Which is the subject in the phrase "I always believed I was the only one who could make you happy."? Is it "I"? Is it "the only one"? or is it some other phrase or word?

2 Answers 2


Which is the subject in the phrase

It's not a phrase; it's a sentence. Phrases are parts of sentences. So are subordinate clauses.
This sentence has three clauses, in descending order. Each one has a subject.

  • I always believed I was the only one who could make you happy.
  • [I always believed [(that) I was the only one [who could make you happy.]]]
    1. [I always believed [(that) (2)]] (main clause, subject I)
    2. [I was the only one [(3)]] (object clause of believe, subject I)
    3. [who could make you happy] (relative clause modifying one, subject who)

As you can see, there isn't any "the subject" for a complex sentence. There is a subject for every clause in a sentence, and there is a verb in every clause, too; in fact, that's what makes it a clause and not a phrase -- subject and verb.


I may be wrong, but I think that here we have a complex sentence. It has one main sentence and two clauses. The subject of the main part is "I", as well as the subject of the first clause is also "I". And the second clause has the subject "who" (I think so). I don't think "the only one" is a subject. It can be a predicate though.

  • The question comes from in japanese they use words called "particles" to mark the "topic" and the "subject" of a sentence. And in front of the "the only one" they write the particle "wa" which is mean to mark what is behind it as the "topic" of the sentence which is something similar to the subject. So for understanding where you have to write or say a "wa" and "ga" particle you need to know which is the topic or the subject of a sentence. And in this case I dont have clear at all which one it is
    – Pablo
    Mar 14, 2017 at 18:31
  • In Japanese, topic and subject are not the same thing. The same word can be both subject and topic in one sentence, but there may be a subject word and a different topic word in another sentence. And many sentences don't have subject words at all. Mar 14, 2017 at 18:45

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