Topic: Complement

These resources relate to the grammatical function Complement. The Subject Complement comes after linking verbs like be to complete the meaning, e.g. very kind in She is very kind. It usually describes the person or thing picked out by the Subject. These resources look at clause patterns which contain Subject Complements, and give key points for identifying this grammatical function.

Direct Object or Subject Complement?

Is the highlighted Complement a Direct Object or a Subject Complement?

Identify the Object Complement

Identify the Object Complement in each of the following examples. Click on the word (or words) that comprise the start and end of the Object Complement. (You can click again if you want to change your mind and deselect something.)

Identify the Subject Complement

 

Identify the Subject Complement in each of the following examples. Click on the word (or words) that comprise the start and end of the Subject Complement. (You can click again if you change your mind and want to deselect something.)

Object Complement or Subject Complement?

Is the highlighted Complement a Subject Complement or Object Complement?

Object Complement

Consider the highlighted phrases in the following examples. How do they contribute to the clauses?

  • She found the maths incredibly hard. [S1A-054#137]
  • I found the changeover a trying time. [W2B-012#101]

These phrases describe the thing picked out by the Direct Object. The maths is described as incredibly hard (for her). The changeover is described as a trying time (for me).

Subject Complement

Consider the highlighted phrases in the examples below.

  • The rice is marvellous. [S1A-022 #262]
  • He was a really nice guy. [S1A-006 #21]

Each of the highlighted phrases adds information about the person or thing picked out by the Subject. Marvellous attributes a property to the rice, and a really nice guy does the same for he.

These phrases have different forms but the same function.

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