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CHAPTER L

SUBJECT COMPLEMENTS

What are the italicized words in these sentences ?

It was not I.
It is she.
It was he.
It might have been they.

was
He became president.

was made

were
They became rich.

were made

At first glance they look like objects, for they follow their predicates and stand just where objects would stand. But if they were objects, I would be me, she would be her, he would be him, and they would be them. The word rich, moreover, is an adjective and adjectives cannot be objects. Another reason why these italicized words cannot be objects is that the verbs preceding them are not transitive (see Chapter XLVIII). Another difference between these words and the objects that we have already studied is that each italicized word refers to the subject of the sentence. This is not the case with objects. We may say, then, that each italicized word serves to complete or complement the predicate but refers to the subject.

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The subject complement completes the predicate and refers to the subject.

The subject complement is sometimes called the predicate noun, the predicate adjective, the predicate pronoun, the predicate nominative, and the attribute complement.

EXERCISES

I

Tell why the italicized words in these sentences are subject complements and not objects : 1. Old England is our home, and Englishmen are we; Our tongue is known in every clime, our flag in every sea.

MARY HOWITT: Old England Is Our Home.

2. I am not a Virginian, but an American.

PATRICK HENRY: Speech, 1774.

3. Beauty is truth, truth beauty, — that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

KEATS: Ode on a Grecian Urn.

4. Perhaps it may turn out a sang (song) Perhaps turn out a sermon.

– BURNS: Epistle to a Young Friend. 5. Few, few shall part where many meet !

The snow shall be their winding sheet,
And
every

turf beneath their feet
Shall be a soldier's sepulchre.

THOMAS CAMPBELL: Hohenlinden. 6. Culture is never quantity, it is always quality of knowledge; it is never an extension of ourselves by additions from without, it is always enlargement of ourselves by development from within.

- MABIE: Books and Culture.

7. Be of good cheer; it is I, be not afraid.

- Matthew 14:27.

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II. The water is still and calm below,

For the winds and waves are absent there,
And the sands are bright as the stars that glow
In the motionless fields of

upper

air. — J. G. PERCIVAL: The Coral Grove.

II

Construct with each of these predicates a sentence containing a subject complement:

shone looked tastes

have always been
is growing
will be chosen
has become

was elected
appeared
will be nominated
was considered

seems

III

Use these words as subject complements : I, they, she, commander-in-chief, you, we, he, preacher, teacher, famous.

CHAPTER LI

APPOSITION

Study the italicized words in these sentences :

1. Woodrow Wilson, the president of the United States, was the first to sign the peace treaty.

2. Lloyd George, the premier of England, signed the treaty next. 3. The tricolor, the French flag, flew at the mast. 4. The report that you were wounded was generally believed.

5. Keats's favorite position one foot raised on his other knee — remained imprinted on her memory.

6. Peary, the great explorer, reached the North Pole.

The words in italics are placed next to another word or group of words for the purpose of explanation, and are called appositives. The word (or group of words) to which the appositive refers is called the antecedent.

Re-read the sentences, omitting the appositives. You will see that appositives may be omitted without affecting the grammatical form of sentences.

An appositive is a word or group of words placed next to another word or group of words for the purpose of explanation.

The appositive is said to be in apposition with its antecedent.

EXERCISES

I What words are in apposition with the italicized words in these selections ?

1. Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense,

,
Lie in three words, — health, peace, and competence.

- POPE: Essay on Man.

2. Free trade, one of the greatest blessings which a government can confer on a people, is in almost every country unpopular.

MACAULAY: On Mitford's History of Greece.

3. My country, 'tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing.

- SAMUEL FRANCIS SMITH: National Hymn.

4. Humility, that low, sweet root
From which all heavenly virtues shoot.

- THOMAS MOORE: The Loves of the Angels.

5. Methinks I see it now, that one solitary, adventurous vessel, the Mayflower of a forlorn hope, freighted with the prospects of a future state, and bound across an unknown sea.

- EDWARD EVERETT: The Mayflower.

6. All hail, Columbus, discoverer, dreamer, hero, and apostle!

CHAUNCEY M. DEPEW: Columbus.

II

Construct sentences in which each of the following groups of words shall stand in apposition with an antecedent:

1. “the father of his country.”
2. "Mother, home, and heaven."
3.

" the well known merchant."
4. “the greatest inventor of modern times."
5.

“the author of The Raven.

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