A simple subject simply tells about a sentence without any modifiers. It means that a simple subject can be a main word that tells about the action (verb) which is going on in a sentence.
1. The children ate the whole box full of chocolates.
In the above example, ‘the children’ is the simple subject. The simple subject ‘the children’ is doing the action (verb), ‘ate.’
2. Sarah sings very sweetly.
In the above example, ‘Sarah’ is the simple subject, who is doing the action (verb), ‘sings.’
Note: You can see in the above examples that there are no modifiers attached to the simple subjects, ‘the children’ and ‘Sarah.’
Do not confuse yourself with a Simple Subject and a Complete Subject
Simple subject vs. complete subject is always a discussion. Think about a complete subject as the opposite of a simple subject.
A complete subject is a subject that tells what is going on in a sentence with modifiers attached to it. It means that a complete subject does not stand alone in a sentence. Let us see in the examples below.
1. Five cute little angels stayed at my place for one month.
In the above example, ‘five cute little angels’ is the complete subject that is doing the verb. In this complete subject, ‘angels’ is the simple subject.
2. The shiny golden dress made her look much better.
In the above example, ‘the shiny golden dress’ is the complete subject; whereas, ‘dress’ is the simple subject.
You have seen in the above examples that the simple subject is only a single word however; the complete subject may consist of more than two words that are called ‘the modifiers.’
Note: Prepositional phrases do not include a simple or a complete subject. So, never try to find out subjects in such phrases.
Find out the simple subject in the following examples. Remember one thing, a simple subject is the only word who will perform an action and does not include any modifier.
1. My lovely friends will definitely come this week.
2. The glittery pencils made your assignment so attractive.
3. Red velvet cake is one of my favorite cakes.
4. The long and hard ways will not harm you.
5. In the movie, the super hero saves the whole town.
*Answers at the end.
To conclude, a simple and a complete subject refer to the main word or words but there is a slight difference between them. A simple subject is the word who performs the action and does not include any modifiers. A complete subject, on the other hand, is the word or words that perform the action and it does include modifiers to modify the simple subject.
Answers: 1) friends 2) pencils 3) cake 4) ways 5) hero