Monday, March 7, 2011

day 60: understood subject

You have been learning the characteristics of a subject and a verb. There are unique subjects, however, as well as unique verbs.

You have already learned that the sentence’s main subject has the following characteristics:

  1. It is usually in the first part of the
    sentence (the subject part of the sentence as opposed to the predicate part).
  2. It is usually a noun or pronoun.
  3. It is the word that the whole sentence is about.
  4.  It is the word that tells who or what did the verb.

However, what do you do if a sentence does not appear to contain a subject?

For example, what is the subject in this “sentence”:

Learn your subjects well.

In the sentence that you examined above, it looks like there is no subject!

In this sentence, the subject is you! The sentence is really saying You learn your subjects well.
Sometimes sentences that are direct commands or parts of conversations do not have a subject written down, but the writer intends for the subject to be an understood you.

  This is called the understood subject.

Sentences with understood subjects have the following characteristics:

    1. They do not have the subject
written.  Examples:

                                  1) Do not forget to write to Grandma.
                                      a) Who should not forget?
                                      b) You
                                  2) Try to be a light in your home.
                                      a) Who should try to be a light?
                                      b) You!

        2. They are often commands of some type. For
               example: Get off the furniture!

         3. They usually begin with the verb of the
sentence: Water the plants.

          4. Sometimes they can begin with adverbs:
Carefully water the plants.

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