The part of a sentence that contains the verb and gives information about the subject is called the predicate. In this lesson, we will discuss it.

"Predicates" in the English Grammar

What Are Predicates?

A predicate is a fundamental component of a sentence that provides information about the subject. It typically includes a verb and any other words or phrases that modify or complete the action of the verb.

Predicates: Structure

Predicates can be:

  1. Simple
  2. Complex
  3. Compound

Simple Predicates

A predicate can consist of a single verb or the main verb and its auxiliaries that show the action or state of being in a sentence. The predicate is used to convey what the subject of the sentence does or is. For example:

The frog jumped.

I understand.

I will go.

She was driving.

Complex Predicates

A complex predicate is a verb that is accompanied by one or more dependents, such as adverbs, prepositional phrases, or direct or indirect objects, that together complete the meaning of the sentence. The complex predicate contains everything except for the subject.

She gave birth to a baby on Thursday.

Her guests are arriving early tonight.

Mike has moved to a new town in pursuit of his dream job.

Compound Predicates

A compound predicate contains two or more verbs that share the same subject and are joined by a conjunction. It provides additional information about the same subject without repeating it. Pay attention to the examples:

She went to Spain with her friends and visited all the famous tourist attractions.

In this example, 'she' is the subject and 'went to Spain with her friends' and 'visited all the famous tourist attractions' are the compound predicates joined by the conjunction 'and'.

They rushed to the hospital, but were too late.

the predicate of this sentence is the verb 'jumped'


Do not confuse compound predicates with compound sentences. The following sentence does not have a compound predicate. It is a compound sentence with two subjects.

Martha fell down the stairs and Mary took her to the hospital.

Predicates with Linking Verbs

When a linking verb is used to connect the subject and the predicate, the predicate can be a:

  1. Nominal predicate
  2. Adjectival predicate
  3. Adverbial predicate

Nominal Predicates

A nominal predicate (also called a predicative noun) is a noun or group of nouns that follows a linking verb and describes the subject.


A predicate nominative is always a noun or a pronoun.

She is a nurse.

Sean was a policeman.

Adjectival Predicates

An adjectival predicate (also called a predicative adjective) is an adjective that comes after a linking verb and describes the subject. For example:

The baby is cute.

That dress looks gorgeous.


A predicative adjective is different from an attributive adjective. Attributive adjectives normally come before the noun they modify. Pay attention to the example:

That gorgeous (attributive adjective) dress was expensive (predicate adjective).

Adverbial Predicates

An adverbial predicate consists of a preposition and a noun, pronoun, or adverb that immediately follows a linking verb.

Someone is in the kitchen.

I am at a disco.


In this article, we discussed different kinds of predicates. So, what is a predicate? a predicate is everything in a standard declarative sentence except the subject. In other words, the part of a sentence or clause containing a verb and stating something about the subject is called the predicate.

There are three types of predicates in English:

  1. Simple predicate: can be just a single verb or the main verb and its auxiliaries
  2. Complex predicate: is a verb plus all its dependents
  3. Compound predicate: gives us two or more details about the same subject and has two or more verbs that are joined by a conjunction

Predicates are put in three groups when it comes to using linking verbs.

  1. Nominal predicate: is a noun or group of nouns that comes after a linking verb.
  2. Adjectival predicate: is an adjective that comes after a linking verb.
  3. Adverbial predicate: consists of preposition + noun or pronoun or adverb that immediately comes after a linking verb.


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