Basic English Grammar 101 – Subjects

English grammar can be a very difficult. I know it was for me when I was in school and it definitely is for my students. So, lets start from the beginning. What are the most basic parts of English grammar? Well, today we are going to focus on one basic part, the Subject.



The subject is the part of sentence that is the topic or focus of the sentence. It is the part of the sentence that is doing or performing something. Usually the subject is a noun (person, place, or thing). By asking the question “who or what does something?”, we can easily identify the subject. Let’s look at a few examples.


Jack eats chocolate.             jack eats chocolate

In the above sentence “Jack” is the subject. He is the subject because he is the topic or focus of the sentence and he does something. He eats chocolate. Jack is also a noun. He is a person. Identifying the nouns in a sentence will help you recognize the subject.



In English grammar the subject usually comes before the verb. In our example sentence, “Jack” comes before “eats”. So, the placement of the noun in the sentence also indicates who or what is the subject.


Let’s look at an example.


The colorful tree is beautiful.


In the above sentence, “colorful tree” is the subject. It comes before the verb “is” which is a “to be” verb.


Complete vs Simple Subject

The above example is a little more complex. The noun includes an adjective which is a word that describes the noun. the adjective and noun together are called the complete subject. The complete subject includes the words that describe the subject. If we take away the describing word “colorful”, the simple subject “tree” is found.



Every sentence in English has a subject. When you are listening or reading English, you will need to be able to recognize the subject to follow the conversation or story. When you are speaking or writing, your listener or reader will need to know the subject to understand you well. The subject is a very important part of English!



Subjects are a very basic and important part of English. It is the focus or topic of a sentence and is usually a noun.  It is important to recognize the subject when listening and reading and its important to establish a subject when speaking or writing.


For more examples on identifying the subject of a sentence and for subject exercises, please visit my facebook page.


Thanks for visiting and don’t forget to comment below.


Happy Learning,

Justin, Passport English

English Language Teacher

As an experienced English language teacher with over 12 years class room experience, I have seen the good and bad when it comes to English teaching and English learning. I’ve used countless programs, curriculum and teaching styles. The main constant I have witnessed in students who excel in English is the presence of a native speaker.

English is a difficult language with numerous grammar rules, exceptions, idioms, and slang. To truly become fluent, one must incorporate speaking practice with a native speaker in their learning. The best way for a learner to practice speaking is to connect with a native English language speaker. This can be done in a social, professional or scholastic environment.

English language learners should ideally interact with a native speaker 3-5 times a week to develop fluent language skills. In my experience, students who regularly socialize with native speakers improve their speaking, listening, writing, and reading at a much faster rate than students who attend classes or self study. Regular interaction provides opportunities for live sentence formation, vocabulary usage, and real world speaking and listening practice.

This is a large part of what we do at Passport English. We connect learners with native English speakers in a live environment to quickly improve your English language skills in a practical and comfortable way. We believe that English fluency will open up opportunities and broaden your horizons. English is your passport to the world. Visit today to see how we can help you.




Justin Gray is the owner and head teacher of Passport English. He is TESOL certified and has taught all over the world but currently resides and teaches in his home State of Oregon in the USA.