Learn about the major parts of a sentence the subject and the main verb, that there can be more than one subject, more than one action and that sentences often have an object.

Subjects and Verbs

 

Warm-Up Question 

 

children in the woods

 

Evie and her friends hiked through the woods.

 

A. What is the subject of this sentence?

 

B. What is the action verb in this sentence?

  

C. What is the object of this sentence?

 

 the answer

ANSWER

 

children_in_the_woods

 

Evie and her friends hiked through the woods.

 

A. What is the subject of this sentence? Evie and her friends

 

B. What is the action verb in this sentence? hiked

 

C. What is the object of this sentence? the woods

 

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 Learn About The Two Key Parts of a Sentence

 

1. a sentence must have a subject

 

in sentences with an action verb the subject

will be who or what is doing the action

 

children_playing_on_beach

 

The children played volleyball on the beach.

 

the subject of this sentence is the children

because they are doing the action

 

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2. a sentence must also have a main verb

 

action verbs are one type of main verb

 

children_playing_on_beach

 

action verbs tell us the action that a subject is doing

 

The ball bounced over the net.

 

this is the subject because it is doing the action

 

this is the action that the subject is doing this is the main verb

 

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action verbs are main verbs that can be

used on their own without any other verb

 

children_playing_on_beach

 

A small red crab climbed out of the water.

 

subject | this is a main verb

 

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sentences REVISION question

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in sentences with an action verb

 

 

the subject will be who

or what is doing the action

 

pirate_in_rowing_boat

 

The pirate rowed

home with the chest.

the verb will be the action

that the subject is doing

 

pirate_in_rowing_boat

 

The pirate rowed

home with the chest.

 

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more than one person or thing can be doing an action

 

aliens

 

if more than one person or one thing is doing

an action they will all act as one subject

 


The four aliens loved birthday cake.


 

all four aliens are the subject of this sentence because they are all doing the action - they all loved birthday cake

 

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if more than one person or thing is doing the same action

 

they will act as one subject

 

 

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Poppy waited for

their ship to arrive.

 

pirates_on_island

 

one subject

The three pirates waited

for their ship to arrive.

 

pirates_on_island

 

acts as one subject

 

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if the same subject is doing more than one action

 

then the actions will act as one verb

 

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The two sharks

relaxed in the hot tub.

 

sharks_in_hot_tub

 

one verb

The two sharks relaxed

and chatted in the hot tub.

 

sharks_in_hot_tub

 

acts as one verb

 

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sentences might also have an object in them

 

 

in sentences with an action verb

the object is who or what is having the action done to it

 

parat_on_chest

 

The parrot perched on the chest.

 

the subject | this is the action so this is the verb | this is the object

 

the object is who or what is having the action done to it

 

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sentences REVISION question

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the subject of a sentence will always be a noun

 

in sentences with an action verb

the noun that is doing the action will be the subject

 

boys_playing_football

 

Isaac passed the ball to Jay.

 

the subject is Isaac because that is the noun

that is doing the action - passed - it is not the noun Jay

 

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the subject can be any noun

that is doing an action

 

super_hero

 

The iron burnt a hole in Jack's costume.

 

subject (noun) | verb

 

Jack is not the subject of this

sentence because he is not doing the action

 

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nouns are words that name people or things

 pronouns are words that take the place of nouns

 

playing_tennis

 

 

because the subject of a sentence is always a noun

it can be replaced by a pronoun

 

The girls won the tennis match.

 

subject = noun | verb

 

playing_tennis

 

They beat the boys by one game.

 

subject = pronoun | verb

 

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sentences REVISION question

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in sentences with an action verb

 the subject will be the noun (or pronoun) that is doing the action

 

parat_on_chest

 

The pirates sailed to an island.

 

They found a chest full of treasure.

 

the action that the subject is doing will be the verb

 

 

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in sentences with an action verb

 

to find the subject you need to identify

who or what is doing the action

 

diver

 

The diver's torch shone on the rock.

 

the diver is not doing any action

the torch is doing the action shone - so the torch is the subject

 

 

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learn club remember

 

in sentences with an action verb

 

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the subject is whoever

is doing the action

 

playing_football

 

The three boys played football in the park.

the verb is the action

the subject is doing

 

playing_football

 

The three boys played football in the park.

 

 

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learn club remember

 

in sentences with an action verb

 

the object is who or what has the action done to it

 

robots

 

Clunk and Plex stood and waited on the planet.

 

acts as one subject | acts as one verb | the object

 

this is the object because this is what is being stood on

 

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there might be more than one subject doing

the same verb

 

snorkling

 

Ravi and his two friends

splashed in the pool.

 

three subjects

doing one verb

more than one verb might

be done by the same subject

 

 

snorkling

 

The children swum to the deep end and dived under the water.

 

one subject

doing two verbs

 

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if more than one person or thing is doing the same verb

 

they will act as one subject

 

 

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the same subjects

can act as one subject

 

pirate

 

The two parrots sailed

to a faraway island.

different subjects

can act as one subject

 

pirate

 

The pirate and her two parrots

sailed to a faraway island.

 

 

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the subject of a sentence might have a determiner in front of it

 

determiners introduce nouns and can tell us if the noun is a specific noun or a general noun

 

cycling

 

a bike

 

determiner | noun

 

❌ we do not know whose bike is being talked about

 

 

 

Jack's bike

 

determiner | noun

 

✅ we do know whose bike is being talked about

 

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determiners and adjectives can be used to describe a subject

 

 

goldfish

 

 

The sly ginger cat terrified the goldfish.

 

determiner | adjective | adjective| subject | verb | object

 

the subject of this sentence is the cat because that is the noun that is doing the action

 

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the subject is any noun that is doing the action

 

spaceman

 

 

The three aliens and the amazed astronaut stared at each other.

 

determiner | adjective | subject | verb

 

the subject is the aliens and the astronaut because they are the nouns that are doing the action

 

we do not need to include the adjectives three or amazed - they are not part of the

subject - they are descriptions of the subject

 

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the subject is the noun that is doing the action

 

football_goal

 

The school's junior football team waited for the referee.

 

this is the full subject | this is the action

 

we do not need to use the full description of the subject

 

the subject is just the noun

 

the team

 

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the subject might not be at the start of a sentence

 

cinema

 

the subject is the noun that is doing the action

 

In the cinema the three friends watched a brilliant film.

 

❌ not the subject not doing the action | ✅ subject is doing the action | verb = the action

 

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learn club remember

 

more than one noun can act as one subject

more than one action can act as one verb

 

pirates_island

 

 

On the island the pirates and the parrot stood and waited for a ship.

 

acts as one subject | acts as one verb

 

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Extension 

 

there are three types of verb - this unit only looked at action verbs

 

action verbs

 

robot_walking

 

The robot rushes.

 

action

 

helping verbs

 

robot_walking

 

The robot is rushing.

 

action

linking verbs

 

robot_walking

 

The robot is late.

 

no action

 

 

 

the difference between the three types of verb

 

 

action verbs

 

children_on_the_beach

 

They played

on the sand.

 

describes the action

 

helping verbs

 

children_on_the_beach

 

They are playing

on the sand.

 

describes the action

linking verbs

 

children_on_the_beach

 

They are

on the beach.

 

describes the subject

 

 

all the sentences in this unit were simple sentences

 

all the sentences in this unit were simple sentences because they had only one subject and one verb

 

alien_space_craft

 

there are two other types of sentence that both have two subjects and two verbs

 

alien_space_craft

 

these two other types of sentence are

compound sentences and complex sentences

 

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Now take the Two Key Parts of a Sentence Quiz to find out what you have learned...

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