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I just watched a video on grammar (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Drv6jD8xWdw) that states that English sentences can only have one subject. At first, I thought it was obvious, but then I thought of some exceptions.

"I found it strange being in her house"

"It is wonderfully beautiful, the chair"

"They’re very polite, your children."

Then I realized that they did actually have just one subject, even when the pronoun reiterates it. But then I came across a way more interesting example:

"Those kids work very hard, most of them".

Structurally, it is the same as "They’re very polite, your children", for example. But in this case, "most of them" is not an equivalent of "They". It is just a portion of the subject. So, I guess that it is to assume that "most of them" is the actual subject and "those kids" something different.

I am aware this sort of sentences tend to omit the pronoun, as in: Very polite, your children. But you can't really do that in this case without changing the whole order of the sentence.

What do you think? It really got me thinking. Does this have two subjects?

PS: Some other member suggests that this other post could solve the problem. I don't think it does, but I find it interesting and complementary. Omitting "is", like in "I think it strange"

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    'They're very polite, your children' exhibits a right dislocation. A restatement referencing the agent of the subject occurs after the matrix sentence. / 'Those kids work very hard, most of them' contains an adjusting parenthetical after the matrix sentence, adjusting 'those kids' to 'most of those kids'. It's shorthand for ''Those kids work very hard. Correction; most of those kids work very hard.' Apr 23, 2021 at 18:18
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    Ah; I've missed 'I found it strange being in her house'. This uses anticipatory it so that the semantic object 'being in her house' can be delayed. The 'straight' version, 'I found being in her house strange' is slightly clumsy. // Does this answer your firstquestion? Omitting "is", like in "I think it strange" Apr 23, 2021 at 18:29
  • What about deletions such as 'John watered the lawn, weeded the planters, and pruned the roses'? Apr 23, 2021 at 18:52
  • The link doesn't answer my question, but it is quite helpful nevertheless. Your example ''Those kids work very hard. Correction; most of those kids work very hard.' does. Although I am still wondering if "Those kids work very hard, most of them" is grammatical or, mostly, how informal would it be. Although the meaning doesn't break the ONE subject rule, it sort of does in form. When it comes to grammar I am mostly interested in the logic people who actually think in the language use. I merely find it interesting. Cascabel, I wanted to see if natives think this would break the rule and how.
    – Pablo GM
    Apr 23, 2021 at 19:26
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    The rule is a simplification. You’ll get a more accurate approximation by changing “sentence” to “clause”. This makes more sense of sentences like “Here’s the training routine for today: you jump, he runs”.
    – Lawrence
    Apr 24, 2021 at 1:12

2 Answers 2

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"It is wonderfully beautiful, the chair"/ "They’re very polite, your children."

This is called "right dislocation" - there is also left dislocation, see Language Log.

It is a form of apposition. "The chair" is in apposition to "it", and "they" - "your children" and "it" - "being in her house".

There is only one subject but it is described twice - once in a short form and once in an extended form.

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  • How about "I found it strange being in her house"? Apr 23, 2021 at 22:19
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    No, it's not apposition. It's just ordinary coreference, like any pronoun; it would be the same coreference if you said I like that chair; it's wonderfully beautiful. Apr 23, 2021 at 22:43
  • @Araucaria-Nothereanymore. "being in her house" is in apposition to "it". "I found it strange being in her house": "I found it strange" -- "I found being in her house strange." (In the alternative, you can say that the referent of "it" is "being in her house", but I don't think that is particularly helpful.)
    – Greybeard
    Apr 24, 2021 at 14:59
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One object ?

how about:

Trade, for instance, is a Tritransitive verb with a valency of 3 - that is it can accept a direct object + an indirect object + prepositional object.

e.g.

She'll trade you an apple for an orange.

or

the verb bet

e.g.

I bet you a dollar (that) they lose.

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  • You are right. I'll correct it for ONE predicate, which is what was intended. Thank you, son of Uthred.
    – Pablo GM
    Apr 25, 2021 at 15:11
  • Son of Ragnar :) Apr 26, 2021 at 8:25

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