27 Sep 2013

A verb and a subject in a sentence

A verb in a sentence is a part of a predicate and a simple predicate consists only of a verb.
In a sentence: ‘She ate.’ ‘ate’ is a single verb word and a simple predicate.

‘She’ is an argument of a predicate and a simple subject of a sentence.

A simple predicate can be built by a simple verb or a string of verbs, when a verb phrase consists of auxiliary verbs and the main verb.

‘She is eating.’
‘She has been eating.’
’She would have eaten.’

In the sentences above the main verb is written in bold and auxiliary verbs are underlined. A combination of a main verb and auxiliary verbs is called a verb string.

Every verb in a sentence needs a subject of acting or doing.

She is eating.’

Who is eating? She is, so 'She' in the sentence above is a subject of a verb. Sometimes a sentence contains more than one verb describing action or doing by one subject:

She is eating and watching TV.
John went to the cinema and forgot to call the plumber.

We talk about a compound verb when one subject takes more than one verb.


Similarly, we can find a simple subject or a compound subject in a sentence:

John and Mary went to the cinema.

A compound subject contains at least two subjects linked by a conjunction AND. We may find a compound subject and a compound verb in a sentence:

John and Mary went to the shops and bought a new computer for their son.

In a sentence above 'John and Mary' is a compound subject whereas 'went'  and 'bought' - a compound verb.


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