Predicate of a Sentence

What Is the Predicate of a Sentence? (with Examples)

The predicate is the part of a sentence (or clause) which tells us what the subject does or is. To put it another way, the predicate is everything that is not the subject.

At the heart of the predicate is a verb. In addition to the verb, a predicate can contain direct objects, indirect objects, and various kinds of phrases.

A sentence has two parts: the subject and the predicate. The subject is what the sentence is about, and the predicate is a comment about the subject.

Examples of Predicates of Sentences

Here are some examples of predicates. In each example, the predicate of the sentence is shaded and the verb in the predicate is in bold.

Predicates in Clauses

A clause contains a subject and predicate too. The examples below are all clauses not sentences. The predicate is shaded and the verb of the clause is in bold.

Predicates within Predicates

It is common for a clause to feature within a sentence predicate. For example:

Predicate in a Sentence Starting There

When a sentence starts "There" + [verb to be], the word there is not the subject. It is part of the predicate. Look at this example: The subject is a guy who works down our chip shop who swears he's Elvis. Everything else is the predicate. It helps if you write it like this: In structure, it is no different from this:

A Quick Test

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See Also

What is a clause? What is a subject? What is a sentence? What is a predicate adjective? Glossary of grammatical terms