Subject Compliment [Complement]

< Previous | Next >


Does a subject compliment always follow a ''be'' verb?And why do we call it a ''subject compliment''?Can you make some examples?Thank you.
  • DocPenfro

    Senior Member
    English - British
    And why do we call it a ''subject compliment''?
    We don't. We call it a "subject complement". Compliment and complement are two entirely different words with very different meanings. Complement is derived from the verb to complete. The complement helps to complete the information about the subject.

    Does a subject compliment always follow a ''be'' verb?
    "Pearl is a singer." Here "is" is followed by "singer", which is a subject complement.
    "Pearl is singing". Now the "is" is one component of the present continuous form of the verb.


    Senior Member
    Welcome to the forum, EnglishLover14.

    If you mean to ask whether a subject complement requires a "be" verb, perhaps you mean a "linking" verb. Be, become, seem, look, and many other verbs are linking verbs. Verbs like end up can sometimes take subject complements, so I suppose they are linking verbs too: Pearl ended up a singer. Then there are things like Pearl got elected president. I would call president a subject complement here, but without a linking verb.


    Thanks for the reply ,and thanks for welcoming me, Forero!
    How can we find the subject complement in a sentence?Is every word in every sentence which gives more information about the subject a subject complement?


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The subject complement (SC) refers to the same thing as the subject. This is how you tell it from an object, which is a different thing:

    Pearl became a singer. [Pearl = the singer, so it's an SC]
    Pearl hired a singer. [Pearl is not the singer, so it's an object]

    Adjective phrases are SCs, because they describe the subject:

    Pearl became taller. Pearl seems tall.

    Where a sentence has an object, it can sometimes have an object complement (OC) following that. The same test tells you whether it's an OC - does it refer to the same thing as the object?

    France has elected Hollande president. [Hollande is object, and Hollande = president, so 'president' is an OC]
    French voters considered Hollande preferable. [Adjective 'preferable' refers to the object, so it's an OC]


    Senior Member
    USA English
    Back in the previous millennium when I was in school, we called this a predicate nominative.

    I'd never heard of a subject complement, but I guess the grammar gurus can't leave well enough alone. :mad:

    And no, that's not complimenting them.
    < Previous | Next >