Subject

Every sentence must have a subject although sometimes, a subject may not appear in a sentence. The subject is one of the two main parts that make up a sentence. The other part is the predicate which usually follows the subject. The subject of a sentence is either a noun that can be a person, place, thing, or idea; or a pronoun such as I, you, she, it, or they; or a noun phrase. The subject either performs an action as expressed by the main verb or shows a state of being as indicated by the verb. Likewise, every verb in a sentence must have a subject.  

 

 

Subject

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Predicate

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Sentence

 
Stan sings.
(Stan = subject /noun; sings = predicate/action verb)
She is sick.
(She = subject / pronoun; is sick = predicate indicating state of being of the subject)
Wait here while I go and get some drinks.
(A predicate without the subject. The subject is understood to be ‘you’.)
You wait here while I go and get some drinks.
 

The subject of a sentence is called a compound subject when it is composed of two or more nouns or pronouns connected by the conjunction and or or. A compound subject is followed by a plural verb.

 

Examples of subjects followed by main verbs shown in bold
Tom and Tommy are twin brothers.
He or his sister is driving.

 

Predicate

Every sentence is made up of a subject and a predicate. A predicate completes a sentence by expressing what the subject does or what the subject is. The predicate consists of one main verb which can be an action verb or a linking verb, or a verb phrase and the complement that follows.

 

A complement is a word or word group that completes the predicate in a sentence. it includes objects and modifiers.

 

The action verb describes the action performed by the subject while the linking verb shows the state of being of the subject. The action verb is usually followed by a direct object, an indirect object or a phrase which can be prepositional phrase or adverbial phrase, or modifiers. What follows the linking verb is either a noun called subject complement or predicate nominative, or an adjective known as predicte adjective.

 

Examples of predicates shown in bold
Predicate of a single verb: The child sneezes.
Predicate of a verb phrase: Our dog is barking.
Predicate of a verb and a direct object: Abu rides a camel.
Predicate of a verb, direct object and indirect object: John bought his monkey a packet of peanuts.
Predicate of a verb and its modifier: She dresses smartly.
Predicate of a linking verb and its complement: He is an ambulance driver.

 

Compound Predicate
A compound predicate expresses two or more actions performed by the same subject in a sentence. Such a predicate is used to indicate that the subject is doing more than one action.
 

 

The predicate tells us all about the subject. It begins with a verb or verb phrase as indicated in this table:

  

Subject Predicate          
Noun Verb/verb phrase Noun Pronoun Adjective Adverb  
Jack yawns.          
Jill likes  rabbits.        
Pronoun    
She is shopping.          
They bully    him.      
Noun Phrase    
Some passengers are feeling     seasick.    
The road accident  happened       here.