Complement is a grammatical term used to construct better meaning of sentence. It may be noun, noun phrase, noun clause, adjective or adjective phrase as per the requirement of the given sentence. Among the various complements in the english grammar, subject and object complements are so important to express meaning effectively.
Meaning of subject complement
Subject complement is a noun, noun phrase, or adjective. Sometimes, it may be a noun clause as well.
India is a developing nation. In this example, “a developing nation” is the description of subject–India.
It is expressing something extra about India. Here, linking verb is “is” which connect description “a developing nation” with subject.
Usually, subject complement follows linking verb not helping verb.
In case of direct object, helping auxiliary is preferred instead linking verb.
Simply, subject complement is the additional information or description about the subject itself linked by a linking verb.
Useful examples of subject complement
Let’s see some useful examples of subject complement:–
•As a noun or noun phrase — He is Jack. That is a tiger. It is a butterfly.
•As a adjective or adjective phrase– Himalaya is amazing. It is a lofty mountain. Amazon is a big river. Andes is a volcanic mountain.
•Generally, adverbs aren’t used for subject complement.
Definition of object complement
Now, let’s see the correct use of object complement.
While learning object complement, one must not get confused with direct object, adverbial complement, and verb complement.
Like subject complement, object complement may be a noun pronoun, or adjective. But, in this case, object complement isn’t used to describe subject. Actually, it is used to rename the noun it qualify.
Object complement always follows the direct object of the sentence. Whereas, subject complement follows linking verb.
Examples of object complements
•Teacher noticed students playing in the classroom
•Gardner found boy stealing mangoes.
•People termed leader incapable for them.
These examples show that the words like playing, stealing or incapable are used either to rename the earlier object or becoming something else.
On the other hand, adverbial complement is used to express time, place, purpose etc. for the action performed in the sentence.
I think this enough to understand the meaning and use of subject and object complements. I will explain adverbial complements in the next blog in the detailed manner.