Subject, Predicate and Object

A sentence is a group of words that gives a complete meaning, thought or idea. A sentence has the following three parts.

  1. Subject
  2. Predicate
  3. Object


A subject is a noun or a pronoun used in a sentence. It is an agent that does some work or performs some action. See the following example.

  • He is eating an apple.
  • She is writing a story.
  • They play football.
  • David works in a factory.

In the above examples, He, She, They, David are the subjects in the sentences because they are performing certain actions. For instance, in the first sentence, ‘he’ is the subject because he is doing some work (i.e., eating). In the second sentence, ‘she’ is the subject because she is doing some work (i.e., writing). 

In most cases, the subject is the person that performs a certain action. However, in a few cases, the subject may not necessarily be performing some action but is still majorly focused on within the sentence. Therefore, a subject may also be defined as a noun or pronoun, about which something is told in the sentence.


  • He is happy.
  • She looks beautiful.
  • He seems to be angry.

For the above example, it can be said that subject is the noun or pronoun that is referred to in the sentence. This definition applies to sentences having stative verbs. Generally, verbs (e.g., eat, write) express an action but the stative verbs express a state of something rather than an action of something. In the above, the verbs ‘seem’ and ‘look’ are stative verbs because they express a state of being angry or beautiful in the sentences.


Unlike the subject who does some work, the object is the thing on which some work is being done. It can be a noun (or sometimes a pronoun), on which some work is being done in the sentence. The subject is the actor of the sentence who acts upon the object. See the following example.

  • He is eating an apple.

In the above example, ‘apple’ is the object because some work is being done on it (i.e., it is being eaten). Now, recall from previous examples that ‘he’ is the subject in the above sentence because he is doing some work (i.e., eating) but ‘apple’ is the object because some work is being done on it (i.e., it is being eaten).


  • She is singing a song.
  • He is writing a letter.
  • She is repairing her laptop.
  • They are making a table.

It should be noted that all sentences do not have an object. This is because some verbs do not require an object and they can express full meaning without an object for them in the sentence. These verbs are called intransitive verbs. Hence, sentences having intransitive verbs may not have an object. See the following examples.

  • He is laughing.
  • She is sleeping.
  • They are running.

On the other hand, some verbs do require an object to express full meaning, which are called transitive verbs. For instance, ‘buy’ is a transitive verb. We cannot use verb ‘buy’ without an object such as ‘He bought ___”. There should be an object for the verb ‘buy’ in a sentence to give complete meaning or sense, e.g., He bought a book. He bought a chair. The object ‘book’ or ‘chair’ completes the meaning or sense of the sentence.


A predicate is the part of the sentence other than the subject. It is the large part of a sentence that generally includes the verb, prepositions and object. It is sometimes defined as the part of a sentence which say something about the subject of the sentence such as that what the subject is doing and what is that on which the work is being done by the subject.

The underlined part in each of the following sentences is the predicate part of the sentence.

  • She will buy a camera.
  • He broke the cup.
  • She is writing a poem.
  • He is laughing.
  • They are making a noise.
  • John works in a hospital.
  • They are playing football.



Articles in English Grammar