Subject and predicate are two essential components of a sentence in English grammar, without which a sentence cannot be formed. The subject refers to the person, thing, or idea that the sentence is about, while the predicate provides information about the subject, such as what it is doing or what is being done to it.
For example, in the sentence “The girl is sleeping now,” the subject is “the girl,” while the predicate is “is sleeping now.” Similarly, in the sentence “The teacher taught writing letters.”, the subject is “the teacher,” while the predicate is “writing letters.”
It is important to understand the concept of subject and predicate in order to construct grammatically correct sentences in English. To learn more about subject and predicate, please read on below.
Definition of Subject and Predicate
In a sentence, the subject is the person, place, thing, or idea that the sentence is about. It typically comes before the verb and answers the question “who?” or “what?” For example, in the sentence “The dog barked at the mailman,” “The dog” is the subject.
In short ➡Subject is who or what the sentence is about. It’s usually a person, animal, or thing.
Example: Sarla is reading a book.
In this sentence, “Sarla” is the subject because she is the one doing the action, which is reading.
The predicate, on the other hand, is the part of the sentence that contains the verb and provides information about the subject. It typically comes after the subject and answers the questions “what?” or “what happened?” in relation to the subject. In the sentence “The dog barked at the mailman,” “barked at the mailman” is the predicate.
In short ➡Predicate is what the subject is doing or what is being said about the subject.
Example: Sarah is reading a book.
In this sentence, “is reading a book” is the predicate because it tells us what Sarah is doing.
Subject and Predicate Examples
In these examples, the subject is the noun or pronoun that performs the action or is described in the sentence. The predicate is the verb or verb phrase that describes the action or state of the subject.
|The cat||sat on the mat||“The cat” is the subject and “sat on the mat” is the predicate.|
|My sister||is a doctor||“My sister” is the subject and “is a doctor” is the predicate.|
|Dogs||bark at strangers||“Dogs” is the subject and “bark at strangers” is the predicate.|
|The book||has 500 pages||“The book” is the subject and “has 500 pages” is the predicate.|
|My parents||are retired||“My parents” is the subject and “are retired” is the predicate.|
|The flowers in May||bloom in abundance during this month||“The flowers in May” is the subject and “bloom in abundance during this month” is the predicate.|
Types of Subject and Predicates
Types of Subjects
The subject is the Part of the sentence that talks about the noun which refers to the person or thing doing the action in the form of verbs. There are three types of subjects, these are:
- Simple Subject
- Complete Subject
- Compound Subject
- Implicit Subject
|Type of Subject||Description||Example|
|Simple Subject||The main word or words that tell what or whom the sentence is about||The cat sat on the mat. (The simple subject is “cat”)|
|Complete Subject||The simple subject and all the words that modify or describe it||The black cat with white paws sat on the mat. (The complete subject is “the black cat with white paws”)|
|Compound Subject||Two or more simple subjects that share the same verb||John and Mary went to the store. (The compound subject is “John and Mary”)|
|Implicit Subject||The subject is not explicitly stated in the sentence, but it is understood from the context||Ran for an hour. (The implicit subject is “I”)|
|Expletive Subject||A subject that consists of an introductory word or phrase, such as “there” or “it,” that does not refer to anything specific but simply sets the stage for the sentence||There are many books on the shelf. (The expletive subject is “there”)|
Types of Predicates
The Predicate is the part of the sentence that tells something about the subject. There are three major types of Predicates:
- Simple Predicate
- Complete Predicate
- Compound Predicate
|Simple Predicate||A simple predicate is the main verb or verb phrase in a sentence that expresses the action or state of being of the subject.||“The cat sleeps,” the simple predicate is “sleeps.”|
|Complete Predicate||A complete predicate consists of the main verb or verb phrase plus any modifiers or objects that complete the meaning of the sentence.||“The cat sleeps on the windowsill,” the complete predicate is “sleeps on the windowsill.”|
|Compound Predicate||A compound predicate is a sentence with two or more verbs or verb phrases connected by a conjunction.||“The cat sleeps and the dog barks,” the compound predicate is “sleeps and barks.”|
|Verbal Predicate||A verbal predicate is a verb form that functions as a predicate but is not the main verb of the sentence. It can be a participle, gerund, or infinitive.||“The cat is sleeping,” the verbal predicate is “is sleeping,” with “sleeping” being the present participle of the verb “sleep.”|
|Nominal Predicate||A nominal predicate is a predicate that consists of a noun or pronoun that renames or describes the subject of the sentence, and a linking verb that connects the subject to the predicate.||“The cat is a Siamese,” the nominal predicate is “is a Siamese.”|
Difference Between Subject and Predicate
From the explanations above we can summarize – the subject is what the sentence is about, while the predicate is what is said about the subject.
|It is the noun or pronoun that performs the action or is the focus of the sentence.||It is the part of the sentence that contains the verb and explains what the subject is doing.|
|It answers the question “who” or “what” is doing the action.||It answers the question “what” is happening or being done.|
|It comes before the predicate in the sentence.||It comes after the subject in the sentence.|
|Example: “Jane invited me to her birthday party.” – “John” is the subject.||Example: “Jane invited me to her birthday party.” – “invited me to her birthday party” is the predicate.|
|Types of Subjects:|
1. Simple Subject (only noun)
2. Complete Subject (noun with a modifier)
3. Compound Subject (two or more nouns joined with a conjunction)
|Types of Predicates: |
1. Simple Predicate (only verb)
2. Complete Predicate (verb with a modifier)
3. Compound Predicate (two or more verbs joined with conjunction)
Exercises: Subject and Predicate
I. Identify the subject and predicate in the following sentences.
- The birds are singing beautifully.
- My best friend and I are going to the beach tomorrow.
- The teacher gave us a lot of homework.
- The sky turned dark and stormy.
- The baby cried all night long.
- My parents always encourage me to do my best.
- The chef cooked us a delicious meal.
- The train arrived at the station on time.
- The flowers in the garden are blooming.
- The children were playing in the park.
- Subject: The birds / Predicate: are singing beautifully.
- Subject: My best friend and I / Predicate: are going to the beach tomorrow.
- Subject: The teacher / Predicate: gave us a lot of homework.
- Subject: The sky / Predicate: turned dark and stormy.
- Subject: The baby / Predicate: cried all night long.
- Subject: My parents / Predicate: always encourage me to do my best.
- Subject: The chef / Predicate: cooked us a delicious meal.
- Subject: The train / Predicate: arrived at the station on time.
- Subject: The flowers in the garden / Predicate: are blooming.
- Subject: The children / Predicate: were playing in the park.
II. Complete the following sentences by adding an appropriate subject or predicate.
- _______ walked to the store to buy some milk.
- The cat ____________ the mouse around the room.
- ________ is my favourite season.
- The car _____________ down the highway at top speed.
- ____________ always makes me laugh.
- The children ____________ their bikes to the park.
- _____________ is a very talented musician.
- My sister and I ____________ to the gym every morning.
- The storm ____________ the power lines and knocked out the electricity.
- ____________ is the capital city of India.
There can be many varied answers as subject and predicate in the blanks.
- I walked to the store to buy some milk.
- The cat chased the mouse around the room.
- Spring is my favourite season.
- The car raced down the highway at top speed.
- My best friend always makes me laugh.
- The children rode their bikes to the park.
- Beyoncé is a very talented musician.
- My sister and I go to the gym every morning.
- The storm damaged the power lines and knocked out the electricity.
- New Delhi is the capital city of India.
Attempt The Following Exercise by Yourself:
I. Identify Subject and Predicate in the following Sentences:
Example: The students in your class are very intelligent.
Subject: The students in your class
Predicate: are very intelligent
1. My father enjoys playing piano.
2. When do we celebrate Christmas?
3. The dog barked at the mailman.
4. What did you eat for breakfast?
5. She ran to the store before it closed.
6. The movie we watched last night was really scary.
7. Who won the game?
II. Identify Subject and Predicate in the following Sentences: (From Wren and Martin Grammar Book)
1. The crackling of geese saved Rome.
2. The boy stood on the burning deck.
3. Tubal Cain was a man of might.
4. Stone walls do not make a prison.
5. The singing of the birds delights us.
6. Miss Kitty was rude at the table one day.
7. He has a good memory.
8. Bad habits grow unconsciously.
9. The earth revolves round the sun.
10. Nature is the best physician.
11. Edison invented the phonograph.
12. The sea hath many thousand sands.
13. We cannot pump the ocean dry.
14. Borrowed garments never fit well.
15. The early bird catches the worm.
16. All matter is indestructible.
17. Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan.
18. We should profit by experience.
19. All roads lead to Rome.
20. A guilty conscience needs no excuse.
21. The beautiful rainbow soon faded away.
22. No man can serve two masters.
23. A sick room should be well aired.
24. The dewdrops glitter in the sunshine.
25. I shot an arrow into the air.
26. A barking sound the shepherd hears.
27. On the top of the hill lives a hermit.
1. What is the subject of a sentence?
Ans. The subject is the part of the sentence that performs the action or is being described.
2. What is the predicate of a sentence?
Ans. The predicate is the part of the sentence that provides information about the subject, such as what the subject is doing or what is being done to the subject.
3. How can I identify the subject and predicate in a sentence?
Ans. To identify the subject and predicate in a sentence, you can ask “who” or “what” before the verb to find the subject, and “what happened” or “what is happening” after the subject to find the predicate.
4. Can a sentence have more than one subject or predicate?
Ans. Yes, a sentence can have more than one subject or predicate. For example, “John and Mary went to the store” has two subjects (John and Mary) and one predicate (went to the store).
5. Can a sentence have more than one predicate?
Ans. Yes, a sentence can have more than one predicate. This is called a compound predicate.
6. Can the subject and predicate be switched in a sentence?
Ans. No, the subject and predicate cannot be switched in a sentence. The subject always comes before the predicate.
7. Is the subject always a noun or pronoun?
Ans. The subject is usually a noun or pronoun, but it can also be a gerund or an infinitive.
8. Can the predicate be a single word?
Ans. Yes, the predicate can be a single word, such as “is” or “run.”
9. Can a sentence have a subject without a predicate?
Ans. No, a sentence must have both a subject and a predicate to be a complete sentence.
10. Can a sentence have a predicate without a subject?
Ans. No, a sentence must have both a subject and a predicate to be a complete sentence.