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Subjects and Predicates (Verbs)

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Michelle Sanders

on 27 January 2015

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Transcript of Subjects and Predicates (Verbs)

Subjects and Predicates: A Survival Guide

The subject is who or what the sentence is about.
The predicate expresses what is said about the subject.
When finding the verb, make sure to include helping, or auxiliary, verbs.
What is the verb?
The subject and predicate together make up a simple sentence. Without them, the sentence is not complete. An incomplete sentence is called a fragment. It's like music without the sound; there's something missing in it.
Special Cases
Sometimes, the subject won't always be stated. This would apply to imperative sentences (also known as commands).
Compound Subjects and Verbs
If there are more than one subject or predicate in a sentence, the subject or predicate would be compound.
Concrete Nouns
Concrete nouns refer to nouns that describe specific things you could physically touch. Do the "drop-on-my-foot" test.
The predicate expresses what is said about the subject.
The predicate
contains a verb.
The cat with long hair is sleeping quietly.
Most subjects come before verbs, but not all do.
If there is a question, the verb will come before the subject.
Are you ready?
To find the subject, convert the question into a statement.
You are ready.
Here's another helpful hint: If a sentence starts with
, the verb will come after
, and the subject will follow that word.

Unlike the subject in a sentence, a prepositional phrase is unnecessary in a sentence. In fact, it might make you think that it's the subject of a sentence when it's actually not.
Over the river and through the woods,
to Grandmother's house we go!
Try to find where the prepositions are. Over, through, and to are all prepositions, so you can cross the phrases out as we look for the subject.
Once you've crossed out the prepositional phrases, you can more easily determine the subject of the sentence.
My sister felt anticipation.
Where is the verb in this sentence? That verb starts the predicate.

Can you figure out what the complete predicate is?

What do you think is the simple predicate?
My mom cooked dinner.
To find out where the predicate is, find the subject. In this sentence, the simple subject is mom. Then ask, what did the subject do?
Active Verbs
The computer
was turned on

My family and I visited the park.

There are two subjects, which are "my family" and "I". That would be the compound subjects. To find the simple subjects, find the nouns. "Family" and "I" are the simple subjects.
Never include "and" in the simple subject of a compound subject.
For exercise, I rode my bike and ran a mile.
This sentence has two verbs, which are "rode" and "ran". They both describe the action I did. Remember "and" is not part of the verb.
Just like with the simple subject, only state the verbs. Never use "and". The simple predicates are "rode" and "ran".
Bring the pencil over here, please.
This is a tricky one because the subject isn't listed in the sentence.
Who is supposed to bring the pencil? Think about it for a moment...
Sadness covered her face.
Sadness is the subject of this sentence, but what does the writer mean by sadness. That is a noun that can be interpreted in many different ways. It's better to use a concrete noun to paint a clear and vivid image in the reader's mind.
Are tears concrete? Could they drop on my foot? Yes, the could, so tears are a concrete noun.
Tears covered her face.
The more we can write with concrete nouns, the clearer our writing will become.
As you select your subjects (nouns), ask yourself
"Can I drop this on my foot?" If not, then select a different noun that you can.

One other important step to remember when finding verbs: words like not, just, never, only, and always are NOT part of the verb even though they often come in between a helping verb & main verb.
Woo hoo! You found the complete subject! Can you whittle this complete subject to its simple subject? this is a preposition with an adjective and a noun, which together make a propositional phrase that describes the d cat. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Yep! This is the verb. Both "is" and "sleeping" are the complete verb. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX This is an adverb describing how the cat is sleeping.
Every sentence must have a subject in it.
The first step in finding the subject is to cross out any prepositional phrases. Look for a preposition word and a noun(s) following it.
See page 443 for a list of prepositions
Some of the students in Mr. Kinder's class laughed.
Can you find the prepositional phrases in the sentence?
Some of the students in Mr. Kinder's class laughed.
How many of you would have initially thought that the subject of this sentence was "Some"? See how the prepositional phrases can lead you astray from the subject? That's why you will always cross them out before you find the subject!
Every sentence must have a predicate in it.
Over the river and through the woods,
to Grandmother's house we go!
After crossing out the prepositions, it's much easier to identify the subject of the sentence.
Ah! This is better. What is the subject of the sentence?
It can be confusing to find the subject when the sentence is written as a question.
There is the
Statue of Liberty.
is not the subject of the sentence.
Think about it for a minute. Who or what is sitting?
It might help to change the order of the sentence.
The dog sits here.
Is it easier to determine the subject of the sentence now?
The same rule applies here. Invert, or switch, the
subject and verb.
The Statue of Liberty is there.
What is the subject of the sentence?
There is the Statue of Liberty.
Here sits the dog.
Here sits the dog.
Let's practice!
Directions: Cross out the prepositional phrases in each sentence. Isolate verb, and determine what the verb describes. Once you've identified the subject, write an S above each subject and a V above each verb.
1. The girl smiled broadly.
2. After the basketball game, the fans of the team greeted the players warmly.
3. In the early morning hours, a student from my first hour class brought me a hot cup of coffee.
4. At the end of the last day of the quarter, the reader with the most AR points won a large Dairy Queen blizzard.
Notice a pattern?
Bonus Material
This part with questions, here, & there will not be on the test, but it is good to know.
Hakim started the computer.
The car's air conditioner
was fixed by
the mechanic.
The mechanic
the car's air conditioner.
The flag
in the breeze.
The flag
in the breeze.
Subject & Verb practice pg. 445
Concrete or Abstract?
elbow respect wastebasket

charity dinner

music freedom swing
Now, with a partner, practice turning abstract
nouns into more concrete, specific ones.
Example: Exercise Running Shoes
Word Choice: Is it the best verb possible?
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