Verbals

Verbals are words that look like verbs but are not playing the role of a verb. Take a look at this example sentence:
The smell of the flowers reached my nose.”

What is the subject of this sentence? Well, our first impulse would be to say that “flowers” is the subject, because it’s right next to the verb “reached“. In fact, I’ll underline “reached” twice because it’s a verb.

But, “flowers” is not the subject of the sentence, because the “flowers” don’t reach my nose. The “smell” reaches my nose. And this may confuse you, because you think “smell” is a verb, but in this case, “smell” is actually a noun, and it’s playing the role of the subject of the sentence, in this case.

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