Subject Complements for intermediate learners

Subject complements are placed after linking verbs. Follow the article to learn more about them.

What Are Subject Complements in English?

What Are Subject Complements?

Subject complements, also known as predicative adjectives, are used after linking verbs like 'be', 'become', 'appear', 'taste', etc. to describe the subject. Subject complements are necessary for the clause to be meaningful and complete.

Subject Complements: Types

We have five types of subject complements in English. Take a look at the following list:

Now let us analyze some of them in more detail:

Noun Phrases as Subject Complements

Noun phrases can be a single word or two or more words together. They can describe the subject and function as subject complements. Study the following examples:

Miss Hale is a dance tutor.

Those two ladies are my best friends.

As you can see, the highlighted nouns are describing the subject.

Pronouns as Subject Complements

All kinds of pronouns (subject, object, demonstrative, interrogative, and indefinite pronouns) can be used as subject complements. Let us study some examples:

Her favorite color is this?

Here, a demonstrative pronoun has been used to complement the subject.

Lana is what?

As you can see, an interrogative pronoun is functioning as a subject complement.


Please note that subject pronouns are not commonly used as subject complements nowadays.

Adjective Phrases as Complements

Adjective phrases can consist of a single word or multiple words, and they are used to describe or modify subjects. Look at the following examples:

The blue roses are lavish.

The city is large.

As you can see, an adjective has been used to describe the subject.


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