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Consider this sentences:

In the house were a teapot and platter that had once belonged to Danielle's grandfather, which he brought when he emigrated.

Can anyone tell me why "in the house" isn't the subject of the sentence and why "a teapot and platter" is? I know that "in the house" is an adverbial phrase but does that mean that adverbial phrases can't be the subject of a sentence?
And i guess the object of the sentence must be "Danielle's grandfather".

As the prime interest rate offered by various banks rises, the housing market suffers, despite some of the lowest prices for homes in years.

For the above sentence, which is the subject of the sentence and why from "As the prime...rises"?
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Comments  (Page 2) 
TrunksOkay that makes it a lot more easier to understand..btw Can the words "as" and "when" be used interchangeably?

In some cases, as in this one, yes.
Although 'In the house' fills the pre-verbal subject slot, it does not follow that the obligatory predicate adjunct (in the house) functions as the subject in the sentence.

There exist so-called distributional (syntactic) tests we can resort to to elicit the subject. Let us focus on two of them:

1. It is the subject that the verb agrees with in number.
2. The proform in tags are coreferential with the subject.

1. In the house [were] [a teapot and platter that had once belonged to Danielle's grandfather], which he brought when he emigrated.

Only NPs have number-assigning properties, as far as I know.

2. In the house were [a teapot and platter that had once belonged to Danielle's grandfather], which he brought when he emigrated, were they?

SVC --> CVS

Giving heightened prominence to location is achieved by exchange of slots involving S(ubject) and C(omplement).
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Trunks
In the house were a teapot and platter that had once belonged to Danielle's grandfather, which he brought when he emigrated.

Can anyone tell me why "in the house" isn't the subject of the sentence and why "a teapot and platter" is? I know that "in the house" is an adverbial phrase but does that mean that adverbial phrases can't be the subject of a sentence?
And i guess the object of the sentence must be "Danielle's grandfather".


As you'll have seen from the other replies, the adverbial phrase 'in the house' can't be the subject. It might also help to think of a subject as being the 'doer/sufferer of an action' or the person/thing whose condition, location etc is being stated. The theme (subj) of your sentence is 'a teapot and platter...' and 'in the garden' is an adverbial telling you where the subject was. In fact, the subject of your sentence is all the words except the verb and the adverbial! If you turn the sentence round a little, it becomes clearer:

A teapot and platter [that had once belonged to Danielle's grandfather], [which he bought when he emigrated] (S) were (V) in the house (A).

In case you're interested, the two parenthesised elements are relative clauses, both of which refer back to the NP 'A teapot and platter'.

BillJ
Well Inchoateknowledge, to me well, it seems like you just gave a new science formula because it looks a lot like a linguists work i guess....anyways your explanation was really tough for me to understand!!!!

And BillJ that information was important too...atleast for me it really was...thnx....but is that idea application for majority of the sentences which i might encounter?
Trunksbut is that idea application for majority of the sentences which i might encounter?
If you are still referring to adverbials being subjects, then yes is the answer to your question.

BillJ
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Okay well what if an adjective, and a preposition were in the sentence, wud u still think the same way like u mentioned:

In fact, the subject of your sentence is all the words except the verb and the adverbial! and also the adjective and prepostions...

Btw i got another question. Consider this sentence:

He was prohibited, not just from his father, but by virtue of his own conscience, from using high-end products which didn't fall within his buying capacity.

Are the clauses in between "relative clauses" and Is 'he' the subject in this sentence as is the case? Well i think they are, but could you clarify? thnx....
TrunksOkay well what if an adjective, and a preposition were in the sentence, wud u still think the same way like u mentioned: In fact, the subject of your sentence is all the words except the verb and the adverbial! and also the adjective and prepostions...
I'm not quite sure I understand you. In your sentence it just so happened that almost all the words formed the subject. I'm NOT saying that pattern is true of every sentence, of course. Remember that your sentence contained two relative clauses which themselves are adjectival, but even if you modified the subject with the adjective 'old' it wouldn't change the analysis: '....an old teapot and platter. The adverbial 'in the house' already contains the preposition 'in'.

Btw i got another question. Consider this sentence: He was prohibited, not just from his father, but by virtue of his own conscience, from using high-end products which didn't fall within his buying capacity.

Are the clauses in between "relative clauses" and Is 'he' the subject in this sentence as is the case? Well i think they are, but could you clarify? thnx..

Only one is relative: '....high-end products [which didn't fall within his buying capacity]'

Yes, 'he' is the subject.

BillJ
Yeah well i was bit confused myself so i guess it just got even more difficult for you to figure out the point but that's actually everything that i wanted to know....will definitely let you know if i have further probs....thank you very much for the help BillJ...
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Sorry to bother you so much BillJ....but can i ask one last question about this topic:

Consider this sentence:

The crackling of geese saved Rome.

(Is only "the crackling" the subject of the sentence or is it "the crackling of geese"? As much as i know "the crackling" should be the only subject of the sentence because the sentence could still stand on its own if we exclude the phrase "öf geese").
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