Grammer - Subject and Predicate

What is a subject?
The subject is the person, place, or thing that acts, is acted on, or is described in the sentence.
There are three types of subjects:

1. Simple subject: a noun or a pronoun

  • she
  • he
  • cat
  • city

2. Complete subject: a noun or a pronoun plus any modifiers

  • the black cat
  • the clouds in the sky
  • his big house
  • the hungry lion 

3. Compound subject: two or more subjects joined by a conjunction 

  • Peter or Harry
  • the cat and the mouse
  • she and I
  • a bat and a ball 

What is a predicate?
A predicate usually follows the subject, tells what the subject does, has, or is, what is done to it, or where it is. It is the action or description that occurs in the sentence.

There are three types of predicates:

1. Simple predicate: a complete verb (a verb and any helping verbs)

  • stand
  • was dancing
  • could have sung
  • is sleeping

2. Complete predicate: a simple predicate plus all modifiers

  • sit on the couch
  • was singing sweetly
  • could have danced across the floor
  • was reading loudly 

3. Compound predicate: two or more predicates with the same subject

  • was singing quietly and sweetly
  • could have danced across the floor and stayed awake all night
  • sit on the couch or sit on the floor
  • play cards or watch television

Generally all sentences need a subject and a predicate.

Simple Subject: Peter
Complete Subject: My friend Peter
Compound Subject: Peter and I
Simple Predicate: jumped
Complete Predicate: jumped on the bed
Compound Predicate: jumped on the bed and fell on the “floor Subject + Predicate”

Peter jumped.
Peter and I jumped.
My friend Peter jumped on the bed.
Peter jumped on the bed and fell on the floor.
Peter and I jumped on the bed.

NOTE: A command is the only type of sentence that has no subject. The subject (“you”) is implied.

1. Stop.

  • Implied subject: you
  • Predicate: stop

2. Read the book.

  • Implied subject: you
  • Predicate: read the book

3. Stand up

  • Implied subject: you
  • Predicate: stand up