All clauses in English have at least two parts: a noun phrase and a verb phrase

Noun phrase (subject) Verb phrase
The children
All the people in the bus
were watching

But most clauses have more than two parts:


Noun phrase (subject) Verb phrase    
The children
All of the girls
This soup
Mary and the family
are learning
were driving

a new bicycle
to Madrid
the flowers

in a vase

The first noun phrase is the subject of the sentence:

The children laughed.
John wanted a new bicycle.
All the girls are learning English.
She put the flowers in the vase.

English clauses always have a subject:

His father has just retired. Was a teacher. He was a teacher.
I’m waiting for my wife. Is late. She is late.

… except for the imperative which is used to give orders:

Go away.

… and for "soft imperatives" like invitations and requests:

Please come to dinner tomorrow.
Play it again please.

If we have no other subject we use "there" or "it" as subject. We call this a ‘dummy subject’:

There were twenty people at the meeting..
There will be an eclipse of the moon tonight.

It’s a lovely day.
It’s nearly one o’clock.
I have toothache. It hurts a lot.



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