Difference Wiki

Subject vs. Object: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 21, 2023
The subject performs the action in a sentence, while the object receives the action. For example, in "She (subject) kicked the ball (object)," "She" is acting, and "ball" is being acted upon.

Key Differences

In grammatical terms, the subject of a sentence is what it's about, often the doer of the action. The object, conversely, is the receiver of this action. If someone says, "Tom (subject) loves pizza (object)," Tom is the one having the feeling, and pizza is what that feeling is directed at.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 21, 2023
The subject is vital for understanding the main thrust of a sentence. It often comes before the verb. The object, on the other hand, provides additional context and typically comes after the verb. For instance, in "Dogs (subject) chase cats (object)," we understand that dogs are the ones doing the chasing and cats are being chased.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 21, 2023
Not every sentence will have both a subject and an object, but most will have a subject. "It rains" has a subject, "It," but no object. However, when discussing actions directed at something or someone, both subject and object become pertinent. "She (subject) sings" lacks an object, but "She (subject) sings songs (object)" includes both.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 21, 2023
The subject usually aligns with the verb in terms of number (singular/plural) and person (first/second/third person). The object, however, doesn't influence the verb's form. In "They (subject) watch movies (object)," the verb "watch" agrees with the plural subject "They," regardless of the object "movies."
Sara Rehman
Oct 21, 2023
In complex sentences, there might be both direct and indirect objects. Still, there's typically just one main subject. "She (subject) gives him (indirect object) a gift (direct object)." Here, "She" remains the primary actor, while the gift and him are recipients of different aspects of the action.
Janet White
Oct 21, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

The doer or main topic of a sentence.
The receiver of the action in a sentence
Sumera Saeed
Oct 21, 2023

Relation to Verb

Performs the action.
Receives the action.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 21, 2023

Position in Sentence

Typically precedes the verb.
Usually follows the verb.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 21, 2023

Agreement with Verb

Influences the verb's form.
Doesn't influence the verb's form.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 21, 2023

Existence in Sentences

Almost always present.
May or may not be present.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 21, 2023
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Subject and Object Definitions

Subject

What or whom the sentence is about.
The book is on the table, where book is the subject.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 21, 2023

Object

The target or goal of an action or emotion.
She loves chocolate, where chocolate is the object.
Sara Rehman
Oct 21, 2023

Subject

The noun, pronoun, or noun phrase governing the verb.
She dances gracefully, with She as the subject.
Sara Rehman
Oct 21, 2023

Object

The noun, pronoun, or noun phrase affected by the verb's action.
They play football, with football as the object.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 21, 2023

Subject

The entity performing the action in a sentence.
Birds fly has birds as the subject.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 21, 2023

Object

A word or group of words receiving the direct action of the verb.
The chef cooks dinner, with dinner as the object.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 21, 2023

Subject

The part of the sentence that indicates what it states or predicates something about.
The teacher taught a lesson, where teacher is the subject.
Harlon Moss
Oct 21, 2023

Object

The entity that the action of the verb is directed towards.
He opened the door, where door is the object.
Janet White
Oct 21, 2023

Subject

The main topic or focus of a sentence.
In the sentence, The cat sleeps, the cat is the subject.
Huma Saeed
Oct 21, 2023

Object

The receiver of the action in a sentence.
He reads a book, where book is the object.
Huma Saeed
Oct 21, 2023

Subject

Being in a position or in circumstances that place one under the power or authority of another or others
Subject to the law.
Sumera Saeed
Mar 06, 2022

Object

A specific, individual, material entity, especially one that is not living or not sentient.
Sumera Saeed
Mar 06, 2022

Object

A focus of attention, feeling, thought, or action
A product that was so bad it became an object of derision.
Sumera Saeed
Mar 06, 2022

FAQs

Can a sentence exist without a subject?

In English, most sentences require a subject, but in imperative sentences, the subject is implied, e.g., "Run!"
Sumera Saeed
Oct 21, 2023

Can a sentence have both a direct and an indirect object?

Yes, e.g., "She gives him a book," where "him" is the indirect object and "book" is the direct object.
Janet White
Oct 21, 2023

What is the role of the subject in a sentence?

The subject is the main focus or the doer of the action in a sentence.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 21, 2023

How does the object differ from the subject?

The object is the receiver of the action, while the subject performs the action.
Huma Saeed
Oct 21, 2023

How can I identify the subject in complex sentences?

The subject usually agrees in number with the verb and is what the sentence is primarily about.
Janet White
Oct 21, 2023

Are subjects always nouns or pronouns?

Most of the time, yes, but noun phrases can also serve as subjects.
Harlon Moss
Oct 21, 2023

Is the object always placed after the verb?

In standard English sentence structures, yes, but word order can vary in questions and some other constructions.
Janet White
Oct 21, 2023

Can "it" serve as both a subject and an object?

Yes, e.g., "It (subject) hit the ball (object)."
Sara Rehman
Oct 21, 2023

Are prepositional objects the same as direct objects?

No, prepositional objects follow prepositions, while direct objects directly receive the action of the verb.
Janet White
Oct 21, 2023

Can one verb have two different objects?

Yes, especially with ditransitive verbs, e.g., "She sent him a letter."
Sumera Saeed
Oct 21, 2023

Do all verbs need an object?

No, intransitive verbs don't require objects, e.g., "She sleeps."
Harlon Moss
Oct 21, 2023

Can an entire clause be an object?

Yes, e.g., "He said that she was coming," where "that she was coming" is the object clause.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 21, 2023

Do subjects influence verb tense?

No, but they do influence verb agreement in terms of number and person.
Harlon Moss
Oct 21, 2023

In the sentence, "The teacher taught the students," which is the object?

"Students" is the object.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 21, 2023

Are objects only nouns or can they be other parts of speech?

While often nouns or noun phrases, objects can also be pronouns, clauses, or infinitive phrases.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 21, 2023

Can the subject and object be the same in a sentence?

No, they have distinct roles, but a sentence can be reflexive, e.g., "She hurt herself," where "herself" is the reflexive object.
Harlon Moss
Oct 21, 2023

Why is understanding subjects and objects important?

It aids in constructing grammatically correct sentences and enhances comprehension.
Sara Rehman
Oct 21, 2023

Can sentences have multiple subjects or objects?

Yes, e.g., "John and Mary (multiple subjects) eat apples and oranges (multiple objects)."
Sumera Saeed
Oct 21, 2023

Can an infinitive phrase function as a subject?

Yes, e.g., "To read (subject) is fun."
Aimie Carlson
Oct 21, 2023

Are subjects necessary in questions?

Yes, but the word order may change, e.g., "Is she coming?"
Sumera Saeed
Oct 21, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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