Definition: A simple sentence can be divided into two parts; the subject and the predicate, the predicate is the verb and any complement of the verb. The predicate provides information about the subject, such as what the subject is doing or what the subject is like.

For example:

  • David plays the piano
    * The predicate is "plays the piano".

The predicate must contain a verb, and the verb requires, permits or precludes other sentence elements to complete the predicate. These elements are:

  • Objects (direct, indirect, prepositional).
  • Predicatives (predicate complements).
  • Adverbials (either obligatory or adjuncts).

For example:

  • She dances. (verb only predicate)
  • John read the book. (direct object)
  • John's mother Felicity gave me a present. (indirect object without a preposition)
  • She listened to the radio. (prepositional object)
  • They elected him president. (predicative /object complement)
  • She met him in the park. (adverbial adjunct)
  • She is in the park. (obligatory adverbial / adverbial complement)

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