Subjects and Objects

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In grammar, we use the word 'subject' to talk about the pronoun, noun or noun phrase that does the action of verb. In English, the subject is usually before the verb.

The simplest English sentences have only a subject and a verb. Here are a few more examples. The subject is often a pronoun. The subject can also be a group of words. Some verbs are not actions, but instead link the subject to an adjective or phrase which gives us more information about the subject. In this case the subject is the person or thing which we get more information about. These verbs are called linking verbs. In English, 'be', 'seem' and 'become' are examples of linking verbs. Subjects can be quite long in English. Sometimes they include a noun and all the words that are used to add extra information to that noun (or 'modify' the noun). (This is called a 'complex subject'.) Subjects can even include two or more nouns that each have groups of words giving us extra information. Objects

In grammar, we use the word 'object' to talk about the thing or person that the verb is done to, or who receives the verb. It can be a noun, a noun phrase, a pronoun or a longer complex object, which is modified (in a similar way to a complex subject).

Only a transitive verb can have an object. An intransitive verb never has an object. Read more about transitive and intransitive verbs here. Direct and indirect objects

A few verbs in English can have two different kinds of objects. We call these the 'direct object' and the 'indirect object'. The 'direct object' is what I've been talking about on this page so far. It's the thing or person to who or to which we do the action of the verb. For example, in the sentence 'I give the chocolate', the subject is 'I', the verb is 'give' and the direct object is 'the chocolate'. But we can also say 'I give Lucy the chocolate'. In this case, 'Lucy' is the indirect object and she receives the direct object, which is the chocolate. Try an exercise about this topic here.
Read about subject and object questions here.

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'A' and 'The' Explained