A subject, along with the verb, completes a sentence. Every sentence must have a subject and a verb. So, always be looking for the subject in a sentence, because it has to be there somewhere.
Look at this first example: “Running is good for you.”
The next lesson: Complete Predicates, both lessons are included in Practice Tests.
The verb right here is “is“. So, then, what is the subject of this sentence? Well, the way you can find the subject is just the person or thing that’s doing the action in the sentence. So, what is in this sentence? “Running” is. So, “Running” would be the subject.
Okay, so, think of another example, like:
“He rode his bike.”
Okay, “rode” is the verb here. So, again, you could just ask the question, who is riding here? Who is the person or the thing doing the action here? Well, the action is riding, so then, who is riding? “He” is riding. So, “He” would be the subject.
“She is cheerful.”
Okay. Who is cheerful? “She” is cheerful, so “She” would be the subject.
Now, this is going to get a little bit more complicated now.
“She is cheerful, but her friend looks sad.”
So, right here, you see a verb, and then, okay, who is cheerful? “She” is cheerful. “She” is the one doing the action in this sentence, and that’s being “cheerful“. So, “She” is the subject.
Now, you look down here, and you see another verb, “looks“. So, what’s the subject over here? Can there be two subjects in a sentence? There can, because notice right here, “but“. “But” is what we call a conjunction because it joins two clauses together.
So, we have a sentence here, and a sentence here, and “but” is joining them together to make them one. But, if we have a sentence here and a sentence here being joined together by “but“, that means we must have two subjects and two verbs.
So, we found one subject and one verb, and then we found the other verb. So, we’re still looking for a subject. So, what could the subject be? Could it be “her looks sad“? That wouldn’t make sense because remember, the subject is who or what is doing the action. So, someone is looking sad in this sentence. Who is looking sad? The “friend” is looking sad, so “friend” is the subject over here.
Alright. Like I said, every sentence has a subject and a verb, but you may come across some sentences like this. This sentence says:
“Go to your room.”
So, the verb here is “Go“. So, where is the subject in this sentence? Well, the subject is what we call an “understood you“.
So, we’re going to put “You” in parenthesis right there. So, I say it’s an understood you. Basically, it’s understood that “You” is the subject to this sentence, so it doesn’t even need to be included.
So, we could actually read this sentence as:
“You go to your room.”
But, we don’t always speak like that. Sometimes, we leave the “You” out of the sentence, so we just have a verb. But, nevertheless, there still is a subject, it’s just not included in the sentence.