This lesson helps us understand what a complete predicate is, what it has in it, and how we can identify it.
What is a Complete Predicate in English?
A complete predicate in English is a combination of the main verb or verb phrase and the other parts that are related to it: object, complement, adverbial, modifier, and adjunct. It is everything in a sentence leaving the subject. It tells us what the subject is, how it is, or what it does.
Identify the subject of a sentence, and the remaining part of it is the complete predicate.
A simple predicate is the main verb or the verb phrase of a sentence/clause. It is a part of a complete predicate and does not include the other parts (object, complement, adverbial, modifier) that a complete predicate has.
A few of my friends are throwing a party next week.
To identify the complete predicate of the sentence, we need to identify the subject. The remaining part will be the complete predicate. The subject of the sentence is the phrase ‘a few of my friends’. Remaining is the complete predicate of the sentence. It includes a verb phrase (are throwing) that is talking about the action they would perform, the object of the verb (a party), and an adverb (next week). It is giving information about the subject in terms of what they would be doing, and when it is happening. Here, ‘are throwing’ is the simple predicate.
We are committed to the goal of the company.
The complete predicate in the sentence (highlighted part) has a linking verb (are), predicate adjective (subject complement = committed), and adverbial (prepositional phrase = to the goal of the company). It is telling us the state of the subject (how it is). ‘Are‘ is the simple predicate here.
Jason left the company as his co-workers were harassing him.
This is a complex sentence, and it has two clauses. Both clauses have their own predicates.
Main clause = Jason left the company as his coworkers were harassing him
Complete predicate = left the company as his coworkers were harassing him
Dependent clause = as his co-workers were harassing him
Complete predicate = were harassing him
It is important to understand that the second clause is a part of the main clause, working as an adverb, and the complete predicate of the sentence would be the entire part leaving the subject of the sentence ‘Jason’. ‘Left’ is the simple predicate of the sentence, and ‘were harassing’ is the simple predicate of the dependent clause.
More examples of complete predicates:
- I win.
- Jerry hardly laughs.
- I am done.
- You saved me.
- The match is over.
- The ending of the movie was disappointing.
- One of my good friends is coming to see me tonight.
- You are amazing.
- The box you gave me the day before yesterday was stolen recently.
- What you are looking at is the most expensive watch in the world.
- Talking to kids makes me really happy.
- I love you, and I can do anything for you.
- I went there looking for you.
- You stay here until we come back.
Notice that in all the above sentences, the complete predicate is coming after the subject. But a sentence can start with a part of a predicate. It can start with a modifier or an adverbial.
Looking at the pictures of his childhood, Rohit started tearing up.
leaving the subject ‘Rohit’, the remaining part is the complete predicate of the subject. Notice the sentence is starting with a present participle phrase (adjective), which is a part of the predicate. It can appear later in the sentence too.
“Rohit started tearing up looking at the pictures of his childhood”.
Fortunately, I was there to help them.
The sentence starts with an introductory adverb. It is a part of the complete predicate.
Can a sentence have more than one complete predicate?
Yes, a sentence can have more than one complete predicate or simple/compound predicate. That strictly depends on the information the sentence has and the type of sentence it is.
A compound sentence will always have at least two predicates as it has two independent clauses in it. Every clause in English has its own predicate whether it is the main clause of the sentence or a dependent clause. Similarly, a complex sentence will also have at least two predicates in it as it is a combination of at least two clauses: one independent and one dependent. Only simple sentences have one complete predicate or any predicate as it has just one clause in it.
A sentence will have as many predicates in it as it has the number of clauses in it.
Compound sentence: They are coming tomorrow, and we are unprepared.
The sentence has two independent clauses in it:
- They are coming tomorrow (complete predicate = are coming tomorrow)
- We are unprepared (complete predicate = are unprepared)
The sentence gives two pieces of information joined with a coordinating conjunction. Notice both clauses have their own predicates. So yes, a sentence can have more than a complete predicate or just a predicate in it. We can add another clause to the sentence or to a part of any of two clauses, and it would result in giving us one more predicate. Let’s do it.
Complex sentence: They are coming tomorrow, and we are unprepared for what our job is.
Notice that we have added a prepositional phrase (for what our job is) to the second clause of the sentence. The object of the preposition is a noun clause (dependent) and since it is a clause, it has its predicate too. So now, we have two predicates of the two clauses and another predicate of a noun clause that is a part of the second clause.
Complete predicate (clause 1) = are coming tomorrow
Complete predicate (clause 2) = are unprepared for what our job is
Complete predicate (clause 3) = is what
Notice that the third clause is a part of the second clause (sentence); it is a part of a prepositional phrase of the second clause. The phrase is working as an adjective complement, giving information about the adjective ‘unprepared’.
Now, we know everything about a complete predicate. Feel free to share your question, doubt, or feedback in the comment section, and also, share the post with the people that need it.
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Identify all clauses in each of these sentences and find out their complete predicates:
- No one would believe this.
- No one would believe what you are saying.
- Some things don’t make sense to me.
- Life gives you what you deserve.
- None of this would have been possible if he had not done what he did.
- What I have done for you is something that anyone would do for people they love.
- You are beautiful, for you are unique.
- The man sitting at the cafe in the red jacket has asked for you multiple times.
- You have been a great friend.
- My friends are always making fun of me.
- would believe this
- would believe what you are saying (predicate of the sentence), are saying what (predicate of the object (noun clause))
- don’t make sense to me
- gives you what you deserve (predicate of the sentence), deserve what (predicate of the direct object (noun clause))
- would have been possible if he had not done what he did (predicate of the sentence), had not done what he did (predicate of the IF clause), did what (predicate of the object of the IF clause)
- is something anyone would do for people they love (predicate of the sentence), have done for you what (predicate of the noun clause (subject)), would do that for people they love (predicate of the adjective clause), love (predicate of the adjective clause that is a part of a prepositional phrase (part of the adjective clause)
- are beautiful (predicate of the first clause), are unique (predicate of the second clause)
- has asked for you multiple times
- have been a great friend
- are always making fun of me.
NOTE: the FAQs are taken from the internet. They might have grammatical mistakes in them. Please ignore the mistakes you come across in the questions.
What is a complete predicate in grammar?
A complete predicate is a part of the sentence that gives the entire information about the subject: what the subject does or who they are, or what they are. It is everything leaving the subject in a sentence. It includes the main verb or verb phrase and everything that gives information about it: object, complement, adverbial, adjunct, and modifier.
What’s an example of a complete sentence?
Complete predicate example: Some of us love talking to people. ‘Some of us’ is the subject, and ‘love talking to people’ is the complete predicate, where love is the main verb, and talking to people is the object of the verb.
How do you find the complete predicate in a sentence?
Identify the subject of the sentence, and the part left is the complete predicate. It tells us what the subject does, what they are, or who they are.
What is the difference between simple and complete predicates?
A simple predicate is the main verb or the verb phrase, and the complete predicate includes the simple predicate and everything else in the sentence that gives information about the simple predicate: object, modifier, complement, adverbial, and adjunct. It is everything leaving the subject in a sentence.
What is the most important word in a complete predicate?
The most important word/phrase in a complete predicate is the main verb or the verb phrase, whichever is present. It is what tells us what the subject does, who they are, or what they are.
Can a complete predicate be one word?
Yes, a complete predicate can be a word: the main verb. It happens when the sentence is in the Simple Present tense or in Simple Past tense, and it is in the affirmative form. Sentences in other tenses require a verb phrase to form the tense.
What is the difference between complete and simple predicate?
A simple predicate is just the main verb or the verb phrase, and the complete predicate is the simple predicate and other parts of the sentence that give information about it, leaving the subject.