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Identify Complete Predicate of A Sentence

Grade 3
Sep 19, 2022

Identify a complete predicate in a sentence, ask yourself what the subject is. Remember that a complete predicate includes the verb or verb phrase plus all the words that accompany it. 

A complete predicate consists of both the verb of a sentence and the words around it; the words that modify the verb and complete its meaning.  

“He ran a long way.” 

In this sentence, he is the subject. Ran is the verb of this sentence. A simple predicate would just be the verb ran. We’re looking for a complete predicate here. 

A complete predicate is going to be all the words that modify and further describe the verb. “Ran a long way” is the complete predicate in this sentence. 


Generally, all the words that come after the verb are going to be part of the predicate. That’s not always true, but generally, you can determine the predicate that way. 

Here are examples: 

  • The rain poured down from the hills  
  • The singer finished her last song. 
  • Liam hit a homerun. 
  • The new tent is easy to assemble. 
  • Dad will take us to the park. 

In its simplest definition, a sentence is a group of words expressing a complete thought. There are two main parts that every sentence must have in order to be considered complete: a subject and a predicate. The subject is the main actor; it is the person or thing doing the action. The predicate is the action, also known as the verb. If a sentence has a subject and a predicate, then it is a complete sentence. 

The predicate of a sentence is the part that modifies the subject of a sentence or clause in some way. The predicate specifies what the subject is or does or tells what is done to the subject. Because the subject is the person, place or thing that a sentence is about, the predicate must contain a verb explaining what the subject does. It can also include a modifier, an object or a compliment. 

A predicate can be as simple as a single word that shows the action in a sentence. It is used to tell you what the subject of the sentence does. Look at a few of the shorter sentences in the English language. The subjects are underlined and the predicates are bold. 


Here are some examples: 

She danced. – The subject of the sentence is “she,” the person being spoken about. But what is being conveyed or expressed about this person? She performed an action, of course; she danced. The word that modifies the subject “she” is the past-tense verb “danced,” which is the predicate. 

It talked! – “It” might be a baby saying a word for the first time, a parrot squawking “Hello” or even an inanimate object somehow bestowed with the power of speech. What you know about “it” is that, according to the sentence, it spoke. “Talked” modifies the subject “it,” so “talked” is the predicate. 

I sing. – The subject of the sentence is “I.” What is the point of the sentence? For the subject to specify an action that they perform, which is to sing. “Sing” is the verb that is the predicate of this sentence. 


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