Sentences, Phrases, and Clauses

Finding the Subject of an Imperative Sentence

Question:

What is the subject of an imperative sentence? I can’t seem to find one.

Answer:

The subject in an imperative sentence is the implied word you, which never actually appears in the sentence. For example, (You) Wash the dishes, please.

Indirect Objects

Question:

My students need help finding indirect objects. How can I help?

Answer:

Draw on the board a visual like the one below:

Write on the board several example sentences and answer this series of questions. Another trick is to move the direct object to the end of the sentence and add the word to or for. For example:

She gave me a dollar.
She gave a dollar to me.

In this example, me is the indirect object.

Searching for Subject and Object Complements

Question:

My kids have trouble recognizing subject and object complements. Is there a creative way to show or explain to them how to locate these concepts in a sentence?

Answer:

A subject complement is a noun that renames the subject. It always follows a linking verb, such as forms of be, become, or remain. In the following example, teacher is the subject complement: 

Mr. Kennedy is my teacher. 

Tell your students to turn the linking verbs into equal signs. This should help them see that the subject complement renames the subject. 

Mr. Kennedy = teacher. Just as a subject complement renames the subject, an object complement renames the direct object. In the example below, president is the object complement: 

We voted Stephanie class president. 

In this example president renames Stephanie. You may wish to have your students draw equal signs to show the relationship between direct objects and object complements. Stephanie = president