The subject of a sentence is the noun, pronoun or noun phrase that precedes and governs the main verb. The subject is the part of the sentence that performs an action or which is associated with the action. English Language Guide

Noun Phrases

Often a noun phrase is just a noun or a pronoun...

or a determiner and a noun …

British Council - Learn English

In the following question what is the subject of the sentence?

Going by train always makes me feel tired.

  • 1
    The subject is the gerund clause going by train Feb 25, 2017 at 16:00
  • Is gerund clause considered as noun phrase?
    – Shannak
    Feb 25, 2017 at 16:02
  • gerund is a verb that functions like a noun, it can also be a subject. Feb 25, 2017 at 16:04
  • 2
    Non-finite subordinate clauses can also be subjects, and in your example the clause "Going by train" is the subject.
    – BillJ
    Feb 25, 2017 at 17:50

1 Answer 1


According to your example, the subject is Going by train

The Gerund is one the three types of Non-Finite Verbs. Gerund is also a Verbal. (Words that are formed from verbs but don't act as verbs are called Verbal).

A Gerund is a kind of noun that does not act as a verb. A Gerund is a verbal noun we make by adding 'Ing' at the end of a verb. Any verb can be made into a Gerund (e.g. Verb-look - Gerund-looking'). A Gerund has the force of a Noun and a Verb.

Gerunds are noun and can function in the sentence as subject, object, subject complement and objects of preposition. In other words, a Gerund can perform any action in the sentence that a noun ordinarily can function

  • 2
    Traditional grammar defines a gerund as a word formed from a verb base which functions as or like a noun. But that leaves it open as to whether the word is in fact a verb or a noun. In modern grammar, we examine how the word is behaving in order to decide which category the word belongs to. In the OP's example "Going by train" is in subject position (just like the noun "exercise" is in "Exercise always makes me tired") , but "going" is not a noun; it's a verb heading the non-finite clause "going by train".
    – BillJ
    Feb 26, 2017 at 9:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .