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What is a Predicate?

What is a Predicate?

Every sentence is divided into two main parts: the subject and the predicate. The subject is what the sentence is discussing or pertaining to, and the predicate is what is being said about or a description the subject. A predicate requires a verb for it to qualify as such.
For example, in the sentence ‘Jane runs in the field’, the subject is ‘Jane’ and the predicate is ‘runs in the field’. A key to identifying the predicate is to identify the verb, after which, identify what the verb is pertaining to by asking ‘who’ or ‘what’. In this case, ‘runs’ is the verb so if we ask ‘who runs?’ The answer is ‘Jane runs’ and therefore the subject is Jane, and the predicate is ‘runs in the field’.
In some instances, the verb is a linking verb like ‘am’, ‘is’ or ‘are’, which indicates a state of being. In the sentence ‘I am beautiful’, the linking verb is ‘am’, pertaining to ‘I’. The subject is then ‘I’ and the predicate is ‘am beautiful’.
If the predicate is composed of a verb followed by a noun to describe the subject, then the predicate is a ‘predicate nominal’. An example of this is ‘Mary is a teacher’.
If the predicate’s verb is followed by a descriptive word, then this is a ‘predicate adjective’. An example of this is ‘Mary runs fast’.
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Posted by on Dec 10th, 2010 and filed under Language. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response via following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site