Identifying the Theme

Information Structure and Grammar

The Theme is typically, but not always, the Subject of the Verb in the clause or sentence. To organise or stage the information in your sentence correctly you need to recognise and understand these two grammatical categories:

  1. Finite Verb - a verb with tense and person
  2. Subject of the finite verb

The Theme/Subject is typically a Noun Group which is either a single word or a long complex group of words. The finite verb which typically begins the New is either a single word or a Verb group.

THEME NEW
Subject/Noun group Finite Verb
group

Academic writing typically contains long, complex noun groups and shorter, more simple verbs or verb groups. To organise information well in academic sentences, it is most important to recognise, understand and produce complex noun groups.

Example and Exercises

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