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Years ago, black children were ____ to discrimination in many schools.

A. subjective B. subject

C. subjecting D. subjected

This question was posted on another forum. It seems B or D could both be right. When I searched on google I found plenty of examples of both. Can anyone tell me which is better? Is there a difference between these two answers?Many thanks!!
New Member06
Hi there,

I think answer number B is better, but it should be in plural form to fit with the rest of the sentence( children and were) . If D is the answer it seems like passive voice sentence and we should clear the doer of the action. This is my opinion.

All the best
New Member12
Here subject means likely to be affected by, but subjected means caused to undergo. (From Webster's Third New International Dictionary)

While black children were likely to be affected by discrimination, the stronger point is, I think, that they were caused to undergo discrimination.

PS
Another definition of subject is subjected, so this is a close one.
Full Member350
1 comment
InjuredpalestineHi there,

I think answer number B is better, but it should be in plural form to fit with the rest of the sentence( children and were) . If D is the answer it seems like passive voice sentence and we should clear the doer of the action. This is my opinion.

All the best

Thanks a bunch for your reply. I disagree though. What you were saying is the sentence should be : Years ago, black children were subjects to discrimination. In that case, 'subject' is a noun, shouldn't it be followed by 'of' instead of 'to'?

Sorry, my abilities to discuss English grammar questions are very limited. Hope you know what I was talking about. Emotion: stick out tongue
RvwHere subject means likely to be affected by, but subjected means caused to undergo. (From Webster's Third New International Dictionary)

While black children were likely to be affected by discrimination, the stronger point is, I think, that they were caused to undergo discrimination.

PS
Another definition of subject is subjected, so this is a close one.
I prefer answer D. Black children do not cause the discrimination. The discrimination's imposed on them. Like you said, they were caused to undergo discrimination.

It is a close one. I found as many "She was subject to sexual abuse" as "She was subjected to sexual abuse" through Google ....Emotion: tongue tied
The answer is B. The children were likely to experience discrimination.
Discrimination is not the sort of thing one is subjected to, in my opinion.

Someone can subjected to a painful procedure.
Someone can be subjected to torture, whether physical or mental.
There is an element of the purposeful infliction of something unpleasant, almost by force, in my opinion.
One could not simply call a child into a room and proceed to subject the child to discrimination. It doesn't make sense.

With discrimination, one may or may not encounter it or experience it. This is different from being subjected to something.
________

"subject to" is like "likely to" or "near to"; that is, it is not a noun and cannot occur in the plural form. As a noun, "subject" can be pluralized, however, as in "all the subjects of the king", "the queen and her subjects".

CJ
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Etymologically speaking, the verb "subject" comes from Latin verb "subjectare", whereas the adjective "subject" comes from the Latin "subjectus" which is the past participle of "subjectare". So "subject"(a) and "subjected"(p.p) are bound to carry the same senses from the viewpoint of their word origin.

OED gives the definitions and quotes as follows to the verb "subject" and the adjective "subject".

Verb "SUBJECT"
5. To lay open or expose to the incidence, occurrence, or infliction of, render liable to, something. Also occasionally to render susceptible to, predispose to.
(1549) Every thing is subjected to the process of the time. (1600) I rather will subject me to the malice of a diverted blood, and bloody brother. (1611) As oft as we do any thing of note or consequence, we subject ourselves to every ones censure. (1700) It stands upon contribution land, which subjects the environs to the Spanish incursions. (1701) A single man is subjected to one folly, infirmity, or vice. (1770) Having too much wool in them will subject them to soon hardening. (1792) It would only subject the people to a renewal of the former outrages. (1830) A mind thus deeply busied was necessarily subjected to its peculiar infirmities. (1845) Is all that is upon the farm subjected to taxation? (1861) A blow or an abusive expression subjected the offender to a fine.
8. To bring under the operation of an agent, agency, or process; to submit to certain treatment; to cause to undergo or experience something.
(1794) The polar parts being subjected to a colder medium, would be more compressed. (1801) One knows not how to subject to the laws of our perceptions that which is absolutely independent of them. (1838) The alcohol is then to be separated by subjecting the matter to strong pressure in cloth. (1842) This branch of garden management has been subjected to scientific inquiry. (1855) Subject the same persons to an extremely faint exhalation of the same substance. (1870) When people began to subject the principal historical religions to a critical analysis. (1907) Just after this caravan had moved on we were subjected to some torrential rainstorms.

Adjective "SUBJECT"
5. a.) Exposed or open to; prone to or liable to suffer from something damaging, deleterious, or disadvantageous.
(1374) It need not to say that blissfulness be not subject to grievances nor to sorrows. (1388) All things be subject to vanity. (1450) He that was undeadly was made subject to death. (1560) Therefore is he subject unto great perils and dangers. (1671) Subject to anarchy within. (1682) All humane things are subject to decay. (1700) Lord! what miseries are mortal men subject to. (1748) It is of a very impure, irregular, and somewhat coarse texture, but not subject to spots or clouds. (1760) These lands are very subject to worms. (1849) The Roman Catholics were subject to the disabilities. (1912) Here and there, nonconformists will still often be subject to certain social disadvantages.
b.) Exposed to violent treatment, damaging weather, or the like.
(1490) To that other she gives to be subject to the face of the right bloody sword. (1585) The city is very subject unto winds. (1604) This region is very moist and subject to rain. (1615) The Sultans themselves have been sometimes subject to their insolences. (1631) Gods true church is subject to assaults in this world. (1726) Leoni Alberti's Archit. I. 7 The Isle of Lemnos being very subject to lightning. (1768) It is much too high built for a country so subject to earthquakes. (1833) Naval seamen are made subject to violence. (1853) The sands of the adjacent deserts are subject to violent agitation from the action of the wind.

I feel you can say in both ways. But if you are a Democrat, it would be better for you to use "be subjected to discrimination", because Mr William Clinton said so.
"In the last year alone, we've seen the shootings of African Americans, Asian Americans, and Jewish children simply because of who they were. This is not the American way. We must draw the line. Without delay, we must pass the Hate Crimes Prevention Act and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. And we should reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. No American should be subjected to discrimination in finding a home, getting a job, going to school, or securing a loan."

paco
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Seems to me that if this many native speakers can't agree, or agree it could be either, it's a lousy question. I see Jim's point about it may or may not have occurred, but the sentence is qualified with "many."
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because Mr William Clinton said so.

That's just plain Bill to us, Paco! Emotion: smile
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