Subjects in English Grammar

Look at these sentences‏‎:

James Bond drives an Aston Martin.

Bond is chasing the killer!

007 kissed the beautiful Russian agent.

In each one the subject has been highlighted. The subject is the main theme of the sentence; it is what the sentence is all about. It is, if you like, the star actor of the sentence.

In English‏‎ sentences it normally comes first with the rest of the sentence (known as the predicate) following on and telling us more about the subject or explaining it further.

{subject} + {predicate}

Patricia + likes dancing.

That man in the big hat + has just stolen a bag of peanuts!


As you can see, the subject of a sentence can be a single word‏‎ or phrase‏‎. In the examples above, the subjects are Patricia and the man in the big hat and the rest of the sentence tells us more about those subjects.

Often the subject of a sentence is a noun or noun phrase‏‎. The subject can be either singular or plural. If the subject is singular, so is the verb‏‎. If the subject is plural, so is the verb (this is known as subject-verb agreement‏‎):

One man is not enough for this job.

Two men are coming to help.

Invisible Subjects

All sentences have a subject however in some sentences the subject is not visible and is only implied. This happens with imperative sentences such as:

Get out of here!

In this example above, the implied subject is, you.

You get out of here!

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Posted in Parts of Speech, Sentence Structure.

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