Syntax

ABC of English Grammar The Subject with Illustrations

Subject in English

Sentence members are grammatically significant parts into which a sentence can be split. They can consist of both separate words and phrases, that is, groups of interrelated words. ABC of English Grammar The Subject

Of these, the subject and the predicate play the most important role; they are called the main members of the sentence.

  • The subject is the person or object that plays a key role in the sentence.

The subject in English can be expressed: ABC of English Grammar The Subject

noun:

My pencil is broken.
My pencil is broken.

pronoun:

He is a good pianist.
He is a good pianist.

Gerund:

Smoking is not allowed here.
Smoking is prohibited here.

Infinitive:

To lie is bad.
Lying is bad.

Numerals:

Five volunteered to help us.
Five volunteered to help us.

  • or any other word or phrase that is used in a sentence as a noun:

” Of Lehman Brothers ” has become the first victim of the Financial crisis.
Lehman Brothers became the first victim of the financial crisis.

Formal subject it

Since in all English sentences the subject must be present, in impersonal sentences where the actor is absent, it is necessary to use the formal subject it , which does not have its own meaning.

For example, this is typical for sentences about seasons, time of day, weather and distances:

It is spring.
Spring.

It is snowing.
Snowing.

  • Also, the formal subject is used with passive verbs:

It is believed that you can find a pot of gold at the rainbow’s end.
It is believed that a pot of gold can be found at the end of the rainbow.

  • In addition, it can replace the actual subject located after the predicate, expressed by a gerund or infinitive:

It takes me so long to read texts in English.
It takes me so long to read texts in English.

ABC of English Grammar The Subject

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