Subject Complement

A subject match is a native or expression that follows a linking verb and identifies or defines the subject.

You are watching: What follows a linking verb and describes the subject

(Note: A linking verb is a verb used to link a subject to a new identity or description. Typical examples room to be, to become, come appear, to feel, come look, to smell, and also to taste.)
A subject match is one of two people an adjective, a noun, or a pronoun.

Easy examples of subject Complements

In the instances below, the linking verbs space in bold and the subject complements are shaded:Ben is
a policeman.(The linking verb is is (i.e., the verb to be). The subject enhance identifies the topic Ben. It is a noun.)He will be fine.(The linking verb is will be (i.e., the verb come be). The subject complement describes the topic He. That is one adjective.)I am he.(The linking verb is to be (i.e., the verb to be). The subject enhance identifies the subject I. It is a pronoun.)That pie looks burnt to a cinder.(The linking verb is looks. The subject enhance describes the topic That pie. That is an adjective. Don"t forget adjective (just favor nouns) additionally come in the type of phrases.)Read more about adjective phrases.Read more about noun phrases.

More instances of topic Complements

Here space some much more examples of topic complements:Ella was
a ghost. She showed up at 12 and also looked stunning.Opportunity is to let go by many people because it is pull in overalls and looks like work-related . (Thomas A Edison, 1847-1931) (Remember the adjectives and nouns deserve to come in the develops of adjective phrases and noun phrases too.)If you put butter and salt top top popcorn, that tastes like salty butter. (Terry Pratchett)As for me, except for one occasional love attack, ns feel as young together I ever before did. (Robert Benchley, 1889-1945)

Why need to I Care about Subject Complements?

Subject complements execute not cause many creating mistakes for aboriginal English speakers. In various other words, we"re an excellent at topic complements. However, if you"re finding out a language (like Russian) the puts that is complements in a different case (the instrumental situation in the case of Russian), then you can want to pay a bit much more attention to spotting complements.Here space two problems related to topic complements.

(Issue 1) Don"t usage an adverb as a subject complement.

A subject enhance is one adjective, noun, or pronoun. It"s never an adverb.This soup tastes badly.(Tastes is a linking verb. Badly is an adverb, i m sorry can"t be provided as a subject complement.)This soup tastes bad. (Bad is an adjective.)It is ironic that this failure is most typically made by world who consciously think about whether they must be making use of adjectives or adverbs. Discovering that adverbs modify verbs (like tastes), they opt because that an adverb. However, tastes is a linking verb, which way we need a word to modify the subject. And, that"s why we require an adjective.Your hair smells wonderfully. (Smells is a linking verb. Wonderfully is one adverb, i m sorry can"t be supplied as a subject complement.)Your hair smells wonderful. (Wonderful is an adjective.)

(Issue 2) You deserve to say "It is I" or "It is me."

Those who firmly insist on creating "It is I" or "It was he" have actually tradition on their side due to the fact that subject complements were traditionally written in the subjective case (e.g., I, she, and he) not in the objective case (e.g, me, her and also him). However, those who"d rather write "It is me" or "It was him" have usual usage on your side.So, if girlfriend think "It to be I" doesn"t sound pretentious, use that construction. If girlfriend think that does, don"t. Everyone"s a winner.

Key Points

Use an adjective no an adverb after ~ a linking verb.She watch amazingly. She watch amazing. Write "It was I" if friend like. If you can"t bear exactly how that sounds, create "It was me."
Ready because that the Test?Here is a confirmatory test
for this lesson.This check can also be:Edited (i.e., you deserve to delete questions and also play v the stimulate of the questions).Printed to produce a handout.Sent electronically to friends or students.

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See Also

What are complements?What are object complements?What room linking verbs?What is the spatu case?Glossary of grammar terms

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