myQBook Grammar Concept



Simple Subject and Predicate

Simple subject:

A simple subject only includes the actual noun performing the action of the sentence. Any modifiers and phrases that come after the noun are not included in the simple subject. A simple subject, however, may be more than one word. Consider the following examples:

Kelsey gave the picture away at an auction.

A giant, smelly pine cone on the top of a tree scared me.

Here, “Kelsey” and “pine cone” are the nouns performing the action of the verb; therefore, they are the simple subjects in these sentences. Notice that none of the modifiers are included in the simple subject.

 

Simple predicate:

A simple predicate only includes the main verb and any auxiliary verbs in the sentence. Any modifiers and phrases that come after the verb are not included in the simple predicate. A simple predicate may also be more than one word. Consider the following examples:

Michael prepared the Thanksgiving dinner this year.

They could have smiled much more enthusiastically for the group pictures.

Here, “prepared” and “could have smiled” are the verbs that the subject is performing; therefore, they are the simple predicates in these sentences. Notice that none of the modifiers, objects, and phrases are included in the simple predicate.

 

Modifiers

Before we continue the explanation of subjects and predicates (and the other parts of a sentence), we should understand the meaning of the word "modifier". This word will be used many times throughout the discussion of this section.

In grammar, to modify means to add detail to a word, phrase or clause and confine its meaning. A modifier is simply a word, phrase or clause that performs this job.

As you learned in the parts of speech section, adjectives and adverbs are modifiers. Adjectives modify nouns, while adverbs modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs.

 





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Subject and Predicate
Complete Subject and Predicate

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