Subjects and Predicates

Subjects and predicates are in every single sentence that we write.

Understanding them will help you become a better writer.

Knowing subjects and predicates will help you to identify problems and find solutions in the sentences that you write.


Complete Subjects and Predicates

Sentences are made up of two general parts: the complete subject and the complete predicate.

The complete subject is the part of the sentence that tells us whom or what the sentence is about.

Dolphins swim in the ocean.

All of my friends and family arrived.

The complete predicate is the part of the sentence that tells us what the subject is or does.

Dolphins swim in the ocean.

All of my friends and family arrived.

Both the complete subject and the complete predicate can be made of just one word or many words.

In the two example sentences above, the complete subject was on the left side of the sentence and the complete predicate was on the right side of the sentence.

Sometimes, the complete subject comes in the middle or at the end of the sentence:

(The complete subject is in bold.)

When can we drive to the ocean?

Around the corner of the house sat my favorite kitty.


Simple Subjects

Okay, so you know that the complete subject consists of all of the words telling us whom or what the sentence is about.

What do you think the simple subject is?

The simple subject is the main word (or group of words) that the sentence is about.

Let's look at those same sentences from above and identify the simple subject this time.

Dolphins swim in the ocean.

All of my friends and family arrived.

When can we drive to the ocean?

Around the corner of the house is sat my favorite kitty.


Simple Predicates

I've got some news for you. Another name for the simple predicate of a sentence is the verb!

Did you know that? The verb is the main word or words that tells us what the subject is or did.

The simple predicates, or verbs, are bolded in the following sentences.

Dolphins swim in the ocean.

All of my friends and family arrived.

When can we drive to the ocean?

Around the corner of the house sat my favorite kitty.


Predicate Nominative

Are you wondering what a predicate nominative is?

You already know what the predicate of a sentence is. The word nominative is just a fancy word for noun.

Knowing that, what do you think a predicate nominative is?

A simple explanation is that a predicate nominative is a special noun that you find in the complete predicate of a sentence.

You'll only find them after linking verbs. They rename the subject of the sentence.

He will be president.

My sister is a wonderful ballerina.

You can learn more about predicate nouns on the linking verbs page!


Predicate Adjective

Now, you probably don't even need my help, right?

You know what predicate means, and you know that an adjective is one of the 8 parts of speech. It describes a noun or a pronoun.

A predicate adjective is a special adjective that you find in the complete predicate of a sentence.

Just like predicate nouns, you'll only find these after linking verbs. They describe the subject of the sentence.

My cat is so nice.

The building looks tall.

You can read more about these on the linking verbs page!


Move on to Action Verbs!

Finished Subjects and Predicates?
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