sure that each of the possessors (other than "my") is a NP. The possessors are "my friend's brother's dog", "my friend's brother", "my friend". Since the entire example is also a NP, there should be 4 NP nodes in your diagram.

  • I just sketched them up very quickly, these weren't anything I was turning in or something. But if they don't being with CP then how?
    – kg5425
    Commented Apr 24, 2016 at 19:14

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