English Grammar In Focus
Learning English Grammar As A Foreign Language

date: April 17, 2010

SUBJECT OF A VERB

Belajar Bahasa Inggris Grammar & Conversation Lengkap
A group of words can be called or named "A Sentence" when there are, at least, one subject and one verb. Whatever types of a sentence, It must contain a subject and a verb. A group of words doesn't mean a sentence when there is no one of the elements. The two elements are the primary requirements and the existance is a Must and can be negotiated.

Study this follows!

1.Stay with me!
2.Don't leave me alone!
3.Be careful!
4.Don't be late anymore!
5.Who spoke to him last night?

The subject in those sentence doesn't appear. However, the sentences have the subjects. Let me say that the subject in the sentences are hidden. What subjects do they have? And Why?

In sentence (1) is called Command Expression. The command has a subject, that is, "You". So, the complete sentence must be :

(You) stay with me!

So, It is impossible to say, like:

(They) stay with me!

Command (no.1 and 3) and prohibition (no.2 and 4) is used to say something or action straightly to subject "You". "You", here, can be singular or plural (e.g. all of you, both of you, etc). So, Command and prohibition is related tightly to subject "You", not /I/, /We/, /They/, /He/, /She/ and /It/. What about Nominal Command and prohibition, like : "Be careful" and "Don't be late anymore". are the sentences like :

- (You) be careful!
- (you) don't be late anymore!

The position of /be/ in both sentences are the characteristic of Command and prohibition. The use of /be/ in the sentences substitute the use of, say, /am/, /were/, /is/, etc. in sentences beside command and prohibition.

In other words, the omission of subject /you/, here, is understandable or understood. But, when the subject is used in the beginning of the sentences, The sentence describes a stress of something or action. That's the way to emphasize our command or prohibition. Let me say that the use of /You/ in command and prohibition are the same as:

No Smoking!
No climbing!

In sentence (5), We see that there is no subject there. It also, actually, has a subject.

When the question word is used to make a question, Question word substitute the existance of real subject. Here, subject is being asked or questioned. When someone uses /who/ in a question, the answer must be related to the real subject.

For example:

X : Who said that?
Y : Andi did. (or, he did.)

When /andi/ or /he/ is placed before the verb /said/, /Andi/ is the real subject for the sentence.

Andi said that.

From the description above, let me say that the existance of a subject in a sentence is a Must!. No buts!.
No subject no sentences!

TYPES OF SUBJECTS


There are many kinds of word or a group of words which can be a subject in a sentence, they are:

1.Subjective pronoun, e.g. /I/, /you/, /we/, /they/, /he/, /she/ and /it/.
For examples:
I need your help.
She doesn't know her own mistakes.
They have already gone.
We should advise him soon.
He teaches English.
It jumped into the river.
You have to go now.

2.Phrase or noun phrase.

Phrase is not a sentence even though phrase is a group of words. It is because a phrase doesn't have the core elements like a sentence. If we try to define the phrase. It is a group of words which has a certain meaning but it doesn't have elements like a sentence.

For examples:

Beautiful girl.

/Beautiful/ is an adjective and /girl/ is a noun. Here, adjective modifies a noun /girl. When you say that the subject is a girl (because it is a noun), so which one or where is the verb?. Let me say that when there is a subject mentioned, there will be a verb beside it. This certainty can not be negotiated!

What about this one!?

Singing bird.

/Singing bird/ is a participial phrase. In other words, /singing bird/ is A Phrase. When you say that the subject is /bird/, there must be a verb. Take notice that the word /singing/ is a verb but when it is placed or positioned before a noun, it becomes an adjective which modifies a noun /bird/. The phrase is the same as ; /Walking stick/. However, the word walking is not a participle, but Gerund (We'll discuss "gerund" next time ...).

There are Three kinds of simple phrases and one sub clause, they are:

(a)Adjective + Noun

e.g. A sweet girl, a spoilt baby, a wild jungle, etc.

(b)Noun + noun

e.g. English book, English teacher, Golden era, etc.

(c)Noun + of + Noun

e.g. Book of Math, Method of Teaching, Ways of Life, etc.

We will discuss about varieties of phrases in English Language some other time....

3.Noun

The third type of subject is noun. We don't care whether it is singular of plural as well as countable or uncountable and irregular or regular noun even Proper of common noun, abstract or concrete noun.

For examples:

Shinta is Rama's wife.
Jakarta is a crowded city.
Barrack Obama is impressed all people around the world.
Education is needed by all people.
The car struck the tree.
The company was bankrupt.
etc.

4.Sub Clause

Besides, a sub clause can be as a subject. Sub clause is a part of a main clause. The sub clause can not stand alone as a full sentence as well as the three discussed above. This following examples is taken from an adjective clause.

The man who addressed me last night is your uncle.

Here, /the man who addressed me last night/ = subject,

/is/ = a verb
/your uncle/ = a complement.

Four types can be used and positioned as a subject. We will discuss about adjective clause as detailed as possible some other time ....

Have a nice day!

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