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Using Pronouns as Subject Complements

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Using Pronouns as Subject Complements

Traditional grammars define nouns as naming people, places, things, and ideas. Noun phrases consist of a noun including a pronoun and any modifiers, complements, and determiners that provide more information about the noun or pronoun. A pronoun is word that takes the place of a noun, noun phrase, noun clause, or other nominal form. Pronouns are a subcategory of nouns.

In grammar, a subject complement is a word, phrase, or clause that follows a copular, or linking, verb and describes the subject of a clause. A noun that performs the grammatical function of subject complement is also called a predicate nominative or predicate noun. In addition to nouns, pronouns may also perform the function of subject complement. Examples of pronouns as subject complements include the following:

  • This is she. (personal pronoun)
  • The winner was you. (personal pronoun)
  • The grand prize is that. (demonstrative pronoun)
  • Your entry for the science fair is what? (interrogative pronoun)
  • The group leader will be who? (interrogative pronoun)
  • My daughter will become somebody. (indefinite pronoun)
  • You resemble somebody I know. (indefinite pronoun)
  • The strange man in the video remains nobody important. (indefinite pronoun)

Pronoun as Subject Complement

Pronoun as Subject Complement

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References

Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Written by Heather Johnson

Heather is a writer, librarian, linguist, wife, and mother who loves her husband, daughter, son, dogs, and cat. She writes The Parenting Patch, which is a parenting blog, information, and news plus reviews, recipes, crafts, homeschooling, and more.

Using Pronouns as Subjects

Using Pronouns as Subjects

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