Identifying subject and predicate in a sentence


Is there any flexibility regarding what the subject of a sentence could be, if there are two nouns in the sentence? I read that the subject is usually at the beginning of a sentence, but not always. So could I technically consider the second noun to be the subject and the rest of the sentence to be "what we know about it" / predicate?


ex. The wind blew up the chimney.


Chimney is a noun, and what we know about it is that the wind blew up it. So can chimney be the subject and "the wind blew up" would be a fronted predicate? I think the verb would be considered passive in this case.

Or is it that since the sentence is in active voice, I cannot label the sentence in a way that would require the verb to  be passive.

subject predicate asked Sep 23 '13 at 21:47 sali New member

1 answer


The way your sentence, 'the wind blew up the chimney', is written, 'wind' is the only word that can be the subject.  'Chimney' is the object of the preposition 'up'.  If it were rewritten in passive voice, 'chimney' could be the subject, but the sentence would be horrible.

The chimney was blown up by the wind.  Now, the meaning is that the wind destroyed the chimney.  Even if you change the original preposition to 'down', which makes more sense anyway, it wouldn't work in the passive voice.

link comment answered Sep 24 '13 at 10:34 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

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