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Predicate

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  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips
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Do you know what a predicate is? It sounds somehow familiar but only a few of us really understand the meaning of the term. Predicate is a grammatical term that is used often in English language and literature. It has to do with clauses. Are you aware of what a clause is?

Let’s first clear that up.

Clause

A clause is a group of words in a sentence which contains a subject and a verb.

Example:

The boy is playing.

In the above simple sentence, boy is the subject and playing is the verb so the part boy is playing is a clause because it has both subject and verb.

Predicate

A predicate in English language is a part of a clause. A predicate is a group of words that tells us something about a subject like what it is? What is it doing? Or how it is doing what it is doing in a sentence. In other simpler words, a predicate refers to everything in a clause except the subject.

Example:

The boy is playing.

In the above clause, we know that boy is the subject, so the predicate will be is playing as it is telling us something about the subject i.e. boy.

This is the simplest form of a predicate. But know that every predicate contains a verb that defines the action that is taking place in the clause by the subject.

Along with a verb, a predicate may or may not also contain object, indirect object, and other small phrases.

Example:

The postman brought a handful of letters.

In the above clause, the postman is the subject and brought a handful of letters is the predicate. The verb of the above sentence is brought which gives information about the action of the subject. Along with that, the clause also contains a direct object that is letters and a phrase that is a handful of letters.

In conclusion, a predicate is a part of a clause that does not contain a subject but it contains information about the subject. Except the subject, the rest of the clause is termed as predicate. A predicate must always contain a verb but in addition to that it might also contain direct and indirect objects and phrases.

Example:

The girl ate food like a gorilla.

Subject: the girl

Predicate: ate food like a gorilla

Verb: ate

Direct object: food like a gorilla

Phrase: food like a

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