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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 3) 
Trunks
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").

The subject is the noun phrase 'The cackling of geese'. In that NP, 'cackling' is the head noun and 'of geese' is an adjectival phrase telling us which cackling. You can't exclude 'of geese' (even if the sentence could still stand on its own) because it is essential to the meaning of the subject. In other words, it wasn't just any 'cackling' that saved Rome, it was specifically the 'cackling of geese'. Noun phrases that form subjects (and objects) are sometimes single words, but they often include all sorts of other words to define or modify them:

Buns taste nice. (single noun)

The buns taste nice. (with a determiner)

All the buns taste nice. (with two determiners)

All the currant buns taste nice. (With two determiners and a noun as an adjective)

All the currant buns in the window taste nice. (With two determiners, an adjective and a post modifying adjectival phrase)

Hope that helps

BillJ
Okay well...here is an SAT test question of sentence correction from the writing section:

Neither of the players on the course today have any hope of reaching the final round. No error

The correct answer: have
Their explanation: The plural verb have incorrectly refers to the singular noun neither. Remember to be careful when identifying the subject of a verb. Watch out for phrases that start with of . They are not the subject.

Is it that the subject of a sentence and the subject of a verb different? Can you please explain the reason why only neither is the subject of the verb?
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Trunks
Neither of the players on the course today have any hope of reaching the final round. No error

The correct answer: have

Their explanation: The plural verb have incorrectly refers to the singular noun neither. Remember to be careful when identifying the subject of a verb. Watch out for phrases that start with of . They are not the subject.

Is it that the subject of a sentence and the subject of a verb different? Can you please explain the reason why only neither is the subject of the verb?

As I said before, subjects can be quite long noun phrases (or clauses) with all sorts of modifiers. The subject of this particular sentence is no different; it too contains some modifiers.

In my reading, the subject of your sentence is the noun phrase Neither of the players on the course today. The head of the phrase is the pronoun neither and the prepositional phrase of the players defines neither. The prepositional phrase on the course today restrictively defines players. So, both those prepositional phrases are part of the subject of the sentence. You could remove them and the sentence would still be grammatical, but that's not the point. The writer stated precisely which player(s) have no hope..., and you need to retain that extra, but important, information to convey the writer's complete thoughts.

It's the head of the subject that normally controls (agrees with) the verb. So I imagine your notes are referring to the fact that the head, i.e. the singular pronoun neither, should agree with the verb have, which it doesn't, (has is the singular form).

BillJ