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A Survival Guide to Subjects and Predicates

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Michelle Ganey

on 25 November 2013

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Transcript of A Survival Guide to Subjects and Predicates

Subjects and Predicates: A Survival Guide
Introduction
Subject

The subject is who or what the sentence is about.
The predicate expresses what is said about the subject.
The second step to finding the subject is to isolate the VERB.
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 Predicates
If there are more than one subject or predicate in a sentence, the subject or predicate would be compound.
Subject-Predicate Agreement
If the subject and predicate don't agree in number, the sentence won't make sense.
Predicates
The predicate expresses what is said about the subject.
The predicate
always
contains a verb.
The cat cautiously walked near the bulldog.
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
here
or
there
, the verb will come after
here
or
there
, 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?
Quiz Time!
To review how much you know of subjects and predicates, go on www.danielcbrumfield.weebly.com and then go on the Subject and Predicate Quiz page
My family and I went to 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 homework, I used the computer and read a book
The compound predicate would be the two predicates, which are "used the computer" and "read a book". To find the simple predicates, find the verbs. The verbs are "used" and "read".
Just like with the simple subject, only state the verbs. Never use "and". The simple predicates are "used" and "read".
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...
She talk a lot.
This sentence does not make sense because the sentence doesn't make sense. The sentence must agree in number.
If the subject is singular, the verb will be singular. This would be like
She talks a lot.
If the subject is plural, like "we" in "We talk a lot.", the verb would be plural. Talk would be the verb to use.
To check if the verb is singular or plural, only look at the subject to see whether the verb is plural or not.
She walks her dogs.
Dogs are plural, but since she is the subject, and she is singular, the verb would be walks, instead it would be walk.
Predicate

The third step is to determine the subject of the sentence by asking yourself this: What does the verb describe? Who or what in the sentence is doing what the verb is doing?

Woo hoo! You found the complete subject! Can you whittle this complete subject to its simple subject? This is actually an adverb that describes how the cat walked. If you were a cat, how would you walk around a dog? That describing word would be your adverb. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Yep! This is the verb. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX This is a preposition that starts a prepositional phrase. This is that modifier again.. The word bulldog is a noun. Here, it actually ends the prepositional phrase. Where is that cat walking? Near the bulldog.
Every sentence must have a subject in it.
The first step in finding the subject is to cross out any prepositional phrases.
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.
Here
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 pomegranate.
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?
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