Subject and Object Complements
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Some clauses consist of a subject, the verb be and an expression that either modifies the subject or denotes something identical to the subject.
- Jane is a journalist.
- The children were very excited.
- Susie is in the shower.
The expression that modifies the subject in clauses like these is often called a subject complement. Subject complements can also follow other copular verbs like become, seem and look.
- Alice became a doctor.
- She looks depressed.
An object complement is a phrase which follows a direct object and either modifies that object or denotes something identical to it.
- She called me a liar.
- They made her a star.
- I consider hang-gliding dangerous.
Complements of verbs, nouns and adjectives
Words and expressions which complete the meaning of a verb, noun or adjective are also called complements.
- I am fond of children. (of children is the complement of the adjective fond.)
- I am sorry to tell you this. (to tell you this is the complement of the adjective sorry.)
- Let us get a bottle of wine. (of wine is the complement of the noun bottle.)
- She wants to find a new job. (to find a new job is the complement of the verb wants.)
It is important to know what kinds of complements can come after a particular word. For example, interested can be followed by in -- -ing or by an infinitive; want can be followed by an infinitive, but suggest cannot; on the other hand suggest can be followed by a that-clause, but want cannot.
- I am interested in learning to fly.
- I want to take a long holiday.
- The doctor suggested taking a long holiday.
- The doctor suggested that I should take a long holiday.
Sections in this article
Degrees of Comparison
Comparison using positive adjectives and adverbs
Comparison using comparative adjectives and adverbs
Comparison using superlative adjectives and adverbs
The difference between comparative and superlative
Degree modifiers with comparatives and superlatives
Comparison of adjectives and adverbs
Pronouns after as and than