Let’s return again to our original example sentence:

People’s noses grow throughout their entire lives.

To find the subject, simply ask yourself, “What grows?” Noses. The word noses is the simple subject or the key word within the complete subject. The complete subject of any sentence is the simple subject or key word plus all the modifiers attached to it.

Throughout our work with clauses, we’ll focus on the key word or words within the complete subject because that’s what is most directly tied to the predicate. A key word is what the predicate makes a statement about. And, in the present tense, it’s the simple subject with which the verb must agree.