Grammar Basics: Subject, Object and Predicate

In this article, we explore another important part of English Grammar- the basics of sentence construction: subject, object and predicate. A sentence is defined as a collection of words that have a meaning. The basic requirement for a sentence to exist is that it should contain a subject and a verb.

Subject:
The subject is the person or a thing who or which carries out the action. A sentence cannot exist without the subject. Subjects are nouns or pronouns in a sentence. 
Example: The teacher is teaching the students. 
In this sentence, teaching is the verb (it is the action that is being carried out). The one who teaches is the subject, hence teacher is the subject. 
Now have a look at this sentence: Sit down. 
Even though this sentence does not seem to have subject, it actually has an implied subject. The sentence is effectively equivalent to: You should sit down.
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Sample Sentences: 
  1. Ram is an obedient boy. 
  2. Reading is good for the mind. 
  3. Playing is good for maintaining the body in shape.

In the first sentence, Ram is the subject. 
In the second sentence, reading is the subject. 
In the third sentence, playing is the subject. 
In the second and third sentences, reading and playing are not used as verbs but as nouns (referring to the name of an activity rather than an action). As we can see from all the examples, Subjects are the doers of the verb.

Object:

The object is the person or a thing upon whom or upon which the action of the verb is carried out. In simple words, an object is the receiver of the verb. 
Example: The teacher is teaching the students.
The one who is taught is the object (receiving the action), hence students is the object.

Predicate:

Effectively, every sentence can be broken down into two parts: a subject and a predicate. We have already studied what subjects are (what or whom the sentence is about). The predicate is the part of the sentence that tells us something about the subject. Remove the subject and remaining part of the sentence is the predicate of the sentence.
Example: The teacher is teaching the students. 
The teacher is the subject here and the 'is teaching the students' is the predicate. 

Remember the following rules for the predicate: 

  1. It must agree in number with the subject.
  2. It should use the appropriate tense.
  3. Be in the proper voice (active or passive).
Key Learning
  • Without a working knowledge of subject, predicate and object, you can never master the rules of punctuation. So, practice the concepts by taking the tests and watching our expert video.
  • Revise the given article to clarify your grammar concepts.
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