ABE English Tutorials/simple sentences/Here and There
Here and there
In the lesson on Modifiers, we were introduced to the adverbs "here" and "there". These words can seem to be the subject in a sentence, as in the following examples:
- Here is today's newspaper.
- There are four different kinds of coffee in this box.
Let's look at the first example more closely. What's the verb in this sentence? The verb is "is".(Although "is" is not an action verb, it does describe a "state of being". "Is" and "are" are verbs, and very common ones, too.)
In the sentence: "Here is today's newspaper.", what are we talking about? We are talking about "today's newspaper". In fact, we could write this sentence: "Today's newspaper is here." When we write it like this, you can see clearly that the subject is "today's newspaper", even though in the original sentence, this part did not come first.
Now let's look at the second example. In the sentence: "There are four different kinds of coffee in this box.", the verb is "are". But what are we talking about: what's the subject of this sentence? What are? The answer is: "Four different kinds of coffee are ......" Now it is easier to see that the different kinds of coffee is the subject. The word "there", even though it appears at the beginning of the sentence, is still a kind of adverb."Here" and "there" are [almost] never the subject of a sentence.
- This sentence could be re-written: "Your lost bedroom slippers are here." The subject is slippers.
- This sentence could be re-written: "A new student was (there) in class today." (We would usually leave the word "there" out of the re-write.) subject: student
- This sentence could be re-written: Four quarters are (there) in a a dollar." (We would usually leave the word "there" out of the re-write.).Subject: quarters.
We've now learned a number of the "parts of speech": nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, objects, prepositions and phrases. You may be wondering: "Is this going to be on the test? Will I have to identify the noun, preposition, etc. on the GED itself?" The answer (thank goodness!) is "no". The most essential parts of any sentence are the subject and the verb. (We will go into this topic more in later lessons.) But before you can find where the subject and verb are in a sentence, you first have to be able to tell where they are not.
So to find the subject of a sentence, first try to find the verb -- the word or words which describe what someone or something is doing or being. Then try to figure out which word (or words) tell who or what is doing the action. The subject won't be an adjective or an adverb. The subject won't be where the object is. And remember that you won't find the subject inside a phrase: you can mentally "cross out" any phrases in the sentence when you're trying to find where the subject is.
Try to find the subject in each of the following:
- I enjoy music, art and good food.
- There are many other things in the world to enjoy.
- In the mornings, my dog likes to go for a walk.
- The nephew of my brother's wife lives in Orillia.
- The subject is I. (music, art and good food are objects)
- The subject is things. (don't choose "there" as the subject!)
- The subject is dog. ("In the mornings" is a phrase)
- The subject is nephew. ("of my brother's wife" is a phrase)
If you're ready for the here and there homework, click here.