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What Is Predicate?

Predicate In A Sentence: A Quick Overview

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Predicate In A Sentence: A Quick Overview
 Jack Morgan   Published On Aug 16, 2022 | Updated on Oct 06, 2023  Student Guide

Look at this sentence- "Sun rises in the east."

Now, you know ‘sun’ is the subject of the sentence. So, what ‘is rises in the east’? Think hard. Well, it is the predicate.

A predicate is a grammatical term that indicates a clause or words in a sentence that describes the action but not the subject. To put it in other words, the predicate tends to describe what the subject does. A predicate incorporates all the words in a sentence or clause except the subject for all sorts of purposes and intent.

Predicates are one of the core building blocks of English sentences, so it’s wise to comprehend how they work.

If you are one of those million students baffled by 'what is predicate?’ or ‘what is the predicate in a sentence?', then you are in luck. Here we aim to end all your like how to use a predicate while discussing the various types of predicates through the innumerable brilliant example of a predicate.

Fasten your seatbelts. Let’s take off!

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Predicate In A Sentence: A Quick Overview

Now before learning what is a predicate adjective or predicate nominative, it is essential to comprehend and develop an in-depth understanding of what is a predicate in a sentence.

As you know, a complete sentence or clause in English needs two parts- an action and a thing or individual performing the action. The subject explains who is performing the action, whereas the predicate discusses the action itself. Along with subjects, predicates are a crucial part of the English sentence structure.

For example,  I danced.

Here, the subject is I, and the predicate is danced.

Have a look at the below-enlisted examples to understand what is a predicate

President Obama was a remarkable leader.

She is learning Korean In Seoul this summer.

A few different kinds of predicates exist, each with its unique set of qualities. Let's take a detailed look at each one of them-

What Is A Simple Predicate?

Are you asking, 'what is a simple predicate?’ Wait, let us tell you. A simple predicate is the most basic form that includes only main and auxiliary verbs, also commonly known as helper verbs.

Like, The little cat went to the market.

In the above-mentioned example, the simple predicate is the only word 'went'.

We have been waiting for you for a couple of hours.

In the above-mentioned example, the simple predicate incorporates the verb 'waiting,' and the auxiliary verbs 'been' and 'have'.

Again, remember that model verbs like might, can, will, or must are auxiliary verbs, so they are a crucial part of the simple predicate.

What Is A Compound Predicate?

Now that you’ve become well-versed with the simple predicate definition let's look at the compound predicate. A compound predicate incorporates two or more verbs that all share the same subject.

For example-

She ate, slept, and danced in her finest clothes on her birthday.

Here, the verbs 'ate,' 'slept,' and 'danced' all use the same subject, 'she .'If you look at the example, you will notice all the verbs belong to the same clause and thus to the same compound predicate.

But, it is essential to be careful with sentences with more than one clause. In the below-mentioned example, each clause has its predicate.

She ate, slept, and danced in her finest clothes on her birthday, but her friends never came.

What Is A Complete Predicate?

Complete predicate is another type of predicate. It is a crucial part of the sentence that includes the verb and all its modifiers. The modifiers hugely impact the verb and discuss the way the verb is impacting the subject and/ or the object.


''My mother became furious when I came home late.''

Here, the verb is became. The adjective furious discusses how her feelings changed or became and when I came home late denotes what caused the anger. Thus, the complete predicate is- became furious when I came home late.

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What Are Predicate Nominative and Predicate Adjectives?

This is a sticking point for most students. We are used to writing sentences that include simple subject and predicate. But, predicate nominative or predicate adjectives float across our desk rarely. So, how to know what is a predicate nominative or predicate adjective? We have broken it down part by part for you.

Predicate nominatives and predicate adjectives are special kinds of predicates used only with linking verbs like seem, be, or become. The action with linking verbs exists, so predicates with linking verbs explain the subject state.

Again, a predicate adjective is when the words following a linking verb are adjective phrases or adjectives that simply modify the subject.

Like, Richard was smiling from ear to ear after his first date.  

In the above-mentioned example, the simple predicate is 'was,' whereas the past tense of the linking verb is 'be .'Again, the adjective ‘smiling’ shows the subject, 'Richard,' thereby making it a predicate adjective. Akin to it, the predicate nominative denotes when the words following a linking verb are noun phrases or nouns, again modifying the subject.

Like, James became the first chairman of his organization at the mere age of 25.

How to Identify Predicate in Sentences?

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Simply put, the complete predicate incorporates all the words in a sentence that doesn't relate to the subject. In a sentence that has an only clause, if you can determine the subject, you can also determine the predicate by whatever is not the subject.

Like, In the mid of summer break, they took a vacation to the islands.

Here, ‘they’ is the subject. So, every word excluding ‘they’ is predicate.

Again, if a sentence has more than one clause, it will have more than one predicate because each clause requires at least one predicate.

Like, When the stone was destroyed, he returned to his home.

Here, the key predicate is 'returned to his home,' which is connected to the main subject, 'he'. But, the subordinate clause 'when the stone was destroyed' has a separate predicate that incorporates the words 'when' and 'was destroyed' that is connected to the clause's subject, 'the stone.'

Click here to know what is a predicate in a sentence.

How to Use Predicate In A Sentence?

It is always wise to remember that all kinds of sentences have predicates, but sometimes they are used differently. Let's take a look at how to use predicate in different types of sentences accurately-

üDeclarative sentences are straightforward. Here, the subject comes before the simple predicate.

üExclamatory sentences follow a similar format, only with an exclamation point at the end.

üThough imperative sentences don't incorporate any subject, the predicate still acts normally. Often, an imperative sentence begins with a simple predicate.

üInterrogative sentences or questions are when the predicates become overly tricky. Here, you split up the predicate and stick the subject somewhere in the middle. Again, an auxiliary verb before the subject and the main verb after the subject.

Know, regardless of which sentence you're tackling, ensure to use the correct subject and object pronouns. The subject pronouns must only be used as the subject of the clause, while the object pronouns must be commonly used with the predicate.

We hope this post clarified a few things about ‘what is predicate’ and the different types of predicates. Take the help of this lucid guide, understand the guidelines, and draw inspiration from examples to sail through your papers like a champion!

If you’d like any more assistance with your grammar, though, why not avail comprehensive guidance from the experts of With 1500+ PhD experts, we offer unmatched guidance on grammar, punctuation, and syntax. Hire us to write the perfect papers and become the apple of your professor's eyes!

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