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 Subject complements

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PostSubject: Subject complements   Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:13 pm

Subject complements

Some clauses consist of a subject, the verb be and an expression that either modifies the subject or denotes something identical to the subject.
• Jane is a journalist.
• The children were very excited.
• Susie is in the shower.

The expression that modifies the subject in clauses like these is often called a subject complement. Subject complements can also follow other copular verbs like become, seem and look.
• Alice became a doctor.
• She looks depressed.


Object complement:

An object complement is a phrase which follows a direct object and either modifies that object or denotes something identical to it.
• She called me a liar.
• They made her a star.
• I consider hang-gliding dangerous.


Complements of verbs, nouns and adjectives:

Words and expressions which complete the meaning of a verb, noun or adjective are also called complements.
• I am fond of children. (of children is the complement of the adjective fond.)
• I am sorry to tell you this. (to tell you this is the complement of the adjective sorry.)
• Let us get a bottle of wine. (of wine is the complement of the noun bottle.)
• She wants to find a new job. (to find a new job is the complement of the verb wants.)

It is important to know what kinds of complements can come after a particular word. For example, interested can be followed by in … -ing or by an infinitive; want can be followed by an infinitive, but suggest cannot; on the other hand suggest can be followed by a that-clause, but want cannot.
• I am interested in learning to fly.
• I want to take a long holiday.
• The doctor suggested taking a long holiday.
• The doctor suggested that I should take a long holiday.
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