What is the predicate?

We have already seen what the subject is. Now let’s examine what the predicate is.

Every word in a sentence that is not part of the subject is part of the predicate. Let’s consider the sentence ‘Sun rises in the east’.

We know that ‘sun’ is the subject of this sentence. So what about the predicate? How do you find the predicate? Well, it is simple: just remove the subject from the sentence and you will get the predicate.

So in this case ‘rises in the east’ is the predicate.

More examples are given below.

  • Rose smells sweet. (Subject – rose; predicate – smells sweet)
  • The crow was thirsty. (Subject – the crow; predicate – was thirsty)
  • The birds fly in the sky. (Subject – the birds; predicate – fly in the sky)
  • She put the money in the box. (Subject – she; predicate – put the money in the box)
  • She was my senior at college. (Subject – she; predicate – was my senior at college)

The predicate can consist of any number of words. The most important word in a predicate is the verb. A verb is an action word. That means it indicates an action. Examples are: sing, dance, write, read, work, make, cook, draw, cry, smile and laugh. Words like is, am, are, was, were, has, have, had, do, does, did, will, would, shall, should, can, could, may, might, must, ought and need are also verbs. In grammar books they are called auxiliary or helping verbs.