Subject Complement | What is a Subject Complement? with Useful Examples

What is a subject complement? Here you will learn important English grammar rules in relation to subject complement with examples and ESL pictures.

What is A Subject Complement?

Subject complement refers to words, phrases, and clauses that come after the linking verb and expounds or modifies a sentence’s subject. Subject complements are grammatical components contained in the predicate of a sentence. Although the most used subject complements are nouns and adjectives, there are more other forms of grammatical components that can be used as subject complements in English grammar.

So, in short, the subject complement is composed of the following: Noun phrases, Verb phrases, Adjective phrases, Noun clauses, and Prepositional phrases.

Subject Complement (with Examples)

Noun Phrases as Subject Complements

Noun phrase executes the role of subject complement in a clause or sentence. Noun phrases are described as phrases comprising a noun/pronoun and any other modifier, determinants, or complements. Let’s look at the examples of noun phrases functioning as subject complements in a sentence.

  • Your curtain resembled a flag. (noun)
  • This is him. (pronoun)
  • My son is a footballer. (noun phrase)
  • James will become a teacher next month. (noun phrase)
  • The preacher on the altar resembles the fake preacher in the Newspaper. (noun phrase)
  • My spouse is a man of principle. (noun phrase)
  • The outgoing president will be remembered for fostering unity during his tenure. (noun phrase)

Verb Phrases as Subject Complements

A verb phrase is another grammatical form that executes the grammatical role of the subject complement. The verb phrase assumes the form of present participle and infinitives. Verb phrases are described as phrases containing a verb, modifiers, complements, infinitive markers, etc.

Examples of verb phrases functioning as subject complements in a sentence:

  • Your weekly chores will be cleaning and washing clothes. (present participle)
  • His distinct talent is writing poems in his office. (present participle)
  • Your only onus is to cook for your young daughter. (infinitive)
  • My favorite hobby is traveling overseas. (infinitive)
  • The assignment is to research the invention of the wheel. (infinitive)

Adjective Phrases as Subject Complements

An adjective phrase is the other grammatical form that carries out the grammatical role of subject complement. Adjective phrases are phrases that contain an adjective, modifier, or complements.

Examples of Adjective Phrases that function as subject complements in a sentence.

  • The meat tasted unpleasant. (adjective)
  • My son got infuriated. (adjective)
  • My dad is fond of travel. (adjective phrase)
  • The weather seems somewhat good. (adjective phrase)
  • My cup of tea is cold. (adjective)

Noun Clauses as Subject Complements

A noun clause is another grammatical form that executes the grammatical role of the subject complement. Noun clauses are described as subordinate clauses that comprise a clause anteceded by a subordinating conjunction.

Examples of noun clause functioning as a subject complement in a sentence.

  • Your fault was that you declined to complete the assignment.
  • The winner of the contest will be whoever garners the majority of votes.
  • The problem is that you think driving is not easy to learn.
  • My question is whether you will sue the government for defamation.
  • Your desk mate can be whomever you like.

Prepositional Phrases as Subject Complements

This is the last grammatical form that executes the grammatical function of the subject complement. Prepositional phrases are phrases that comprise of a prepositional complement anteceded by a preposition.

Examples of prepositional phrases in sentences

  • The hottest part of the day is past the afternoon.
  • The best time to visit her is between two and four.
  • The best place to study is in the study room.
  • My most favorite part of the workday is during the morning.

Subject Complement | Infographic

What is A Subject Complement? Types and Great Examples of Subject ComplementPin

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