Questions about determining the subject of a sentence or clause

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26
votes
3answers
11k views

Why is the subject omitted in sentences like “Thought you'd never ask”?

"Thought you'd never ask" is "I thought you'd never ask" with "I" omitted. "Hope this helps" is "I hope this helps" with "I" omitted. In English grammar, normally every sentence should have a ...
22
votes
6answers
16k views

Did English ever have a “you” plural?

Outside of the dialectical form used in the Southern US, "y'all," has English ever had a plural "you"? If not, how does English get around using this form?
16
votes
1answer
24k views

Which is correct: “you and I” or “you and me”?

I was told the correct usage is for example: "My wife and me" but I hear often "I and my wife" or "my wife and I". Google gives 34M results for "My wife and I" and 909K results for "My wife and me" ...
13
votes
5answers
111k views

“I and someone”, “me and someone” or “I and someone we” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When do I use “I” instead of “me?” A friend of mine asked me for advice about an e-mail he was writing. There was a sentence like this: I and my ...
12
votes
7answers
22k views

Which is correct: “If it were I” or “If it were me”?

I'm fairly sure it's the former, but it sounds even more stilted than the usual cases in which "I" is less common, but more correct.
11
votes
11answers
7k views

Word for a person being used

I'm looking for a word to describe someone who is being used. This person would be the subject (a noun) not a verb or or adjective. Maybe like a pushover.
10
votes
3answers
17k views

“Are” vs. “is” with compound subjects

How are the wife and kid? How is the wife and kid? Which is more correct?
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I determine subject and subject complement in “A side-effect is the spread of commercialese to other domains.”?

Consider this example: Commercialese is an instrument of art, designed to enrich and invigorate our language—surely you will all agree with this—, and we should encourage newcomers to learn ...
8
votes
3answers
88k views

What is the difference between nominative and accusative case? [closed]

Also in Linguistics what is a subject?
8
votes
3answers
2k views

“A guy whose job is to” vs “a guy whose job it is to”?

I've been hearing the phrase "whose job it is to" quite often lately. Consider these two sentences: We have a guy whose job is to clean windows. We have a guy whose job it is to clean ...
8
votes
6answers
676 views

What's the Subject in: 'And up here in the corner is me'

If two people are looking at a photo, and one of them pointing out the different people says: And up here in the corner is me. ... what is the Subject of the sentence? The phrase up here in ...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

“You” or “your” when using two subjects with a possession?

I came across your and Mr X's publication or I came across you and Mr X's publication
7
votes
1answer
173 views

there + semantic verb

What semantic verbs are used with there besides the verb to be? I'm looking for the cases when there is used as a formal subject. For example in: There came a knock There comes a point in life
7
votes
3answers
339 views

Can a pronoun functioning as Object also be a Subject?

I want him to call me tomorrow. In this sentence we see: I, subject; want, verb; him, object. What is the subject of to call? Him? But him is the object of the verb want. Is this a correct ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What is a better way to write: only three people signed up: you, me and “thehulk66”

It is better to write this: Only three people signed up: you, Jim, and I. than this: Only three people signed up: you, me, and Jim. Because "I" is a subject and not an object. But ...
7
votes
3answers
169 views

Verb-Subject Order

Is it optional to front the verb in sentences like the one below when an adverbial precedes? In the film, appear two more girls who think that Dallas is quite rude. I have already checked the ...
6
votes
2answers
245 views

Different subjects for the word “drive”

She drives well on a highway. This sentence makes sense to me, but so does the next one: This car drives well on a highway. I'm not sure why. The car can't drive on its own but second sentence ...
6
votes
4answers
516 views

Does saying “he uses” imply volition?

A recent L.A. Times brief mentioned that the horse California Chrome's qualification for a race was in question because "he uses nasal strips." The phrasing caught my eye because, to me, saying "he ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What happened first: “ye”/“you” merging to “you”, or “thou”/“thee” falling ou of common use?

Simple subject "I": I went. Replacing it with "me": Me went. That sounds strikingly wrong. We use it for fake "caveman talk". However, there was a time when it worked like this: 1st ...
6
votes
2answers
625 views

'One out of three people thinks' or 'one out of three people think'? [duplicate]

Could someone please explain to me which of these sentences is correct and why? Only one out of three respondents (29%) thinks otherwise. Only one out of three respondents (29%) think ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

What's the best way to find the subject in a sentence?

What's the best way to find the subject in a sentence? How do you define a subject? I am especially curious about such cases, in which the subject seems to be represented by more than one word: The ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Does modifying a collective noun with a number make the subject plural?

The word dozen is a collective noun, i.e., singular when we think of them as groups and plural when we think of the individuals acting within the whole. So we might say: Talking about eggs: "A ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Confusing rule about subject-verb agreement

I am currently working through "The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation" by Jane Straus. In the section on subject-verb agreement the author describes a rule for sentences that begin with "there" or "...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the simple subject in “Is that my bike”?

Is that my bike? I'm not sure if the simple subject is that or bike.
5
votes
1answer
216 views

Object vs Subject?

Consider the following sentence: "Even during the simple occurrence of him and me standing next to each other makes me notice that he's taller than me." Is him and me correct? Should it be he ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it acceptable to omit “I” when it's the subject? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it acceptable to begin a declarative sentence with “Am”? Is it correct English to omit I from the beginning of a sentence when it's clearly implied? For example... ...
5
votes
3answers
491 views

In the sentence “It is she”, which is the subject?

If she is the subject, what is then the function of it? If it is the subject, then shouldn't the sentence be It is her since she is a subject pronoun? Thanks!
5
votes
3answers
469 views

subject of the sentence: Whether or not to bomb Syria is the pertinent question

My son (12 years old) had some homework and was asked to find the subject of the sentence: Whether or not to bomb Syria is the pertinent question. The complete subject seems to be: Whether or not to ...
4
votes
7answers
1k views

What is the subject of the following sentence?

Food allergies are adverse reactions to an otherwise harmless food or food component that involves an abnormal response of the body's immune system to specific protein(s) in foods. This is a ...
4
votes
7answers
329 views

How do I make “X is the thing I wanted to win” unambiguous?

When I say, StackExchange is the website I wanted to win (in an implied context of best website award), it sounds like I wanted to win (own) StackExchange, whereas I'm trying to imply that I wanted ...
4
votes
2answers
135 views

Why are grammatical subjects called subjects?

In a monarchical state a subject is "one that is placed under authority or control" (Merriam). If A is subject to B, A is figuratively beneath B. This meaning makes sense with the word's roots of ...
4
votes
3answers
901 views

S-V agreement: It is not clear what is/are meant by A and B

In the following sentence, the verb “are” strikes me as odd. In paragraph 6, it is not clear what are meant by “the front unit” and “the central element”. It seems that “. . . it is not clear ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

Are both of these Raising’s?

[i] Equi Billᵢ wants [[(for) Billᵢ] to leave at noon] [Billᵢ wants [ __ ᵢ to leave at noon]] [ii] Raising [[(For) the casserole] to be done] seems The casserole seems [to be done] (Prof....
4
votes
1answer
497 views

subject + verb + infinitive

I am having difficulty with subject + verb + infinitive set-ups, as I discovered with who/whom sentences. I understand who and whom as the subject and object forms. For sentences that I find a little ...
4
votes
1answer
36 views

Subject or subject complement

In the sentence "What is it that makes us happy?", is 'what' the subject or the subject complement? Does 'that' refer back to 'it' or to 'What'?
4
votes
1answer
422 views

What's the matter?

A (1). What’s wrong?     A (2). What’s the matter? B. The internet doesn’t work. In A (1), ‘what’ is beyond doubt a subject. But in A (2), Which is the subject: ‘what’ or ‘the matter’? ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Figuring the SVO of the sentence “I'm Tom.”

I was under the impression that every sentence has a subject–verb–object (SVO) where S and V are compulsory and O is optional. So basically I was wondering in the sentence "I'm Tom." is the subject "...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the subject of “There is my biscuit!” ? And how about “There is one biscuit left”?

What's the subject, grammatically speaking, of these sentences? There is my biscuit! My biscuit is there! There is one biscuit left. I don't really know how to analyze these. The following ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Are you comfortable with who(m) he is?

Are you comfortable with him? (correct) Are you comfortable with whom he is? (??) You're comfortable with whom he is. (??) Are you comfortable with who he is? (??) You're comfortable with whom?...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

“Who” vs. “whom” in tricky sentence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What's the rule for using "who" or "whom"? Which is correct? A certificate is a statement that states who is entitled. A certificate is a ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Subject with multiple verbs

I wrote this sentence: In both cases, execution is asynchronous, and results in the execution of the command or event handler on the program’s one thread at the next opportunity. I was told that ...
3
votes
4answers
152 views

Appropriate use of “reaching” when the subject gets smaller and not bigger

Is it OK to say that something reaches 1/5th of its original size? Like in the following sentence: "Not only that, but the output images are also highly compressed, sometimes reaching (up?) to 1/5th ...
3
votes
3answers
127 views

“Me knowing that he was… ” Is “me” the subject?

"That was it," he told me. "Laughing at me behind their faces, about a woman. Me knowing that he was up there, and them knowing I knew that if I busted in and dragged him out and bashed his head ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

Is “things such as this” singular or plural?

Which of the following is correct? Things such as this make me happy. Things such as this makes me happy. Is the subject "things" or "this"?
3
votes
3answers
948 views

“Me” versus “I”

He was almost as bad at English as me. He was almost as bad at English as I. The first one sounds better as-is, but not when you change the second one to He was almost as bad at English as I was. ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Why does it matter what the subject is?

I see a lot of questions asking "what is the subject"? (This, for example.) Why does it matter, practically, what the subject is? How does knowing the subject give more information than just knowing ...
3
votes
2answers
362 views

Pluralization: backward and backwards in context

Unless I'm using "backward" and "backwards" wrong, I can pluralize it when the subject is not plural and vice versa. For example, correct me if I'm wrong: One movie. If you watch your ...
3
votes
2answers
59 views

Omission of subject

Is it correct to omit the subject of a subordinate clause if it coincides with the subject of the main clause, for example, I felt drowsy when (I) woke up? Can you give me a reference to the ...
3
votes
1answer
435 views

Is “ … and was wondering …” correct? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: I <verb> and am <rest of sentence> Since I'm a native Spanish speaker I tend to suppress the subject a lot when speaking, since most of the time it's tacit for ...
3
votes
1answer
56 views

Identifying the subject of a complicated sentence

This sentence took me a lot of time to parse: For migrant birds, which habitats are suitable during the non-breeding season influences habitat availability, population resilience to habitat ...