The predicate in traditional grammar is the second part of a clause or sentence, the first being the subject. A predicate completes an idea about the subject, such as what it does or what it is like.
- She dances. - verb-only predicate
- Ben reads the book. - verb + direct object predicate
- Ben's mother, Felicity, gave me a present. - verb + indirect object + direct object predicate
- She listened to the radio. - verb + prepositional object predicate
- They elected him president. - verb + object + predicative noun predicate
- She met him in the park. - verb + object + adjunct predicate
- She is in the park. - verb + predicative prepositional phrase predicate
The predicate provides information about the subject.
The subject NP is shown in green, and the predicate VP in blue.
There is a quite different theory of sentence structure, called dependency structure grammar. This puts the finite verb (= conjugated verb) as the root of all sentence structure. It rejects the binary NP-VP division.
- A good introduction is: Crystal, David 1995. The Cambridge encyclopedia of the English language. Cambridge University Press, p220. ISBN 0-521-40179-8
- Allerton D. 1979. Essentials of grammatical theory. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
- Huddleston, R. 1988. English grammar: an outline. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.