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The Roadrunner's Guide to English: Subject Identification

Attribution

The practice exercises on this page were developed by Dr. Mary Nielsen, Dean of the Dalton State College School of Liberal Arts. 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Subject Identification - Practice 1

Subject Identification Practice 1

Finding the Subject

  • The subject of the sentence usually answers the following question: Who or what is this sentence about?
  • The subject is typically a noun (person, place, animal, or thing) or a pronoun (e.g., I, he, she, we, you, they).
  • The subject may be a gerund (ing form a a verb: running, swimming, studying).
  • The subject may be an infinitive (to form of a verb: to run, to swim, to study).
  • A sentence may have two or more subjects (compound subjects).
  • There and here are never the subjects of sentences.

Underline the subjects in the following sentences.

  1. Today's weather forecast is for partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the upper 80s.
  1. A stray thunderstorm is possible through the early evening.
  1. There has not been any rain in weeks.
  1. The sound of rain would be like music to my ears.
  1. Tropical depression Barry brought five inches of rain to Melbourne, Florida.
  1. According to the WeatherChannel.com, the United States has the largest number of tornadoes worldwide.
  1. The tornado warning for Leon County was cancelled just moments ago.
  1. We will not need to go to the basement after all.
  1. Cleaning the basement and emptying the garbage are my youngest brother's chores.
  1. Here are Tom and Rita.
  1. Surfing is dangerous during a tropical depression.
  1. To see a tornado form was the tornado hunter's strongest desire.
  1. I do not share that desire.
  1. Feeling exhausted, Laura lay down on the floor under the ceiling fan.
  1. To lose weight requires tremendous effort and willpower.

Subject Identification - Practice 2

Finding the Subject

  • The subject of the sentence usually answers the following question: Who or what is this sentence about?
  • The subject is typically a noun (person, place, animal, or thing) or a pronoun (e.g., I, he, she, we, you, they).
  • The subject may be a gerund (ing form a a verb: running, swimming, studying).
  • The subject may be an infinitive (to form of a verb: to run, to swim, to study).
  • A sentence may have two or more subjects (compound subjects).
  • There and here are never the subjects of sentences.

Underline the subjects in the following sentences.

  1. For five homeless teenagers, surfing became a way to enjoy life, at least for a week, at Playalinda Beach.
  1. However, next week, an upcoming launch of the space shuttle will close the beach.
  1. Reading enables children to experience places beyond their reach.
  1. All too frequently, your cover letter and resume can keep you from getting a job.
  1. According to Kate Lorenz, there are ten ways to ruin a resume.
  1. Writing in first person and using passive language are particularly troublesome.
  1. Failing to proofread can also be fatal.
  1. You should avoid flashy formatting and tiny font sizes.
  1. To teach eighth graders requires enormous energy.
  1. Quitting work early, Laura stopped at Kroger to buy something to cook for dinner.
  1. The Writing Lab is a great place to prepare for final exams.
  1. To succeed in college, you should attend every class session and read all assigned material.
  1. Laughter is the best medicine.
  1. To err is human.
  1. To forgive is beyond her abilities or desires.