Simple Predicates :
A predicate is the completer of a sentence. The subject names the "do-er" or "be-er" of the sentence; the predicate does the rest of the work. A simple predicate consists of only a verb, verb string, or compound verb:
- The glacier melted.
- The glacier has been melting.
- The glacier melted, broke apart, and slipped into the sea.
A compound predicate consists of two (or more) such predicates connected:
- The glacier began to slip down the mountainside and eventually crushed some of the village's outlying buildings.
A complete predicate consists of the verb and all accompanying modifiers and other words that receive the action of a transitive verb or complete its meaning. The following description of predicates comes from The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers (examples our own):
With an intransitive verb, objects and complements are included in the predicate. (The glacier is melting.) With a transitive verb, objects and object complements are said to be part of the predicate. (The slow moving glacier wiped out an entire forest. It gave the villagers a lot of problems.) With a linking verb, the subject is connected to a subject complement. (The mayor doesn't feel good.)
A predicate adjective follows a linking verb and tells us something about the subject:
- Ramonita is beautiful.
- His behavior has been outrageous.
- That garbage on the street smells bad.
A predicate nominative follows a linking verb and tells us what the subject is:
- Dr. Couchworthy is acting president of the university.
- She used to be the tallest girl on the team.