Subject Identification Definition and Exercises
Finding subjects is easy once you have found the verb in the sentence.
Let's take our first example:
Taking dangerous risks seems to frighten most hardworking people.
What + Verb + The rest of the Sentence?
(What) seems to frighten most hardworking people?
The answer is: Taking dangerous risks.
So "Taking dangerous risks" is the subject of the sentence. Let's go back to exercise #1 where you already found the verbs and find the subjects of those verbs.
Finding Subjects: Exercise #1
The subject of a sentence can never be found within a prepositional phrase.
Finding Subjects in Prepositional Phrases
Exercise Part A. Put brackets around the prepositional phrases in the following paragraph. The first sentence is done for you.
[At the age] [of twelve] I won the swimming award [at the Lions Camp] [for
Finding Subjects Exercise
Underline all the subjects in the following paragraph. Remember that subjects cannot be found in prepositional phrases.
Exercise: Finding Subjects
Read the following paragraph and underline the subjects. Some sentences will have more than one subject.
Cartoon superheroes are made up of a number of common traits. They have
extraordinary powers and abilities. They vary greatly, but superhuman strength, the
ability to fly and the ability to project energy are often common. Batman and Green
Hornet possess no superpowers but they know martial arts. Most superheroes risk
their own safety in the service of good. Many refuse to kill an opponent, even
though they threaten the safety of others. Many superheroes use a descriptive or
symbolic code name. A supporting cast of characters includes the hero’s friends and
family. Superheroes often have a secret headquarters or base. Female characters
include Invisible Woman, Black Canary and Raven. Some examples of non-Caucasian
characters are the Black Panther, Shang Chi and Cyborg.
In the following paragraph:
The Chinese animal signs are a 12 year cycle dating the years. They represent a circular
concept of time. In the Chinese calendar, the beginning of the calendar falls between late
January and early February. The Chinese have adopted the Western calendar except for
festive occasions such as the Chinese New Year. Each of the animal signs has a
horoscope. A Pig and an Ox bring prosperity. Tigers have magnetic personalities with others
while Rabbits are unhappy with strangers. Dragons lose their tempers easily. Snakes lean
toward elegance and expensiveness while Rats tend to budget carefully. Roosters begin
many projects at one time to keep busy Dogs and Horses react unpredictably but they form
good relationships with others. Monkeys project an image of mischief, and Sheep resent
being led by others.