Subjects & Predicates

Subjects & Predicates
The complete subject and predicate
Any clause can be divided into two parts. One half will tell what that clause is about (the
subject), the other half will tell something about that subject (the predicate).
The complete subject contains the subject and any modifiers that go along with it
(adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases).
The man in the blue shirt is my uncle from Australia.
The complete subject contains the subject of the sentence (man) along with the
The other half of that sentence is called the complete predicate. This contains the verb
and any modifiers that go along with it: ….. Is my uncle from Australia.
Draw a line between the complete subject and complete predicate.
1. The blue flowers along the edge of the garden were planted last year.
2. The movie was about a popcorn salesman from North Dakota.
3. The band from my high school was invited to a parade in Kansas City.
4. A group of students gathered near the main library.
5. Did Dave and Karen win the lottery? (RESTATE …..)
Dave and Karen did win the lottery.
The Simple Subject and Predicate
Although it’s important to understand the complete subject and predicate in order to
understand the parts of a sentence, from here on out we will be dealing primarily with
the simple subject and verb. The simple subject and verb excludes all the modifiers.
Example: The meeting in the conference room will begin in five minutes.
*The subject and verb will NEVER be in a prepositional phrase. Therefore, if you are
looking for the subject and verb, it sometimes helps to cross out prepositional phrases
in order to make the subject and verb more obvious.
In the above example, once I crossed off prepositional phrases, all I’d have left is
The meeting in the conference room will begin in five minutes.
It makes the task a tad easier, eh?
What can and cannot be a subject
Subjects will always be nouns or pronouns, or groups of words acting as nouns or
pronouns (that we’ll learn about later).
Subjects will never be in a prepositional phrase, so cross them off!
The simple subject should never include modifiers, such as adjectives and adverbs.
The blue car in the driveway is mine.
(Car is the subject, but blue should not be included.)
Special Circumstances
When a sentence is a command, the subject is not stated. Write in “you” as the
subject, since this is whom a command would be addressed to, so that would be the
The same rule applies: restate questions so that they’re declarative sentences.
This will not only put your verb phrase back together, but it will put your word
order back to normal, making it easier to find the subject and verb.
No, not the $@*# kind of expletives. An expletive is a filler word like “here” or
“there” that is used to begin a sentence. It will NEVER be the subject of a
sentence. Ever. EVER!
There is a soccer game after school.
*When a sentence begins with an expletive, it will produce an inverted
(backward) sentence, so the verb will appear before the subject.
Underline the subject ONCE and the verb TWICE in the following sentences.
1. Don will remain president of this organization for the rest of the year.
2. The bird with the bright red feathers is a cardinal.
3. The travelers looked tired after their 500-mile journey.
4. There is no volleyball practice after school today.
5. Many shop owners closed their shops early due to the weather.
6. The candidate had prepared his answers extremely well.
7. Did you attend last night’s lecture by Jim Smith?
8. Will the coach talk to you tonight after the game?
9. Set the books on top of the washer and dryer.
10. During today’s practice, we will work on defense.
11. Here is the money from the fundraiser last week.
12. Someone has been sampling my wheat bread!

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