In a sentence we distinguish the principal parts, the secondary parts and the independent elements. The principal parts of the sentence are the subject and the predicate.
The subjectis the principal part of a two-member sentence which is grammatically independent of the other parts of the sentence and on which the second principal part (the predicate) is dependent. The subject denotes a living being, a thing or an idea. It can be expressed by:
1) a noun (N) in the common case
· The waiter brought my tea.
Occasionally a N in the possessive case is used as the subject:
The subject is often expressed by the indefinite pronoun one or the personal pronouns they, you, we, which refer not to any particular person or thing but to people in general:
· Life is beastly short. One wants to live forever./….Õî÷åòñÿ æèòü âå÷íî.
· They say he’s clever./Ãîâîðÿò, ….
3) A substantivized adjective or participle:
· The wounded were taken good care of.
4) a numeral (cardinal or ordinal):
· The two were quite unable to do anything.
5) an infinitive, an infinitive phrase or construction;
· To live is to work.
6) a gerund, a gerundial phrase or construction:
· Lying doesn’t go well with me.
7) Any part of speech used as quotation:
· On is a preposition.
8) a group of words which is one part of the sentence:
· The needle and thread is lost.
It as the subject of the sentence
Notional subject – when it Formal subject – when it
represents a living being or a thing. doesn’t represent a living being
or a thing and performs purely
When it is a notional subject the pronoun it has the following meanings:
1) The personal it - It stands for a definite thing or some abstract idea
· The door opened. It was opened by a little girl.
2) the demonstrative it - It points out some person or thing expressed by a predicate, or it refers to the thought contained in the preceding statement
· It is John.
· It was a large room with a great window.
As a formal subjectit has the following meanings:
1) the impersonal it is used –
a) to denote natural phenomenon (state of weather, etc.) or that which characterizes the environment:
· It is cold in winter.
The state of weather can be also expressed by meant of there is construction. In such sentences the N introduced by there is is the subject:
· There was a heavy frost last night.
b) to denote time and distance:
· it is 5 minutes past 6.
· It is along way from the station.
2) the introductory/anticipatory itintroduces the real subject:
· It’s no use disguising facts.
3) The emphatic it is used for emphasis:
· It was he who won the race.
The predicateis the second principal part of the sentence which expresses an action, state, or quality of the person or thing denoted by the subject. It is grammatically dependent on the subject. According to the structure and the meanings of the predicate we distinguish 2 main types of predicate: the simple predicate and the compound predicate.