What Is a Subject?

In English grammar, a subject is a part of a sentence that usually indicates the person or thing carrying out an action or being in a state. Essentially, it is the “who” or “what” of a sentence.

Examples of Subjects in Sentences

The following are examples of subjects in sentences:

  • The cat jumped onto the table.
  • The boy is running to school.
  • My neighbor is a doctor.
  • Everyone in the family loves pizza.

In each of these sentences, the subject appears before the verb and is highlighted in bold.

Types of Subjects

In English grammar, there are two types of subjects: simple and compound. A simple subject is just the main word or words in the subject of the sentence, while a compound subject is composed of two or more simple subjects that are joined by a conjunction.

  • The cat jumped onto the table. (simple subject)
  • My neighbor and I went to the park. (compound subject)

In a compound subject, the verb agrees with the noun or pronoun closest to it.


Subjects are an important part of English grammar, as they help to identify what the sentence is about. It is important to understand the difference between simple and compound subjects, and to be able to identify them in a sentence. For more information on subjects, visit Grammarly’s guide to subjects and Purdue OWL’s guide to subjects and verbs.