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What Is A Predicate & Examples on Usage: For Students and Children

If the subject is the heart of a sentence, the predicate of the sentence is what gives meaning to the heart. A sentence with just a subject can’t really make tons of sense but with the predicate attached, the sentence becomes whole. A predicate makes for one of the two most important parts of the sentence, the other one being the subject. The predicate improvises the subject of a sentence or makes attempts at trying to describe it, making the sentence sensible. Without a predicate, the reader of a particular sentence maybe clueless on the subject. To understand how a predicate works in a sentence, it would be best for you to go through quite a number of examples that will help demonstrate how it functions within the scope of a sentence. The examples also focus on the relationship that exists between the predicate and the subject. You also have, at your disposal, information on the types of predicates. Going through what is to come can help you understand better how a predicate functions within a sentence.

Predicate Examples And Types

  • Ryan, Dave and Peter went for a long run together.
  • After attending the concert, Dave ran and skipped for quite some time.
  • “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Teachers teach, preachers preach.
  • The telegram that was supposed to reach him on time was late but contained thrilling news.
  • Santosh and his family live in the city of Bangalore.

Types Of Predicates

There are four basic types of predicates and these can be classified on the basis of both structure and the morphological characteristics of the predicate. This means that you can have the same four types under two banners.

Structural Classification

  • Simple Predicate – Further classified as Simple Verbal Predicate and Simple Nominal Predicate.
  • Compound Predicate – Further classified as Compound Verbal Predicate and Compound Nominal Predicate.

Morphological Classification

  • Verbal Predicate – Further divided into Simple Verbal and Compound Verbal Predicate.
  • Nominal Predicate – Further divided into Simple Nominal and Compound Nominal Predicate.

Simple Verbal Predicate

A simple predicate occurs in a sentence in which the predicate consists of just one word. Simple verbal predicates can be noticed easily in the English language.

E.g.: Runners run.

Compound Verbal Predicate

Compound verbal predicates, just like simple verbal predicates, are common in the English language. Compound verbal predicates, when occurring in a sentence, are made up of more words than just one and either have marked modalities or describe a particular event. E.g.: Steve and Jobs had a big lunch together.

Simple Nominal Predicate

Going by occurrence, simple nominal predicates and compound nominal predicates are barely used in sentences. The simple nominal predicate is a predicate that is made up of a noun or an adjective, but no link verb comes into play. The simple nominal predicate is occasionally used in the English language, but it would still pay to know and understand this form in order to understand predicate better. The simple nominal predicate can be used in two instances:

  • Simple nominal predicates are used in sentences where the immediate surroundings of the subject noun and the predicate noun are used to suggest the irrationality behind a connected idea. Sentences of this nature are always exclamatory or end with an exclamation mark. No link verb is used in such a sentence.  E.g.: My ideas ballistic!
  • They are also used in sentences in which the predicate is placed right in the beginning of the sentence and the subject follows in the next half. The use of the link verb is not a possibility. Such sentences are almost always used when a person is trying to employ an informal style of speaking. E.g.: Tasty dish, this.

Compound Nominal Predicate

The compound nominal predicate always comes with a link verb and a predicative, which can be expressed through various parts of speech, usually including a noun, an adjective and an adverb.

Morphological Classification

The morphological classification of predicates has a lot to do with how a verb is classified. Since you know how nominal and verbal predicates function, it shouldn’t take much to figure out their morphological classifications. Simple verbal predicates are predicates made up of just one word, while compound verbal predicates are made up of more than one word. The same logic can be applied to simple nominal predicates and compound nominal predicates. As far as the intrinsic nature of predicates goes, they function in ways that justify their namesakes. However, when it comes to the skeletal structure of the sentence, predicates are best when classified morphologically.

With all of the aforementioned information at your disposal, understanding predicates shouldn’t be a problem for you. One by one, step by step, predicates can be conquered. A tip: To understand one half, it is important to know the other half. In other words, to understand how predicates function, it would pay to familiarize yourself with how a subject functions within the framework of a sentence. The trick also lies in going through examples and coming up with your own sentences, the kind of sentences that are made up of both predicates and subjects. Before you know it, you should be a master at the use of a predicate when constructing a sentence.

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