Sentence Elements
2.1B
Complex and Compound Subjects

What is a complex subject?

A complex subject consists of a noun phrase and any words, phrases, or clauses that modify it.

Examples:
          The man who had followed us inside walked over to the
          telephone.

               central noun    - man
               complex subject - the man who had followed us inside


          The superior performance of La Traviata pleased the
          wealthy audience.

               central noun    -  performance
               complex subject -  the superior performance of La Traviata
What is a compound subject?

A compound subject consists of two or more noun phrases (and their modifiers if any) joined together with a coordinating conjunction.

Examples:
          The man and the woman walked over to the telephone.

              The compound subject here is the whole phrase,
              "the man and the woman."

          Neither the superior performance of La Traviata nor
          the excellent wine at intermission pleased the wealthy
          audience.

              Again, the whole phrase, "neither the superior
              performance of La Traviata nor the excellent wine
              at intermission," is the subject.  The phrase
              answers the question, "What pleased the wealthy
              audience?"
Complex and Compound Subjects

Type in all the words which constitute the complex or compound subject. If your response shows as "Incorrect" in the status bar, the correct answer will appear in the blank.

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Copyright © 1998
English Department
University of Calgary

Last updated: July 26 1999