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What is a Simple Subject? - Definition & Examples

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  • 0:01 Simple Subjects
  • 1:09 When Nouns Are Subjects
  • 1:44 Practice with Simple Subjects
  • 2:20 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Debbie Notari
A simple subject is the most basic unit of sentence construction. It is the focus of the sentence. In this lesson, we will look at the definition of a simple subject and better understand its role in sentence construction.

Simple Subjects

A simple subject is probably the most basic unit in sentence construction. A subject is a noun, which is a person, place, thing, or idea. A subject tells us who or what the sentence is going to be about. Without a subject, we cannot have a complete sentence. A simple subject is a subject that has just one noun as the focus of the sentence. This means that only one noun does the action, or connects, to the verb of the sentence.

In order to understand simple subjects, we need to gain a better understanding of nouns. Here are some examples:

  • People: firemen, boys, girls, teachers, parents
  • Places: the beach, home, school, the grocery store
  • Things: pencils, backpacks, tacos, cars
  • Ideas: courage, imagination, fear, humor

When we name specific people and places, we call these words proper nouns, and they need to begin with capital letters, such as the words 'Michael Jordan' and 'San Francisco'.

When Nouns Are Subjects

Every sentence has to have two parts: a subject and a verb (or predicate). The subject tells us who or what is the focus of the sentence. When we have a simple subject, there is only one noun that completes the action in the sentence. Only one noun gets the focus. Here are a few examples of simple subjects used in sentences:

  • Every child needs love and nurturing. In this sentence, 'child' is the simple subject.
  • Crocodiles thrive in Florida. Here, the word 'crocodiles' is the simple subject.

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