What is the subject in this sentence: "No one ever laughs at my jokes."

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caledon | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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We can simplify this sentence into the following concept:

(The thing performing the action)(the action)(the thing acted upon)

(No one)(ever laughs at)(my jokes)

This is Subject-verb-object order, or SVO. Most English phrases are in SVO order; if we rearranged it, it would look pretty strange; "At my jokes, no one ever laughs." This is how Yoda talks.

The subject is the person, place or thing that is doing the action; in this case, the subject is "no one". If this seems strange, it's because we're separating the semantic meaning of "no one" from its grammatical meaning; the literal idea of "no one laughing" seems like no action is being performed, yet the action being performed is the act of not laughing.


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