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.
Predicate Example 1
He ran a long way.
In this sentence, he is the subject. Ran is the verb of this sentence. A simple predicate would just be the verb 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. That’s not always true, but generally, you can determine the predicate that way.
Predicate Example 2
The elderly mayor retired yesterday.
Mayor is the subject, 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 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.
Predicate Example 3
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.
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.