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Complements are often not mentioned in traditional grammar books or lessons.


Complements occur when two different lexical categories are joined. If this explanation is confusing, don't give up at this point! 

To make things simpler, we are specifically going to discuss adjectival and nominal phrases found in the predicate of a clause. These phrases are linked to the subject of the clause by certain verbs. BE is the most important of these verbs.

These verbs are known as linking verbs.  Besides the verb be, linking verbs include the verbs seem, touch, taste, and feel. 

Complements that are adjectival phrases describe the subject of the clause.

Complements that are nominal phrases are the same as the subject of the clause.

Some verbs accept as a complement a prepositional phrase with the preposition "like".

Some verbs accept as a complement a nominal clause beginning with "as." 

 Some apples are red. Some apples are green. (an adjectival phrase complement)
 All apples and pears are fruit. (a nominal phrase complement)
 These apples taste like pears.  (a prepositional phrase complement)
 These apples taste as sweet as pears do. (a nominal clause complement)