Example 1:

Some of the grain appears to be contaminated.

Why the subject is "some" and not "Grain"?

Example 2:

Pierre puts a lot of garlic in his food.

The subject here is "Pierre," but what is the indirect and direct object? Is "Puts a lot of garlic" the indirect object? And "food" a direct object?

I am very confused about subjects, direct objects, and indirect objects. Sometimes just "man" by itself is a subject. Sometimes "a man" is.

Help me.

  • 3
    Please check your source for the first sentence. It contains a grammatical error. It should be "Some of the grains appear", or "some of the grain appears".
    – JMB
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 19:34
  • 1
    If puts a lot of garlic is an object, what is the verb of the sentence? Most sentences need a subject and a verb.
    – user6951
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 20:28

3 Answers 3


Some of the grain appears to be contaminated.

The subject here is not some alone, but the phrase some of the grain. Subjects can be phrases as well as words.

Pierre puts a lot of garlic in his food.

Pierre is the subject, as you correctly pointed out. The verb is puts.

To determine the direct object, ask yourself, "What does Pierre put?" The answer is a lot of garlic, which is the direct object.

I don't think there is an indirect object here, in his food is an adverb phrase that describes where Pierre put the garlic.


Why is "some" the subject and not "grain"?

Consider this analogous pattern:

One of the singers is getting married next week.

You wouldn't expect "singers" (plural) to be the subject, right?


A member of the crew has a fever.

Some of the food had spoiled, but the canned food was OK.


pierre (subject) puts (transitive verb requires an object). the object is "garlic." "in his food" is an adverb phrase which modifies/refers to where pierre put the garlic.

"Man" is best translated, perhaps, by "all human beings." "the" man uses the article "the" to indicate you are talking about one, specific, male.

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