What is a Predicate? Understanding How to Make Sentences
Sentences express our thoughts and convey our messages. Our everyday speech is made up of a number of sentences that make up conversations. Without sentences, our language will not make any sense.
In truth, the beauty of dialogue and conversations or speeches and compositions lie on beautifully constructed sentences.
But before you can write sentences, you need to understand what makes one by looking at its parts. A sentence has two parts, the subject and predicate. The subject is the one being talked about or performing an action.
What is a Predicate?
The predicate describes the action being done or what is being talked about. The simplest definition is to think of a predicate as the comment to the topic, which is the subject.
Here, Julius Caesar made his predicates, which are the underlined words, clearly predicates of action. However, other than actions, predicates may also make a description or express a state of being. Study the examples below to better understand this point.
The red doll belongs to my sister.
You need a bag for your grocery.
John Preacher is the new head teacher.
The student and the teacher walk to school.
From the examples above, you will see that the predicate follows a certain formula:
- It follows the subject,
- It begins with a verb describing an action or state of being, and
- Expresses a thought about the subject.
What is a predicate phrase?
A predicate may be simple with just one word or more like a whole phrase. The importance of a predicate in the sentence can best be described as understanding the phrase “I am”. These two words already have a subject and a verb (linking verb), but it does not mean anything. You still need a predicate phrase to complete the thought. A full predicate may even contain a series of words.
I am Maya.
The children sing.
She cooks breakfast every morning.
She studies at night, works during the day and rests a few hours in between.
The building was designed by a world renowned architect.
Placement of Subject and Predicate
In typical conversation, the subject is often found in the beginning of the sentence. However, the predicate may sometimes precede the subject. This often occurs when the sentence is a question or an interrogative one.
There are also instances that a sentence may have a predicate first. This often occurs in imperative sentences or those that begin with a “there” or “here”.
For other cases, you can identify the predicate by first determining the subject. You can find the subject by isolating the verb and ask who is performing the action or being described.
Does my voice sound clear?
Here are your supplies.
Will you be willing to volunteer your services to charity projects?
There will be three foreign movies showing in the mall next week.
In spite of the damage brought by the landslide, the villagers headed by its local officials, have fought against starvation by gathering root crops.
For sure, a predicate is an important element in completing a sentence. We use predicates when we write or engage in conversation with our peers. “What is a predicate?” is best answered through our everyday speech and usage.