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  1. #1
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    Cool Identifying subject and verbs????

    Having a discussion with a colleague...Which are the main subjects and main verbs in these sentences?? my suggestions are underlined ?????

    1. Once she had collected the prize money, she gave whoever she saw what she considered reasonable.

    2.
    There was once a man who owned 5 laptops. (There is a existensial subject)

    3.
    Why he decided to come home is what we want to find out.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Identifying subject and verbs????

    You're right about the subjects. ( Grammarians call "there" in 2) "pronominal there." )
    The verbs you're looking for are:
    1) gave
    2) was
    3) is

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    Cool Re: Identifying subject and verbs????

    What is the word "once" is it an adverbial of time?

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    Default Re: Identifying subject and verbs????

    Quote Originally Posted by dranoelwcs View Post
    What is the word "once". [I]s it an adverbial of time?
    Yes, it's an adverb. It means at one time in the past, formerly.

    Once Definition | Definition of Once at Dictionary.com

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    Default Re: Identifying subject and verbs????

    All 3 sentences are complex sentences right?

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    Default Re: Identifying subject and verbs????

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Yes, it's an adverb. It means at one time in the past, formerly.

    Once Definition | Definition of Once at Dictionary.com
    1. Once she had collected the prize money, she gave whoever she saw what she considered reasonable.
    Your source gives this usage as a conjunction in sentence 1:

    conj. As soon as; if ever; when: Once he goes, we can clean up.

    2. There was once a man who owned 5 laptops. (There is a existensial subject)
    In sentence 2 it's an adverb.

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    Default Re: Identifying subject and verbs????

    Quote Originally Posted by dranoelwcs View Post
    What is the word "once" is it an adverbial of time?
    It's an adverbial conjunction.

    1. Once she had collected the prize money, she gave whoever she saw what she considered reasonable.

    You could use "as soon as" in its place.

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    Default Re: Identifying subject and verbs????

    Quote Originally Posted by dranoelwcs View Post
    All 3 sentences are complex sentences right?
    Yes, they are complex sentences. However, let's take a closer look at sentence number three.

    As this sentence is here, we could say that it has one subject and one verb even though both the subject and the predicate noun are noun clauses. This could make an argument for calling it a simple sentence despite the fact that the subject and the predicate noun, as I said, are noun clauses. In this form we could say that the sentence is a wh cleft sentence.

    3. Why he decided to come home is what we want to find out.

    Now let's rewrite the sentence and take another look.

    We want to find out why he decided to come home.

    Now it is most definitely a complex sentence, with "why he decided to come home" functioning as the object of the verb "find out". Of course, "why he decided to come home" is a noun clause.

    Let's rewrite the sentence again. Now it appears as a more familiar wh cleft sentence because the clause that starts with "what" is at the beginning, and "why he decided to come home" is now the clause that functions as the predicate noun.

    What we want to find out is why he decided to come home.

    Now, take a look here. What is a cleft sentence?

    DefinitionA cleft sentence is a complex sentence in which a simple sentence is expressed using a main clause and a subordinate clause. In English the prototypical cleft sentence has the following form: it + be + X + subordinate clause


    And take a look here. I've called it a wh cleft sentence, but they call it a pseudo cleft sentence here. http://www.sil.org/linguistics/GlossaryOfLinguisticTerms/WhatIsAPseudoCleftSentence.htm


    DefinitionA pseudo-cleft sentence is a kind of cleft sentence in which the subordinated clause is a relative clause headed by an interrogative pro-form. In English they are of the form: wh-relative clause + be + X

    X can be a constituent of one of many varieties.

    The so-called 'inverted' pseudo-cleft sentence reverses the order of the two constituents:
    X + be + wh-relative clause

    Examples Pseudo-cleft Inverted pseudo-cleft

    What John gave to Mary were flowers Flowers were what John gave to Mary.

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    Default Re: Identifying subject and verbs????

    Thanks really cleared up my misconceptions. So I should use an inversion test to test if it is complex or not. much clearer now.

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