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Could anyone please tell me what would be the subject in the following sentence which I have taken from the National Geographic website:

Providing pools of water for frogs when other water is scarce is just one of the ways elephants engineer ecosystems.

Also, I am confused about what would be the direct object as well as the indirect object in the above sentence.

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    Providing pools of water... is the subject. There is no object in a sentence which, in effect, just says A is B. – Kate Bunting Jun 27 at 8:30
  • Isn't "Providing pools of water" is the participle phrase which is considered here an adjective and the subject is the one which has begun with "when"? – Pawan Jun 27 at 8:33
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    It may be a participle phrase but it isn't an adjective. One of the ways elephants engineer ecosystems is to provide pools of water for frogs. When other water is scarce is just an additional phrase describing when this happens. – Kate Bunting Jun 27 at 8:52
  • Please tell me why there are multiple nouns in "elephants engineer ecosystems"? – Pawan Jun 27 at 9:20
  • Engineer is a verb. I eat bread. You like sunshine. Elephants engineer ecosystems. – RegDwigнt Jun 27 at 10:21
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According to this article gramma terms,

subject

Names what or whom a sentence is about. A subject is always a noun (or noun phrase), a pronoun, or a word or word group acting as a noun (such as a gerund or a noun clause). For example, the pronoun I is the subject of the sentence I handed in my application for the job. The noun clause Whatever you want to do is the subject of the sentence Whatever you want to do is fine with me.

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gerund

Is a verb form ending in -ing that acts as a noun. For example, the gerund smoking acts as a noun in the sentence Smoking can be hazardous to your health.

So the sentence becomes "(Providing pools of water for frogs when other water is scarce) is just one of the ways (how) elephants engineer ecosystems."

Note that the "engineer" above is a verb.

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