What is a Predicate?
Every sentence is divided into two main parts: the subject and the predicate. The subject is what the sentence is discussing or pertaining to, and the predicate is what is being said about or a description the subject. A predicate requires a verb for it to qualify as such.
For example, in the sentence ‘Jane runs in the field’, the subject is ‘Jane’ and the predicate is ‘runs in the field’. A key to identifying the predicate is to identify the verb, after which, identify what the verb is pertaining to by asking ‘who’ or ‘what’. In this case, ‘runs’ is the verb so if we ask ‘who runs?’ The answer is ‘Jane runs’ and therefore the subject is Jane, and the predicate is ‘runs in the field’.
In some instances, the verb is a linking verb like ‘am’, ‘is’ or ‘are’, which indicates a state of being. In the sentence ‘I am beautiful’, the linking verb is ‘am’, pertaining to ‘I’. The subject is then ‘I’ and the predicate is ‘am beautiful’.
If the predicate is composed of a verb followed by a noun to describe the subject, then the predicate is a ‘predicate nominal’. An example of this is ‘Mary is a teacher’.
If the predicate’s verb is followed by a descriptive word, then this is a ‘predicate adjective’. An example of this is ‘Mary runs fast’.