What is a Predicate Exploring Examples

What is a Predicate Exploring Examples


In the world of grammar, a sentence is not complete without a subject and a predicate. While subjects are generally easy to spot, the concept of a predicate might be a bit more perplexing. What is a predicate, and what role does it play in sentence structure? In this article, we’ll break down the predicate and provide examples to help you grasp this essential element of grammar.

Understanding Predicates

The predicate is the part of a sentence that gives us information about the subject. It describes what the subject is doing or what is happening to it. In simpler terms, the predicate typically consists of a verb and any accompanying words or phrases. Without a predicate, a sentence would lack the necessary context to convey meaning effectively.

Types of Predicates

There are several types of predicates, and we’ll explore them in the following sections:

Simple Predicates

Simple predicates, also known as verbs, are the core of the predicate. They convey the action or state of the subject. Identifying simple predicates involves recognizing the main verb in a sentence. Let’s delve into some examples to illustrate this:

Examples of Simple Predicates

Identifying Action Verbs

Action verbs are an essential part of simple predicates. They describe actions that the subject is performing. For instance, in the sentence, “She runs,” the word “runs” is the simple predicate, describing the action performed by the subject, “She.”

Identifying Linking Verbs

Linking verbs, on the other hand, connect the subject to a subject complement, which further describes the subject. For example, in the sentence, “He is a teacher,” the word “is” is the linking verb, connecting “He” to “a teacher.”

Examples of Complete Predicates

Complete predicates encompass not only the main verb but also all the words or phrases that modify or complete it. Let’s examine the two primary components of complete predicates:

Action Verbs in Complete Predicates

In a complete predicate, action verbs are accompanied by words or phrases that provide more information about the action. For example, in the sentence, “She paints beautiful landscapes in her free time,” the complete predicate consists of “paints beautiful landscapes in her free time,” offering a comprehensive description of the action.

Linking Verbs in Complete Predicates

Complete predicates that include linking verbs connect the subject to subject complements. This allows for a more in-depth description of the subject. In the sentence, “The cake smells delicious,” the complete predicate is “smells delicious,” which elaborates on the subject, “The cake.”

Compound Predicates

A compound predicate involves two or more verbs that share the same subject and provide additional information. These verbs are often connected by conjunctions such as “and” or “but.” For example, “She danced and sang at the concert” has a compound predicate, with both “danced” and “sang” describing the subject, “She.”

Predicates in Sentences

Identifying Predicates

Identifying predicates in sentences is a crucial skill in understanding the structure of a sentence. A predicate typically follows the subject and is separated by a comma or other punctuation. For example, in the sentence, “The cat chased the mouse,” the predicate is “chased the mouse.”

Subject-Predicate Agreement

Subject-predicate agreement is an important aspect of grammar. It ensures that the subject and predicate match in number and person. For example, “She plays tennis” demonstrates agreement, while “She play tennis” does not.

Predicate Functions

Predicates serve various functions in sentences, such as showing action, expressing state, or providing additional information. Understanding these functions enhances your ability to construct clear and concise sentences.


In conclusion, a predicate is a fundamental element of a sentence that provides information about the subject, either through action or description. Recognizing the different types of predicates and their functions is essential for improving your writing and communication skills.

Now, you might be wondering about a few more details regarding predicates. Let’s address some common questions in the following FAQs.

5 Unique FAQs

  1. What is the role of a predicate in a sentence?
    • The predicate describes what the subject is doing or what is happening to it, adding context and meaning to the sentence.
  2. Can a sentence have multiple predicates?
    • Yes, a sentence can have compound predicates, which involve multiple verbs sharing the same subject.
  3. How can I identify the predicate in a sentence?
    • Look for the verb or verbs in the sentence, as they are typically the core of the predicate.
  4. What is the difference between simple and complete predicates?
    • Simple predicates consist of the main verb, while complete predicates include the main verb and any words or phrases that modify or complete it.
  5. Why is subject-predicate agreement important?
    • Subject-predicate agreement ensures that the subject and predicate match in number and person, leading to clear and grammatically correct sentences.

Understanding predicates is essential for effective communication and writing. So, the next time you construct a sentence, pay attention to the predicate to convey your message accurately.


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