SUBJECT AND PREDICATE

We / will get through it. –
Photo by Eva Elijas

                                  

Melinda / lives in a big house.

A big maple tree/ stood in a corner of the garden.

In sentence 1 , Melinda is the subject  of the sentence. The words ‘lives in a big house’ says something  about Melinda is the predicate of the sentence.

In sentence 2 the phrase ‘A big maple tree’ forms the subject of the sentence and ‘stood in the corner of the garden’ forms the predicate part of the sentence.

The part of the sentence which names what the sentence is about forms the subject.

The part of the sentence which says something (gives information) about the subject forms the predicate of the sentence.

The subject generally contains a ‘noun’, ‘a pronoun’ or  ‘a noun-phrase’,  and the predicate contains the ‘Verb-phrase’.

                          SUBJECT                         PREDICATE
          Elsa    saw  ‘Frozen’ yesterday.
          Robin    works at Microsoft Corporation.
          He    writes novels.
          She    is hungry.
          What she says    is unbelievable.
          The man in blue coat    is a doctor.

In the given examples the first two examples have ‘single noun’ as subject. The next two have ‘ pronouns‘ as their subject. While the last two have ‘ Noun phrases’ as their subject.

Non finite verbs  may also be used as subjects

                     SUBJECT                          PREDICATE
To err          is human
Doing exercise     is good for health.

Noun clause may be used as a subject

                    SUBJECT                          PREDICATE              
What we see           is not always true.

Preparatory ‘It‘ may be used as a dummy subject.

                           SUBJECT                                PREDICATE              
It                      (the rain)                       is raining.
It                      (the time)                      is  six o’clock now.  

Sometimes an ‘introductory there’ may be used along with a postponed subject.

There              is                              a man                           waiting at the door.

(Introductory subject)                (real subject)

There             is                                 a bear                         outside.

(Introductory subject)                 (real subject)

LENGTH OF SUBJECT AND PREDICATE

Children/ play.

Young children / play outside.

Many young children /play outside in the evening.

Many cheerful young children/ play outside in the evening during summer.

POSITION OF SUBJECTS IN A SENTENCE

In most cases the subject is generally placed at the beginning of the sentence but it may also occur at the middle or at the end of the sentence.

  • Assertive sentences usually begin with a subject.

Children are fond of asking questions.   

  • Subjects may sometimes come after adverbs or an adverbial phrase.

 Usually my mother takes us for a drive.

During the monsoon Hilsa swims up River Ganges.

  • In an interrogative sentence the subject is placed :
  • After the verb   –                                

               Are you going to the movie tonight?

  • After wh- word and verb 

                When will your brother  come back home?

                 Where do birds migrate in winter?

  • Sometimes  relative pronouns are used as subject

Which is the tallest building?

Who  has broken the vase?

  • At times for adding a dramatic element the subject is placed after the verb

              At the bottom of the river lay his axe.

               On the table lay his books

               Against the wall stood a long ladder.

               Before us lay a feast fit for kings.

  • In exclamatory  and Opative sentences subjects are placed in the later part of the sentence.

What a kind lady she is!                               (exclamatory)

How beautiful the scenery is!                      (exclamatory)

May God bless you.                                        (opative , a wish)

Wish you a happy journey.                           (opative , a wish)

  • In an imperative sentence the subject is implied not stated

Come in.                       (Here subject you is understood)

Sit down.                       (Actually means – You sit down.)

Thank him.                   (Actually means – You  thank him.)

Brush your shoes.        (Actually means – You brush your shoes.)

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