Definitions • Subject: A word or word group that tells whom or what the sentence is about. • Predicate: A word or word group that tells something about the subject.
Placement • The subject can come before, after, or between parts of the predicate: Rain / pelted the sailors. Each of the amateur mimes / performed. Away on the breeze sailed / the dry leaves. When did / Alex Haley / write Roots?
Simple Vs. Complete • Subject: Simple Subject - the main word or word group that tells whom or what the sentence is about. Complete Subject - the simple subject and any word or word groups used to modify the simple subject. • Predicate: Simple Predicate - the main word or word group that tells something about the subject; the verb or verb phrase. Complete Predicate - the simple predicate and all the words used to modify the simple predicate and to complete its meaning.
Simple Vs. Complete Examples The population of Abu Dhabi is one of the richest in the world. Simple Subject: population Complete Subject: The population of Abu Dhabi Simple Predicate: is Complete Predicate: is one of the richest in the world.
Compound Subjects and Predicates • Compound Subject - two or more subjects that are joined by a conjunction and that have the same verb. Jack and Jill went up the hill. • Compound Verb - two or more verbs that are joined by a conjunction and that have the same subject. Jill hiked faster and reached the top first.
Finding the subject Ask who or what before the verb. John ran to the store. Who ran? John In the case of commands, the subject is understood to be “you” even if the word you does not appear in the sentence. Run to the store for milk. (Even if a command names the person, direct address, the subject is still understood to be “you”) John, run to the store for milk. The subject in a sentence is never the object of a prepositional phrase. A committee of students investigated the scandal. Committee is the subject, not students.