Oxford Guide to English Grammar; John Eastwood; Oxford University Press 1994-09

Page 56

We can also sometimes put a complement in front position.

They enjoyed the holiday. Best of all was the constant sunshine.

The scheme has many good points. An advantage is the low cost.

Here the subject (the low cost) is the important information and comes at the end.

How about viewing "an advantage" as the subject while viewing "the low cost" as the subject-complement, and there being no inversion?

How about viewing "best of all" as the subject while viewing "the constant sunshine" as the subject-complement, and there being no inversion?

related: What's the grammatical structure of "all three of them periods"?

  • 1
    These are ascriptive constructions as opposed to specifying ones. Which means that reversing the two elements is merely to reorder them, not to change their functions. Thus, "an advantage" is predicative complement in "An advantage is the cost" just as it is in "The low cost is an advantage". Note that in "The low cost is one advantage", "one advantage" is a specifying complement, so it becomes the subject in "One advantage is the low cost".
    – BillJ
    Oct 27, 2018 at 10:55

1 Answer 1


Although it takes nominal form here, an advantage here is a characterization, something said about or of something else.

An advantage complement is the location of this apartment.

To paraphrase, the location of this apartment is advantageous.

An advantage subject is something beneficial.

There, we are defining "advantage" and so it is properly the subject of the predication.

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