Definition and Examples
A predicate of a sentence is that part of it, which defines what is being done by the Subject; it may consist of verb, complements, modifiers or objects. In other words a Predicate is part of a sentence which consists of everything except the subject.
As the subject is a noun or pronoun, the predicate is that part of a sentence which tells us about what the subject is doing.
Consider the sentence–
- He is laughing.
In the sentence ‘he’ – a pronoun is the subject and ‘is laughing’ is the predicate. The predicate defines and modifies the subject declaring what is being done by it.
Go through some more examples sentences and try to determine the predicate.
- Ronny was leaving for office.
The subject is ‘Ronny’; therefore the predicate is ‘was leaving for the office’.
- Sam went to the grocery store.
‘Sam’ is the subject; therefore, the predicate is ‘went to the grocery store’.
- They were skeptical about his decision.
The subject of the sentence is a pronoun i.e. ‘They’; therefore the predicate is ‘were skeptical about his decision’.
- Delhi is the capital of India.
‘Delhi’ is the subject; therefore ‘is the capital of India’ is the predicate.
- Ramnath Kovind is the President of India.
‘Ramnath Kovind’ is the subject; and ‘is the President of India ‘is the predicate.
- When I reached there, the train was leaving.
The subject in the above sentence is Complex-‘when I reached there’; and the predicate is ‘the train was leaving’.
- The teacher was happy with his performance.
Subject- ‘The teacher’; Predicate- ‘was happy with his performance’.
- In his marriage, Roy was wearing a black suit.
Subject- ‘In his marriage Roy’; predicate- ‘was wearing a black suit’.
- The man with grey hairs was standing below the tree.
Subject- ‘the man with grey hairs’; predicate-‘was standing below the tree’.
- The bus with yellow paint was parked on the road.
Subject-‘The bus with yellow paint’; predicate-‘was parked on the road’.
A predicate may or may not contain a direct verb or an object.
Examples of predicate having direct verbs are given below-
- Rohit is sleeping.
- Ronny is leaving for the office.
Predicate-‘is leaving for the office’.
- She is worried.
Predicate- ‘is worried’.
All the above sentences contain a definite verb which defines what the subject is doing. That is, sleeping, leaving and worried.
The second sentence ‘Ronny is leaving for the office’ also has an object- ‘office’.
Similarly a predicate may not contain a direct verb but rather an adjective which elaborates the subject; as in the sentences below-
- The song was beautiful.
- Ronny has a fat cat.
The above sentences have no verb (no instance of something being performed by the subject);
- Subject- ‘The song’; Predicate- ‘Was beautiful’.
- Subject-‘Ronny’, Predicate-‘has a fat cat’.
Below given are some sentences with ‘Objects’-
- My dog loves to play with toys.
Subject- ‘My dog’, Predicate- ‘loves to play with toys’, Object- ‘toys’.
- He is leaving for the grocery store.
Subject- ‘He’, Predicate-‘Is leaving for the grocery stores’, Object- ‘Grocery store’.
- They are discussing the finances.
Subject- ‘They’, Predicate- ‘are discussing the finances’, Object- ‘finances’.
The types of predicate based on its composition are simple predicate, compound predicate and complete predicate as explained below-
Types of Predicate
- Simple Predicate
A simple predicate does not contain any object or modifier; it just contains only the verb and a helping verb. Refer to the sentences given below-
- Roy is walking.
Simple Predicate- ‘is walking’; with the supporting verb ‘is’ and the verb ‘walking’.
- The cat was sleeping.
Simple predicate- ‘was sleeping’; with the supporting verb ‘was’ and the verb ‘sleeping’.
- Children are playing.
Simple Predicate- ‘are playing’; with the supporting verb ‘are’ and the verb ‘playing’.
Similarly Simple Predicates may also be identified in longer sentences as given below-
- He started eating in the classroom.
The subject in the sentence is ‘He’, and the simple predicate is ‘started eating’.
- They are leaving for New York tomorrow.
Subject- ‘They’ and the simple predicate is ‘are leaving’.
- She sang a beautiful song.
Subject-‘She’ and the simple predicate is ‘sang’.
2. Compound Predicate
A Compound Predicate has two verbs shared by the same object. The verbs are joined by a conjunction and make the sentence more declarative and expressive.
Go through the following example sentences to better understand the Compound Predicates-
- The crowds were singing and cheering their respective teams.
Subject in the above sentence is- ‘The Crowds’; but, there are two verbs- singing and cheering, performed by the same subject. The predicate of the above sentence; therefore has two verbs and it is a Compound Predicate – ‘were singing and cheering their respective teams’.
- He fell in a ditch and broke his leg.
Subject- ‘He’, two verbs are- fell and broke; Compound Predicate-‘fell in a ditch and broke his leg’.
- Ronny and I joined the same college and made new friends.
Subject-‘Ronny and I’, Verbs- Joined and made; compound Predicate is- ‘joined the same college and made new friends’.
3. Complete Predicate
The complete predicate of a sentence is everything except the subject i.e. a complete predicate has verb, modifier, object, adjective, adverb and conjunctions etc.
- The teacher was very pleased to see his students perform well.
The subject in the above sentence is – ‘The teacher’. There are two verbs- pleased and perform’, two adverbs- very and well; The Complete Predicate of the above subject is- ‘was very pleased to see his students perform well’.
- He was obeying the orders when the commander called him.
Complete Predicate- ‘was obeying the orders when the commander called him’.
- She was writing a letter while her boss was dictating.
Complete Predicate- ‘was writing a letter while her boss was dictating’.
Forming a Compound Predicate
A predicate of a sentence is very important as it is the predicate which forms a complete sentence and provides meaning to what is being said or done. Care must be taken to use correct form (past, present or future) of a verb as needed.
Moreover two completely different sentences may be joined to form a sentence having Compound Predicate; which makes the sentence more compact and easy to understand. To better understand read the example sentences given below-
- Mohit was singing. Mohit was cheering his friend.
The above statement has two sentences talking about the same subject- Mohit. As the same subject is performing two verbs- singing and cheering; the above statements can be joined together forming a Compound Predicate as below-
- Mohit was singing and cheering his friend.
The sentence is shorter and more convenient to convey rather than the preceding one. The two verbs get joined by a conjunction to give a Compound Predicate- ‘was singing and cheering his friend’.
Go through some more examples-
- I am drinking tea. I don’t like tea.
The sentences can be joined to form- ‘I am drinking tea; though, I don’t like it.
The Compound Predicate would be- ‘drinking tea though I don’t like it’.
- My friends are going on the trip. My friends don’t want to leave me.
Joined sentence would be- ‘My friends are going on the trip but they don’t want to leave me’.
Compound Predicate- ‘are going on the trip but they don’t want to leave me’.
- I was going to the college. Ronny was also going to the college.
The joined sentence would be –‘I and Ronny were going to the college’.
Compound Predicate- ‘were going to the college’.
A predicate nominative is a noun which identifies the subject and follows a linking verb as – is, was, has been, can be etc. Consider the below sentences-
- ‘Tears of the sun’ is a novel.
The subject is undoubtedly ‘Tears of the sun’ and the predicate is ‘is a novel’. In this case the predicate nominative is ‘novel’.
Few more examples-
- Whale is the largest mammal on earth. (Predicate Nominative- mammal)
- My father is a good batsman. (Predicate nominative- batsman)
- I was going to the hotel when he called me. (Predicate Nominative- Me)
‘Identify the Subject and Predicate’ Exercises/Worksheets/Activities with Answers:
Identify the subject and predicate in the sentences given below. Crosscheck your answers with those provided at the end of the exercise-
1) The book you gave me is lost.
2) He is going to the party with his friends.
3) They are leaving for New Jersey tomorrow.
4) The girl in the black dress was walking with a nervous stride.
5) The dogs were barking continuously.
6) He talks loudly.
7) He was not expected early although he arrived on time.
8) She was singing beautifully.
9) My father works in the police department.
10) My son and his friends are studying for the exams.
11) His brother and cousin are always planning a tour.
12) You should never judge others.
13) They should have been to their native town.
14) A man wearing a black hat was standing behind the curtain.
15) They will not accept his request.
16) The car you sold me is having some trouble.
17) Barking dogs seldom bite.
18) A huge parcel was lying on my office floor.
19) She called me to wish good luck.
20) He is doubtful of his efforts.
1) Subject – The book
Predicate – you gave me is lost
2) Subject- He
Predicate – is going to the party with his friends
3) Subject- They
Predicate- are leaving for New Jersey tomorrow.
4) Subject- The girl
Predicate-in the black dress was walking with a nervous stride.
5) Subject- The dogs
Predicate-were barking continuously
Predicate-was not expected early although he arrived on time
Predicate-was singing beautifully
9) Subject-My father
Predicate-works in the police department
10) Subject- My son and his friends
Predicate- are studying for the exams.
11) Subject- His brother and cousin
Predicate-are always planning a tour.
12) Subject- You
Predicate-should never judge others
13) Subject- They
Predicate-should have been to their native town.
14) Subject- A man wearing a black hat
Predicate-was standing behind the curtain.
Predicate-will not accept his request.
16) Subject-The car you sold me
Predicate-is having some trouble
17) Subject-Barking dogs
18) Subject-A huge parcel
Predicate- was lying on my office floor.
19) Subject- She
Predicate- called me to wish good luck
20) Subject- He
Predicate- is doubtful of his efforts
Choose the correct predicate adjective of the sentences; from the choices given. Also crosscheck your answer with those provided at the end of the exercise.
1) His father was very angry.
- a) His
- b) very
- c) angry
2) He was deeply saddened by the outcome.
- a) deeply
- b) saddened
- c) He
3) The train is moving very fast.
- a) fast
- b) moving
- c) very
4) The teacher is very strict with his students.
- a) teacher
- b) very
- c) strict
5) The apple you gave me was rotten.
- a) you
- b) gave
- c) rotten
6) The batsman of the other team was very good.
- a) good
- b) batsman
- c) very
7) The water we consume may be contaminated.
- a) water
- b) contaminated
- c) consume
8) Freight trains are longer than the passenger ones.
- a) Freight trains
- b) longer
- c) are
9) My old car is better than my new car.
- a) old car
- b) new car
- c) better
10) That place is scary.
- a) that
- b) scary
- c) place
11) The cup cakes made by you were delicious.
- a) cup cakes
- b) made
- c) delicious
12) The movie was very boring.
- a) boring
- b) movie
- c) very
13) He bought a nice house.
- a) He
- b) nice
- c) house
14) He is sad today because he didn’t get the feedback.
- a) sad
- b) he
- c) feedback
15) You should be confident in your exams.
- a) you
- b) confident
- c) your
16) His room is small, therefore, he didn’t stay with friends.
- a) His room
- b) friends
- c) small
17) He purchased an expensive pen.
- a) expensive
- b) purchased
- c) He
18) The coffee was cold.
- a) coffee
- b) was
- c) cold
19) The ring she was wearing was expensive.
- a) ring
- b) wearing
- c) expensive
20) The sea voyage by Columbus was risky.
- a) sea voyage
- b) risky
- c) Columbus
Answers- 1)c, 2)b, 3)a, 4)c, 5)c, 6)a, 7)b, 8)b, 9)c, 10)b, 11)c, 12)a, 13)b, 14)a, 15)b, 16)c, 17)a, 18)c, 19)c, 20)b
Choose the correct ‘Predicate Nominative’ of the sentences from the choices given; also verify your answer with those provided at the end of the exercise-
1) Sachin Tendulkar still is a great cricketer.
- a) Sachin Tendulkar
- b) cricketer
- c) great
2) While in extreme pain, morphine is the best pain killer.
- a) extreme
- b) pain
- c) pain killer
3) Deforestation is a threat to the environment.
- a) threat
- b) environment
- c) deforestation
4) That boy is the fastest bowler in our team.
- a) That boy
- b) fastest bowler
- c) our team
5) Those are my best pair of shoes.
- a) those
- b) best
- c) shoes
6) The car looks dirty after a long ride.
- a) dirty
- b) looks
- c) the car
7) The cakes given were the real joy.
- a) cakes
- b) given
- c) real joy
8) The man with in the black suit was the leader of the bunch.
- a) the man
- b) leader
- c) bunch
9) The bakery is famous for its cookies.
- a) famous
- b) the bakery
- c) cookies
10) Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India.
- a) Jawaharlal Nehru
- b) was
- c) the first Prime Minister of India
11) My teacher is a kind human being.
- a) kind Human being
- b) kind
- c) My teacher
12) The dog in the house was a furry animal.
- a) the dog
- b) furry animal
- c) the house
13) My brother is a rich businessman.
- a) rich businessman
- b) businessman
- c) my brother
14) My favorite friends are Ronny, Rohit and Mohit.
- a) My favorite
- b) friends
- c) Ronny, Rohit and Mohit
15) Dogs and cows were the first domesticated animals.
- a) dogs and cows
- b) domesticated animals
- c) first
16) Is the boy standing there is our classmate?
- a) The boy
- b) standing
- c) classmate
17) The transport company is looking for an experienced driver.
- a) driver
- b) transport company
- c) looking
18) The prize for the tournament was cash and a trophy.
- a) prize
- b) tournament
- c) cash, trophy
19) All the people here are friends.
- a) friends
- b) all the people
- c) are
20) Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a poet and a political leader.
- a) Atal Bihari Vajpayee
- b) was
- c) poet, political leader
Answers- 1)b, 2)c, 3)a, 4)b, 5)c, 6)a, 7)c, 8)b, 9)a, 10)c, 11)a, 12)b, 13)a, 14)c, 15)b, 16)c, 17)a, 18)c, 19)a, 20)c