This lesson helps us understand what a simple predicate is, what it can be, where it appears in a sentence, and how to identify it.
What is a Predicate in English?
Subject = Ashish
Predicate = cries
Here, the predicate is just a word (verb). It tells us what the subject does.
Ashish is an English teacher.
Subject = Ashish
Predicate = is an English teacher
The predicate of this sentence gives information about the subject and tells us what it is; it basically gives it a name. The simple predicate here is the linking verb ‘is‘, and ‘is an English teacher’ is the complete predicate.
What is a Simple Predicate?
Mangesh loves pizza.
Subject = Mangesh
Simple predicate = loves
Complete predicate = loves pizza
You are a stubborn person.
Subject = you
Simple predicate = are
Complete predicate = are a stubborn person
I have been to many countries.
Subject = I
Simple predicate = have been (verb phrase)
We could have saved his life.
Subject = we
Simple predicate = could have saved (verb phrase)
The students have been told not to enter this hall.
Subject = The students
Simple predicate = have been told (verb phrase)
You can see from the above examples that a simple predicate is usually not enough to give complete information about the subject. The sentence is usually incomplete without the other parts (object/complement). All these sentences seem incomplete without the remaining parts, especially the object/complement. Let’s rewrite the first example without its object.
Does the sentence look complete? No, it does not. It raises the question ‘loves what?’. Let’s rewrite the second example without its complement.
This looks even more incomplete. You are what? So, we clearly understand that simple predicates are not enough to render a clear meaning in a sentence; we need a complete predicate for that.
The difference between a simple predicate and a complete predicate is that the former includes the main verb/verb phrase and the latter has everything leaving the subject.
How to identify a simple predicate in English?
Identifying a simple predicate is not a big challenge. The first step in order to identify a simple predicate is to identify the subject of the sentence. Once the subject is identified, see if it is followed by any modifier/adverbial. If there is no modifier after the subject, it would definitely have a main verb or a verb phrase, and that is your simple predicate.
What I am saying to you all is that we should have him in our team.
Breaking down the sentence gives us three parts: subject, verb, and subject complement. Notice that the subject and the complement are dependent clauses, meaning they would have their own simple predicates.
Simple predicate of the main clause = is (linking verb)
Simple predicate (What I am saying (subject)) = am saying
Simple predicate (that we should have him in our team (complement)) = should have
Some of us never learn from our mistakes.
The subject of the sentence is ‘some of us’. Notice that it does not have a verb right after it; it has an adverb after it: never. The simple predicate (main verb) comes after it.
When she gets angry, no one dares to talk with her.
This is a complex sentence. It has two clauses: dependent and independent. Both clauses have their own predicates.
Simple predicate (first clause = when she gets angry) = gets
Simple predicate (second clause = no one dares to talk with her) = dares
Simple Predicate in famous quotes
- Whoever is happy will make others happy too. -Anne Frank
(The sentence has two simple predicates: the predicate of the main clause (will make) and the predicate of the dependent clause (is). Notice that the dependent clause is the subject of the sentence: whoever is happy.)
- In the end, it is not the years in your life that count. It is the life in your years. -Abraham Lincoln
- You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. -Dr. Seuss
- You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. –Mae West
- In three words I can sum up everything I have learned about life: it goes on. -Robert Frost
- There are no secrets to success. It results from preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. –Colin Powell
More examples of simple predicates:
- I am the best here.
- He was working very hard.
- The company’s goal is to expand its verticals to all the states in the next 12 months.
- If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to take a different route.
- We, once in a while, like to do what scares us.
- His elder sister Jane is planning to go to London next week.
- You don’t want to make him angry. You would hate his version when he gets angry.
- Going there alone at this time is probably not the right decision.
- To be able to do what he did to a legend in Mike was simply mind-blowing.
- Drinking this much would kill you.
Simple predicate in complex sentences
Every sentence has a predicate of some type. This is important for us to note that there can be multiple predicates in a sentence if the parts of the sentence are clauses. The subject itself can have a predicate if it is a clause. The part leaving the subject is your complete predicate and the main verb or the verb phrase is the simple predicate of the sentence. The parts of the complete predicate, if they are clauses, have their own predicates.
Let’s study this with some examples.
What I said at the meeting inspired everyone who was there.
The sentence has three main parts: subject, main verb, and object. The simple predicate of the sentence is ‘inspired’ and the complete predicate is ‘inspired everyone who was there’. Notice that the subject is a clause and has a predicate, and the object has a clause in it too.
Subject (noun clause) = what I said at the meeting
Simple predicate = said
Complete predicate = said at the meeting
Object = everyone who was there
Adjective clause modifying the pronoun ‘everyone’ = who was there
Simple predicate of the adjective clause = was
Complete predicate of the adjective clause = was there
Monica told whom I am dating to meet her where she lives.
The sentence has a subject, main verb, direct object, indirect object, and adverb clause. The simple predicate of the sentence is the main verb ‘told’. The indirect direct is a noun clause, and the adverb is a clause too. So, it’s important to note that apart from the sentence having a predicate, these two clauses have their own predicates. The complete predicate of the sentence is ‘told whom I am dating to meet her where she lives’. It tells us what the subject did. The subject told someone to do something at a place.
Simple predicate of the main clause = told
Simple predicate of the noun clause (indirect object) = am dating
Simple predicate of the adverb clause = lives
Now, we have mastered everything about simple 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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Find out the simple predicate in the following sentences:
- You are what you think you are.
- His goals are way too unreal.
- What he told me at the party changed my perception of dieting.
- I will be there on time.
- Some of us never get to achieve what we are capable of.
- He had left before the start of the meeting.
- are (main clause), think, are (dependent clauses)
- changed (MC), told (DC)
- will be
- get (MC), are (DC)
- had left
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 an example of a simple predicate in a sentence?
An example of a simple predicate: Trisha bought my car. The simple predicate ‘bought’ in this sentence refers to the action the subject performed. The complete predicate ‘bought my car’ tells us more about the action; it gives complete information about the subject.
What words are simple predicate?
A simple predicate is a main verb (one word) or a verb phrase (a group of words). As the main verb, it can be an action verb, stative verb, or linking verb, and when it is a verb phrase, it is a combination of an auxiliary verb and a main verb. Ex – Jon ate my sandwich. Ex – I love you. Ex – It is cold. Ex – He has arrived.
Can there be two simple predicates in a sentence?
Yes, a sentence can have two or more simple predicates when it has two or more clauses in it. Ex – Jon wants to work with us, and we love the idea. The sentence has two clauses and both clauses have their own simple predicate.
What are some examples of compound subject and simple predicate?
A compound subject is a combination of two or more subjects (nouns/pronouns) sharing the same verb, and a simple subject is the main verb or the verb phrase that gives information about what the subject does or what or how it is. Examples:
1. Jon and I love playing cricket. (compound subject = Jon and I, simple predicate = love)
2. My father, mother, and I are going to Mumbai soon. (compound subject = My father, mother, and I, simple predicate = are going)
How do you identify a simple predicate?
A simple predicate of a sentence or a clause usually comes after its subject. It is the main verb (action, station, or linking) or the verb phrase (auxiliary verb + main verb) of the subject of the sentence/clause. Examples:
1. You think too much.
2. We told him that he could get the job with some effort. (‘told’ is the simple predicate of this entire sentence, and ‘get’ is the simple predicate of the noun clause (that he could get the job with some effort) working as the direct object in the sentence.
What is the example of simple subject and simple predicate?
Examples of simple subjects and predicates:
1. Ron works hard. (simple subject = Ron, simple predicate = works)
2. You are amazing. (simple subject = you, simple predicate = are)
How many words is a simple predicate?
A simple predicate can be just one word (main verb) or a group of words (verb phrase). Examples:
1. Mangesh sleeps a lot.
2. You have been helpful.
3. They must have been sleeping at that time.
4. You could have gotten the job.
How many verbs are in a simple predicate?
A simple predicate has one verb (main verb) or a combination of the auxiliary and main verb (verb phrase).
Examples: 1. Everyone knows me. 2. You are tall. 3. There were lying to you. 4. Jon has been working here. 5. They might have been stealing from us.
Is the simple predicate always one word?
No, it does have to be one word (main verb). It can be a verb phrase: a combination of one or more auxiliary verbs and a main verb. To understand this better, understand the definition of a simple predicate. A simple predicate is the main verb or a verb phrase (auxiliary verb + main verb) that gives information about the subject in terms of what it does or what or how it is.
What is the difference between simple and complete predicate?
The difference between a simple predicate and a complete predicate is that the former includes the main verb or the verb phrase and the latter includes all the parts of a sentence, not just the verb/verb phrase, leaving the subject