Advanced Sentence Analysis

Introducing Subordinate Clauses as Main Sentence Elements

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Subjects, Verbs, and Objects in Sentences with Multiple Clauses

The SUBJECT of a sentence, nearly always first in a simple statement, is what the statement is about. What is said (or "predicated") about the subject is called the PREDICATE.

The most important word in the predicate is the VERB, which can be identified easily by changing the time the sentence refers to. Verbs change form to respond to changes in time (I SLEEP, I SLEPT, I HAVE SLEPT, I WILL SLEEP), and every sentence has a verb.

The direct object of a verb is an optional part of a sentence. It follows the verb and receives the "action," if any, indicated in the verb. Like the subject, the direct object is never part of a prepositional phrase.

Subject + Verb + Direct Object        prepositional phrase
Harriet   cooked    the canary           for her startled guests.
Harold  underwent   surgery             in the spring.

If you are not sure you can tell a phrase from a clause, you are not ready for this exercise. Click on "Review of Phrases and Clauses" at the top or bottom of the screen, and when you have done the review, return here.