The Predicate

September 9, 2010pdf

The most important word in the predicate is the verb. The verb is often modified by an adverb or adverb equivalent which is called the extension of the verb. This may be of different kinds.

Study the following examples:

  • He did his work efficiently. (Here the verb did is modified by the adverb efficiently.)
  • I called them one by one. (Here the extension of the verb is an adverbial phrase.)
  • She went away crying. (Here the extension of the verb is a present participle.)
  • She looked disappointed. (Past participle)
  • I want to go. (To-infinitive)
  • They went home. (Adverbial object)

The object
If the verb is a transitive verb, it must have an object to complete its meaning. Consider the sentence ‘I bought a pen.’ The words ‘I bought’ by themselves do not make complete sense. But ‘I bought a pen’ expresses a complete thought. Here ‘a pen’ is the object of the verb ‘bought’.

Kinds of object

The object is always a noun or a noun equivalent.

  • She bought a car. (Object – a noun (a car))
  • We all respected him. (Object – a pronoun)
  • We should help the needy. (Object – an adjective used as a noun)
  • She tried to escape. (Object – a to-infinitive)
  • She likes reading. (Object – gerund)
  • The officer promised to look into the matter. (Object – a phrase)

The object also may have attributes like the subject.

  • I saw a snake. (Object – snake, attribute – a)
  • I have only a vague idea about it. (Object – idea, attribute – vague)
  • I looked at her face. (Object – face, attribute – her)
  • We visited their house. (Object – house, attribute – their)
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