Questions about determining the subject of a sentence or clause

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21
votes
6answers
11k 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?
20
votes
3answers
8k views

Why is there omission of subject in sentences like “Thought you'd never ask.”

Another example is "Hope this helps." "Thought you'd never ask." is the omission of "I thought you'd never ask." "Hope this helps." is the omission of "I hope this helps." In English grammar, ...
16
votes
1answer
21k 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" ...
12
votes
7answers
19k 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
4k 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
5answers
75k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
14k 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
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
68k views

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

Also in Linguistics what is a subject?
7
votes
2answers
11k views

“like I” or “like me”?

In high school we learned to say "than I" and "as I" because you could potentially add an "am" to the end of the sentence. Examples: "She is smarter than I." (Think: "...than I am.") "He is as tall ...
7
votes
3answers
5k 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
3answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
204 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
464 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
793 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
95 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
2answers
1k 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
873 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
885 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
203 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
3answers
373 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
391 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
4answers
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
726 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
76 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] ...
4
votes
1answer
718 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... ...
4
votes
1answer
273 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
223 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 ...
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
2answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
7answers
313 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
770 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 ...
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
134 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
851 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
1answer
4k 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
803 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
2answers
298 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
1answer
373 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

Noun & verb agreement

in the sentence "Fourteen of the bones make up the face and jaw." is "Fourteen" singular or plural? The preceding sentence is "The skulls of every human being have 22 bones." The grammar book I'm ...
3
votes
2answers
423 views

Are two singular nouns together singular or plural?

I'm writing a research paper with several classmates for school. However, there's a sentence that we, as well as others who have reviewed our paper, disagree with on how to write. Which sentence is ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

Subject of drip the verb

drip verb 1. let fall or be so wet as to shed small drops of liquid. "the tap won't stop dripping" synonyms: dribble, drop, leak More antonyms: gush (of liquid) fall in small drops. "water ...
3
votes
1answer
731 views

If a clause is a direct object, its pronoun is nominative because the whole clause is the object

I am sure this has been asked before; I couldn't locate a definite answer (grammar websites on direct objects do not seem to explicitly state the answer). I think it may have been addressed in my ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Is “am” ever proper English without an “I” somewhere before or after it? [duplicate]

For a long time, I have been convinced that the use of the word am without the word I either before or after it is incorrect. For instance, saying Am going all by itself. However, I recently ran a ...
3
votes
2answers
86 views

“All you need is a good pair of glasses”: What is the subject, and why? [closed]

What is the subject in the following sentence? And why? All you need is a good pair of glasses. is the subject All you need OR a good pair of glasses? If it's 'ALL', then, in a different ...
3
votes
3answers
480 views

Is “It must be him with whom you enjoy doing your assignments, not me” correct? [duplicate]

I’d like all of you to please consider the following sentence: It must be him with whom you enjoy doing your assignments, not me. I have known that after 'to be' verb pronouns words take the ...
2
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the grammatical difference behind “is interesting” and “is interested”?

I am a native English speaker, yet I cannot explain to a non-native speaker why I say: I am interested in history. as well as History is interesting to me. Why is it "is interesting" when ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

A does the same B as does C

While reading a book, I found: Objective-C supports the same conventions for specifying strings as does C. I've thought "... as C does" is correct. For example, As time goes, we come to ...