• The subject usually has a ‘doer’ role (agentive role) with transitive or intransitive verbs. “I drove the car.”
  • The subject has the ‘identified or characterized’ role before copular verbs like forms of ‘BE‘.  “It is old.”
  • In the above examples, you can see the subject of the sentence normally comes before the verb in statements.  But this order is often inverted in various structures such as questions.
  • The subject ‘you’ is omitted with imperatives.
  • The subject and verb need to agree in number and person.


In the English Grammar Profile, there are many points dealing with basic pronouns at the A1 level. 1 ‘I’, ‘you’, ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘it’, ‘we’ and ‘they’ in the subject position before a verb in statements. 2 ‘it’ before ‘be’ to refer to a first-person speaker or writer.  “It’s me.” 3 ‘it’ as a direct object …

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noun phrase (subject predicative)

It is easy to find noun phrases functioning as a subject-predicate in a clause.  For example, “I was a kid.” ‘a kid’ is a noun phrase after the copular verb ‘was.’ An iWeb search for: _P _VB _A _NN . 1 I WAS A KID . 7523 2 I WAS A CHILD . 2942 3 …

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‘It is for you to decide.’ (FOR +TO infinitive clause)

Pearson’s GSE 58 B1+ clause + ‘for’ to introduce an infinitive clause with a different subject.  The important thing is for you to arrive on time. My aim is for my children to go to university. A search in iWeb for: _VB for * _TO _VVI 1 IS FOR YOU TO DECIDE 392 (most examples with this string contained ‘whether’ or ‘whether or not’ which is C2.) 2 IS FOR YOU …

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if + necessary | any | anything | in doubt (subject and verb ellipsis)

Here are EXPERT EXAMPLES of subject and verb ellipsis after ‘if’: When you speak your character’s words, you can hear whether they sound natural, and fix them if necessary. TED *If necessary = if it is necessary. Unlike the billions of people who have few options, if any, due to war, poverty, or illness, you have plentiful opportunities to live decisively. TED *if any = if there are any.     Planet Radio If in doubt, don’t drive. *if in doubt = in you are in …

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A LOT | MUCH (subject pronouns)

In the English Grammar Profile, C2 point 110 in PRONOUNS/quantity: ‘A LOT’ AND ‘MUCH’ as a subject pronouns. focus A search in iWeb corpus for: . A lot _V 1 . A LOT HAS 2043 A lot has happened since that time. PELIC STUDENT: female level 4 grammar class 2 . A LOT DEPENDS 935 A lot depends on how you answer. listen 3 . A …

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HERS | THEIRS (subject)

Point 111 in PRONOUNS: the possessive pronoun ‘hers’ with singular reference, in subject position. Point 112 in PRONOUNS: the possessive pronoun ‘theirs’, with singular and plural reference, in subject position. *NOTE that there is no EGP point for hers as a subject with a plural reference.  This probably means that plural reference would be C2.  …

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noun phrase + relative clause

Here are two student examples of complex noun phrases using relative clauses as complements: In addition, the people who lived in Korea 100 years ago didn’t have enough transportation. PELIC Arabic male level 5 writing class   Here are some of the things which I got. TLC speaking test female Kannada B2 A2 point 34 in CLAUSES is defined: a defining relative clause with ‘who‘ as the subject A2 point 20 in …

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WHICH (relative clause)

Here are 3 similar A2 points in the English Grammar Profile. Point 25 in the category of NOUNS is defined: post-modify noun phrases by using a non-defining relative clause. Point 23 in the category of CLAUSES is defined: non-defining relative clause with ‘which’ as the subject Point 12 is the same but: defining relative clause …

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MUST (ellipted subject)

B1 Point 116 in the category of MODALITY is defined: ellipted ‘must’ without a subject *Note the general B2 subject pronoun ellipsis A search in iWeb for: . must _VVI *also note that this grammar is either non-existent in PELIC student writing or very difficult to locate in TLC or on Google.  The example come …

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SOMETHING | NOBODY + singular verb

Here’s an example of indefinite pronouns as subjects in two clauses with singular verbs: Nobody wants to help when something goes wrong. Point 39 in the category of PRONOUNS/indefinite is defined as: increasing range of indefinite pronouns (‘something’, ‘nobody’) as subjects, with a singular verb. *Remember the inflectional -s at the end of a verb indicates that the verb is the …

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yours (subject)

Point 57 in the category of PRONOUNS/possessive is defined as: yours with singular reference in subject position. FOR EXAMPLE: The world needs every voice and perspective, and yours is included. A search in iWeb for: yours _VV 1 YOURS LOOKS 1874 2 YOURS LOOK 1099 3 YOURS SOUNDS 428 4 YOURS SEEMS 380 5 YOURS TURNED 346 6 YOURS STAND 340 7 YOURS CAME …

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Point 61 in the category of PRONOUNS/quantity is defined as: ‘BOTH’, ‘A FEW’, ‘ANOTHER’ as subject and object pronouns. *We have covered the use of ‘another’ here. A search in iWeb corpus for: . both _V 1 . BOTH ARE 48684 2 . BOTH HAVE 15241 3 . BOTH WERE 15188 4 . BOTH WILL …

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THE ONE(S) THAT + clause (focus)

Here are two examples of ‘focus’ in English grammar, using ‘the one that + clause’ in the subject position: The one that comes in the box, his colleague told him, was notorious for making users’faces itchy and red.   The Wall Street Journal The ones that make you look older, or even the ones where you turn into a hot dog are still really engaging.    Mobile Marketing Magazine In the English Grammar Profile, C2 point 114 in the category of PRONOUNS/substitution is defined as: ‘The one(s) that’ + …

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Point 116 in PRONOUNS is defined as: a cleft construction beginning with ‘it’ to emphasise the subject of the main clause. FOR EXAMPLE: After all, it’s individuals who are to blame here, right? *Seems like religious contexts use this structure. An iWeb search for: It _V _N who _V 1 IT IS GOD WHO IS 218 2 IT IS GOD WHO …


‘WH’ question (no auxiliary)

In the English Grammar Profile, B1 point 67 in the category of CLAUSES/interrogatives is defined as: questions with a ‘wh-‘ word as subject, without an auxiliary verb. For example: Now, what happens? A search on iWeb for: . Wh* _VV * ? 1 . WHAT WENT WRONG? 511 What went wrong in Paris? Allied 2 . WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? 437 3 . …

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present simple passive affirmative (range)

Here are two grammar points from the English Grammar Profile. A2 point 3 in the category of PASSIVES: present simple passive affirmative with a singular subject. B1 point 13 in the category of PASSIVES is defined as: PRESENT SIMPLE, AFFIRMATIVE with a range of pronoun and noun subjects. For example: The proposed mission is called the Uranus Orbiter and Probe and would shed some light on the mostly unexplored ice giant. …

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ANYTHING + post-modifier

In the English Grammar Profile, C1 point 104 in the category of PRONOUNS/indefinite is defined: ‘anything’ with post-modifiers to form complex noun phrases as subjects with a singular verb, to give focus. A search in iWeb corpus for: . Anything _RR * * 1 . ANYTHING ELSE IS JUST 243 2 . ANYTHING ELSE IS …

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