- Subject complement
grammar, a subject complement is a phraseor clausethat follows a linking verb( copula) and complements, or completes, the subject of the sentence by either (1) renaming it or (2) describing it. The former, a renaming noun(or sometimes a pronoun), is technically called a predicate noun or predicate nominative(or in some cases, a predicate pronoun). The latter, a describing adjective, is called a predicate adjective.
Subject complements are used only with a class of verbs called linking verbs or copulative verbs, of which "to be" is the most common. Unlike object complements, subject complements are not affected by the action of the verb, and they describe or explain the subject.
Examples of sentences with subject complements: The lake was a tranquil pool.
"Was" is a linking verb which links the subject complement (predicate noun modified by an adjective) "tranquil pool" to the subject "lake."
The lake is tranquil.
"Tranquil" is a predicate adjective linked through the verb "is." [ [http://www.ucalgary.ca/UofC/eduweb/grammar/course/sentence/2_1c.htm UCalgary] ]
It is I/It is me
It sometimes is held that in the statement "It is I" (or "'Tis I"), "be" acts as a transitive verb and thus, "I" would be incorrect since it should be the object, and the objective case "me" should be used. In fact, in terms of common usage, especially in informal speech, "It is me" is rather common.
prescriptivegrammarians, like Norman Lewis, frown upon this usage and regard it as a mistake.Fact|date=August 2007 In this case, "I" is not affected by the action of the verb is, and it specifies exactly who the subject "It" is. In formal English, the subject complement therefore takes the subjective case. Usually, this makes no difference in the sentence because English nouns no longer distinguish between subjective and objective case. But English pronouns make the distinction, and the subject complement takes I instead of me. "It is I" sounds strange to many English speakers, but is considered correct by prescriptivists [http://www.bartleby.com/68/53/3453.html] . In other contexts, the subject complement may sound less strange, such as "This is she" rather than "This is her."
Among older fiction writers, characters sometimes speak in an ungrammatical way, but an authorial note will then point this out. In "The Curse of the Golden Cross,"
G. K. Chestertonwrites,
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewiswrites,
One should say "who is it?", as opposed to the incorrect "whom is it?". This often causes confusion when explaining, as the more infrequent usage of "It is I", opting instead for "It is me" would imply that "me" is the object of the verb "to be", and therefore "whom" ought to be employed.
Perhaps the simplest example is the existential question "Who am I?" It shows both questions. It should be apparent to most that "Whom am I," "Who is me," and even worse, "Whom is me" are all incorrect.
At this point, the use of the subjective in the subject complement has almost entirely disappeared. Both usages are still current, but the use of subjective in the subject complement is much less common.
The use of a nominative complement "It is I" is by no means universal in other languages. For example, French-speakers say "c'est moi" (it is me) not "c'est je". Here, "moi" is a
disjunctive pronoun, or less technically, a "stressed pronoun.
Predicative (adjectival or nominal)
Disputed English grammar
English personal pronouns
* [http://alt-usage-english.org/excerpts/fxitsmev.html AUE: FAQ excerpt]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
subject complement — noun A complement which is coupled to a subject. In the sentence That is a flying car! , that is the subject and flying car is the subject complement … Wiktionary
subject complement — Gram. a word or a group of words, usually functioning as an adjective or noun, that is used in the predicate following a copula and describes or is identified with the subject of the sentence, as sleepy in The travelers became sleepy. Also called … Universalium
subject complement — Gram. a word or a group of words, usually functioning as an adjective or noun, that is used in the predicate following a copula and describes or is identified with the subject of the sentence, as sleepy in The travelers became sleepy. Also called … Useful english dictionary
subject complement — sub′ject com plement n. gram. a word or group of words, usu. functioning as an adjective or noun, that is used in the predicate following a copula and describes or is identified with the subject of the sentence, as sleepy in The travelers were… … From formal English to slang
Complement (linguistics) — In grammar the term complement is used with different meanings. The primary meaning is a word, phrase or clause which is necessary in a sentence to complete its meaning. We find complements which function as an argument (i.e. of equal status to… … Wikipedia
complement — complementer, n. n. /kom pleuh meuhnt/; v. /kom pleuh ment /, n. 1. something that completes or makes perfect: A good wine is a complement to a good meal. 2. the quantity or amount that completes anything: We now have a full complement of packers … Universalium
complement — com•ple•ment n. [[t]ˈkɒm plə mənt[/t]] v. [[t] ˌmɛnt[/t]] n. 1) something that completes or makes perfect: A good wine is a complement to a good meal[/ex] 2) the quantity or amount that completes anything: We now have a full complement of bridge… … From formal English to slang
complement — 1. noun /ˈkɒmpləmənt,ˈkɑːmpləmənt/ a) Something (or someone) that completes; the consummation. perform all those works of mercy, which Clemens Alexandrinus calls amoris et amicitiæ impletionem et extentionem, the extent and complement of love [ … Wiktionary
complement — complement, compliment, complementary, complimentary 1. Complement and compliment each function as noun and verb; in pronunciation they are largely indistinguishable except that in the verbal function compliment has a fuller i sound in its second … Modern English usage
Complement set email filtering — Complement Set Filtering (CSF) is a method for filtering unsolicited bulk email (UBE or spam) The technique utilizes at least two email accounts: the primary account where spam and non spam is received and secondary accounts that receive only… … Wikipedia