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Compound subjects

Sometimes a sentence will have more than one thing doing something. I don’t mean a group of things, but different things doing the same activity. For instance:

Compound subjects

In this sentence, the verb is ‘ran’. So you need to ask yourself, who or what is doing the running? Well, ‘Jeremy and Michael’ are the ones doing the running. They make up the compound subject.

Compound subjects are made up of two or more nouns or noun phrases. So you can get quite lengthy compound subjects if they’re made up of multiple long noun phrases:

The thundering of running dinosaurs and the screaming of humans filled cinemas worldwide.

OK, so what’s the main verb? It’s ‘filled’. So who or what was doing the filling? Well, ‘the thundering of running dinosaurs and screaming of humans’ was doing the filling. So that’s the compound subject made up of two noun phrases - ‘the thundering of running dinosaurs’ and ‘the screaming of humans’.

The two or more nouns or noun phrases in a compound subject are joined together by a coordinating conjunction, like ‘and’.