What Is A Complete Predicate?

A complete predicate is made up of a verb and all the words that help modify the verb. For example, in the sentence “The superhero ran faster than the eye could see”, “ran” would be the verb, but the words “faster than the eye could see” are all used to modify the verb “ran;” therefore, the complete predicate would be “ran faster than the eye could see”.


Complete Predicates
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Complete Predicates

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. In this sentence, “he” is the subject. I’m going to put one line under it. “Ran” is the verb of this sentence. “He ran a long way.” A simple predicate would just be the verb right here, “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. The subject is right here, and then the verb. All these words past the verb are going to be part of the predicate. That’s not always true, but generally you can determine the predicate that way.


This next sentence says, “The elderly mayor retired yesterday.” “Mayor” is the subject, so I’ll put one line under that word, and “retired” is the verb. “Yesterday” is also part of the predicate, so the complete predicate would be “retired yesterday.” The reason “yesterday” is part of the predicate is because I said that any words that modify the verb or further describe the verb are part of the predicate. “Yesterday” is what we call an adverb, which is a word that modifies the verb. “Yesterday” is telling when the mayor retired. “Yesterday” further explains the verb “retired.” That’s why “yesterday” is part of the predicate. “Retired yesterday” would be the complete predicate of that sentence.


This last example says, “I wrote a paper last night and turned it in this morning.” This sentence looks kind of complicated when determining the predicate, but it’s actually pretty easy. “I” is this subject. The verb right here is going to be “wrote”. The complete predicate is going to be “wrote a paper last night”. “And” is what we call a conjunction, because it joins two parts of a sentence together. Right after “and”, we see another verb, which is “turned”. Turned is a verb. “Turned it in this morning” is also going to be the complete predicate. Right here we see a subject, and two complete predicates joined together by a conjunction. Sometimes, sentences are going to have to complete predicates.


The important thing to remember here is that a complete predicate consists of the verb and any words that modify or further explain the verb.



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Last updated: 07/10/2018
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