Complete Predicates

When you create a sentence, there are two things that must be present: a subject and a predicate. You can include other things as well, but if one of those pieces is missing, your sentence is incomplete.

In this video, we’re going to focus on predicates. Specifically, we’ll take a look at what simple predicates and complete predicates are.

Let’s get started!

First, let’s define what a simple predicate is.

A simple predicate is the main verb or verb phrase of a sentence. This means that the simple predicate will almost always be just one or two words.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples.

Jason walked quickly toward his next class.

 

In this sentence, the verb is the word walked, so walked is the simple predicate.

Let’s try another sentence.

Amber was tired because she spent all night studying.

 

In this sentence, there are two verbs: was and spent. The simple predicate will always be the main verb or verb phrase of the sentence, which is the verb that is most directly connected to the subject. In this case, the main verb is was, so that is the simple predicate.

Now that you’ve got the hang of simple predicates, let’s take a look at complete predicates. A complete predicate contains the main verb and all of the words that are attached to the verb. This would include things like adverbs, adverb phrases, and prepositional phrases.

Let’s look at our previous example sentence:

Amber was tired because she spent all night studying.

 

We figured out that the main verb is was, so we need to look for all of the words that are attached to the word was in some way. In this case, tired is a predicate adjective that describes what Amber was, and “because she spent all night studying” is an adverbial phrase that describes why Amber was tired, so we know the complete predicate must be “was tired because she spent all night studying.”

Let’s try a different sentence:

Caleb swam in the pool all day.

 

In this sentence, the main verb is swam. The prepositional phrase “in the pool” describes where Caleb swam, and the adverb phrase “all day” describes to what extent Caleb swam, so the complete predicate here is “swam in the pool all day.”

Ok, let’s look at another, slightly more complex example.

Jack finished his homework and played video games for a few hours.

 

This sentence contains a compound predicate, which means it contains two verbs that both share the same subject. The two verbs are finished and played. If we gather all of the words and phrases that are connected to this simple predicate, we get the complete predicate: “finished his homework and played video games for a few hours.”


Ok, to wrap things up, let’s go over a couple of review questions.

1. What is the simple predicate in the following sentence?

The dog waited by the door for his owner to return home.

  1. return
  2. waited
  3. to return
  4. The dog waited
The correct answer is B.

The simple predicate is just the main verb of the sentence. In this case, there are two verbs: waited and return. The verb waited is directly connected to the subject, dog, so we know it must be the main verb of the sentence.

 

2. What is the complete predicate in the following sentence?

Chloe and Dave arrived early and helped set up the decorations.

  1. arrived early and helped set up
  2. Chloe and Dave arrived and helped
  3. arrived early and helped set up the decorations
  4. Chloe and Dave set up the decorations
The correct answer is C.

This sentence contains a compound predicate, arrived and helped. The complete predicate must contain all the words and phrases that are attached to those verbs, so the complete predicate is “arrived early and helped set up the decorations.”

 

All right, that’s all for this review. Thanks for watching, and happy studying!


 

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: November 22, 2022