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    #1

    Underline the subject in the sentence

    Hello everyone I have a little problem with that question. Where is the subject ?

    There are many books on the shelf.

    I think the subject is "There". Am I right?

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Underline the subject in the sentence

    No. This is a delayed subject construction. The real subject is "many books".

  2. lotus888's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Underline the subject in the sentence

    In that sentence, "there" is an expletive.

    http://www.english-grammar-revolution.com/there-is.html

    There are many books on the shelf.
    Many books are on the shelf.

    PS -- The diagramming section in the website is fun.


    --lotus
    Last edited by lotus888; 17-Sep-2014 at 04:42.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Underline the subject in the sentence

    "Expletive" is not a common part of speech. Many dictionaries call "there" in that use a pronoun. But I agree that is not a completely satisfying appellation.

  4. lotus888's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Underline the subject in the sentence

    Ergo the confusion:

    A pronoun is its definition, but an expletive is its function.


    --lotus

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    #6

    Re: Underline the subject in the sentence

    I don't care much for "expletive" in that use.

  6. lotus888's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Underline the subject in the sentence

    I guess we're just too used to !@#$%. I would use the definition "null pronoun."


    --lotus

  7. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Underline the subject in the sentence

    If that were widely accepted, I would go for that.

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    #9

    Re: Underline the subject in the sentence

    archanger, there is no need to write a new post just to say "Thank you". It makes us think there is new information or a follow-up question and we spend time opening the thread. Simply click on the "Thank" button at the bottom left-hand corner of any post you find helpful.

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    #10

    Re: Underline the subject in the sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by archanger View Post
    I think the subject is "There". Am I right?


    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Archanger:

    You have already received the answer, and if I were you, I would definitely follow that advice on a test.

    But I have some information that may make you feel a little better: at least one book agrees with you!

    In Making Sense of Grammar (1980) by John Clark Jordan, he argues that "there" in your kind of sentence should be called the subject.

    Mr. Jordan is described as a former Professor of English and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Arkansas. So maybe we should not immediately dismiss his opinion.

    I do not really understand his reasoning, so I shan't try to explain it to you! But I think that the lesson for us is to remember that in English grammar, sometimes there may be more than one way to analyze a sentence.



    James

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