What Is a Complement?

Welcome to this week’s Anabelle’s Minute Writing Workshop.

In following with last week’s post about sentences, I am now adding an extra element to our basic sentence: the complement.

(Disclaimer: my French background may come out here, as in English they divide their sentences in two parts: subject and predicate. The predicate is basically verb+complement, but you’ll see later why it’s actually easier to separate them.)

Simply put, a complement adds information to a verb.

Let’s take our two sentences from last week’s example, “I am” and “John walks”. The complement adds information to contextualize the information. For example, in “I am hungry” and “John walks home”, “hungry” and “home” are complements.

This is a simple, direct complement; these can gain in complexity as you use different types of clauses to expand on this simple S-V-C structure.

Next week I’ll be expanding on this concept of clause. Stay tuned!

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