Predicating Our Knowledge of Predicates

Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, at 11:00 pm

A thorough review of English structure includes understanding subjects and predicates in broader terms. While the concepts of subjects and predicates in their totality may not be as commonly taught as they once were, a brief study will both reinforce our facility as writers and grammarians and further acquaint us with grammatical terminology.

Today, we’ll focus on the predicate, the engine of the action we communicate.

The predicate includes at least one verb and joins with the subject to form a clause. It also is further categorized as a simple predicate or a complete predicate.

The simple predicate is the main verb and any of its auxiliaries.
Examples:
Rain falls.
The girl jumped and ran.
Students should study.

The complete predicate consists of the main verb or verbs, any auxiliaries, and any complements and modifiers.
Examples:
Thomas hit the baseball.
The giraffes ate leaves from the tall trees.
Charmaine will return to the office and give her presentation after she has finished her scheduled appointments.

Predicates also can be broken down into smaller parts of speech when they contain a linking verb such as be (in all its forms), seem, appear, become, remain, taste, look, smell, sound, or feel.These smaller parts are subject complements, which either rename or modify the subject of the clause.

Subject complements can be:
nominatives (nouns, pronouns, or possessive nouns or pronouns)
adjectives, or
adverbs of time or place (simple adverb or prepositional phrase).

Examples:
When I listen to Bernadette speak, I often think she sounds like a lawyer (noun: predicate nominative).
A mighty fine dancer is he (pronoun: predicate nominative).
In two months the deed will be yours possessive pronoun: predicate nominative).
The bouquet of flowers smells sweet (adjective: predicate adjective).
The volleyball game is tomorrow night (simple adverb: predicate adverb)

Your gardening tools remain in our yard (prepositional phrase: predicate adverb).

We hope today’s article helps demystify the terminology surrounding predicates. Now that we have discussed themwe’ll soon focus on the subject half of English sentences. Stay tuned!

 

Pop Quiz

Using what you’ve learned in this article, identify the predicate or predicate part in each sentence.

1. The coyotes usually won’t come out before nightfall.
a. Simple predicate
b. Complete predicate

2. I’m sure Margaret will infuse the team with extra energy.
a. Simple predicate
b. Complete predicate

3. Her Uncle Raul is a well-known lumberjack.
a. Predicate nominative
b. Predicate adjective

4. This pickle tastes funny.
a. Predicate nominative
b. Predicate adjective

5. The time for action is now.
a. Predicate adjective
b. Predicate adverb

 

Pop Quiz Answers

1. The coyotes usually won’t come out before nightfall.
b. Complete predicate

2. I’m sure Margaret will infuse the team with extra energy.
a. Simple predicate

3. Her Uncle Paul is a well-known lumberjack.
a. Predicate nominative

4. This pickle tastes funny.
b. Predicate adjective

5. The time for action is now.
b. Predicate adverb

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