COMPLEMENTS In grammar, complements enhance various sentence parts. Subjects Verbs Objects of the sentence.
LINKING TO A SUBJECT COMPLEMENT Subject complements give you more information about the subject or puts the subject in different words. Examples: Beards are facial hair. (beards and facial hair are essentially the same thing). My friend is a lawyer. (friend and lawyer are the same)
BUT Don’t confuse complements with objects. Objects are separate entities from the subject. Beards disgust my sister. (my sister is the object)
THIS IS HOW YOU REMEMBER IT….. Trick for remembering. When the complement is the same entity as the subject, you have a complement. When the object is a separate entity, you have an object. Rabbits are adorable pets. complement – rabbits and adorable pets are the same thing. Rabbits eat grass. object
COMPLEMENTS CAN ALSO BE ADJECTIVE PHRASES Example: Puppies are cute. My legs are tired and sore. Be sure to check what follows the verb.
COMPLEMENTING A DIRECT OBJECT Objects can have complements too. Just as a subject complement renames or adds additional information to the subject, object complements rename or add additional information about the object. Example: My dog scared the mailman to death. I called my brother Jimmy a jerk.
REMEMBER Remember that a direct object receives some action from the subject. Direct object complements expand on this relationship when appropriate. Sometimes you might want to write, “The dog ate the cake” and leave it at that. Other times you need more information, like “The dog ate the cake at the wedding.”
SOME OBJECT COMPLEMENTS ARE NOUNS OR NOUN PHRASES. I refer to my cat as a little gentleman. I think of your mom as my mom.
SOME OBJECT COMPLEMENTS CONSIST OF ADJECTIVES Powerful movies make people sad. I considered your mom friendly.
SOMETIMES IT CAN BE A PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE The dog chased the squirrel up the tree. I learned to read novels in the dark.
TAKING ACTION ON NOUNS WITH VERB COMPLEMENTS Verb complements add a little extra information, expanding on the verb, to explain exactly what the verb is doing.
INFINITIVES AS VERB COMPLEMENTS Remember to+verb=infinitive. Jill wanted to leave. I’m working to save money.
DRIVING YOU CRAZY YET? Don’t let the fact that some verb complements are also direct objects drive you crazy. Grammar, as you know, is terribly complex.
GERUNDS AS VERB COMPLEMENTS A gerund can also be a verb complement. Verb ending in “ing” acting like a noun.
EXAMPLES The girl likes hunting. (hunting is the gerund as a verb complement – it is complementing what she likes) I like to hunt. (to hunt is an infinitive)
NOUN PHRASES AS VERB COMPLEMENTS Other times, the verb complement is a noun phrase or clause. I wonder what’s on TV. Did you eat what was in the refrigerator?
THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO REMEMBER… Complements add information to a subject, verb, or object. Subject complements rephrase or supplement the subject. “My sister is a teacher” and “My brother is weird.” Verb complements add information to a verb and can be infinitives, gerunds, or noun phrases. Object complements work exactly like subject complements, rephrasing or describing the object, as secure does in the sentence “The president made the country secure.”
IN THE FOLLOWING SENTENCES, WRITE THE SENTENCE, UNDERLINE THE SUBJECT OR OBJECT COMPLEMENT AND TELL WHAT TYPE IS USED. 1. Joe drove Jillian to the store. 2. where I come from, we call soda pop. 3.My hair is shiny and silky. 4.The scandal ruined the president’s life. 5.The singer is a great man.
CONTINUED… 6. Cats are independent and quirky. 7. Poodles are hypoallergenic dogs. 8.I throw a football like a loser. 9.The coffee shop is pretentious and annoying. 10.The snowboarder is a drug addict.
ANSWERS 1. Joe drove Jillian to the store. (object) 2. where I come from, we call soda pop. (object_ 3.My hair is shiny and silky. (subject) 4.The scandal ruined the president’s life. (none) 5.The singer is a great man. (subject)
CONTINUED 6. Cats are independent and quirky. (subject) 7. Poodles are hypoallergenic dogs. (subject) 8.I throw a football like a loser. (none) 9.The coffee shop is pretentious and annoying. (subject) 10.The snowboarder is a drug addict. (subject)
IN THE FOLLOWING SENTENCES, WRITE THE SENTENCE, IDENTIFY THE VERB COMPLEMENT AND WHAT TYPES IT IS. (INFINITIVE, GERUND, OR NOUN PHRASE). 1. John likes to grill. 2.I dropped my phone in the lake. 3.Sometimes I teach swimming. 4.My dog loves chewing things. 5.I hate that my mom is usually right.
CONTINUED… 6.My mom learned to ride a bike. 7.I can never remember to tip. 8.Leanne’s dog loves to chase. 9.Most cats like to scratch. 10.Some people think that the moon landing was faked.
ANSWERS 1. John likes to grill. (verb complement, infinitive) 2.I dropped my phone in the lake. (none) 3.Sometimes I teach swimming. (verb complement, gerund) 4.My dog loves chewing things. (verb complement, gerund) 5.I hate that my mom is usually right. (verb complement, gerund)
CONTINUED… 6.My mom learned to ride a bike. (verb, infinitive) 7.I can never remember to tip. (verb, infinitive) 8.Leanne’s dog loves to chase. (verb, infinitive) 9.Most cats like to scratch. (verb, infinitive) 10.Some people think that the moon landing was faked. (verb, noun phrase)