I’ve challenged myself to explain complements in three short videos. (See YT member playlist.) Being concise isn’t the tricky thing. The hard part is going beyond the most common examples, for example, naming nouns and adjectives as subject complements. I get into other possibilities, including gerunds, embedded questions, and prepositional phrases.
Some learners enjoy the closer look at this grammar. Others ask, “Why?” As I keep the end goal in mind, I’ve decided to state outright that there are times when not all sources agree, and it may not really matter in the end whether we label a certain complement as a present participle or a gerund. What matters is knowing the possible patterns and using them correctly in communication.
If you’d like to focus on building familiarity with complements for the sake of using sound sentence structure, please check out my handout on subject, adjective, and object complements. High intermediate students can benefit from teaching that is not explicit or loaded with confusing terminology. You can easily increase or decrease how much focused attention you want on the structures.
Featured photo by jlxp retrieved from https://pixabay.com/photos/coffee-cup-espresso-mug-hands-4042935/.