Attributes of the subject and verb
The attribute of a subject can be an article, an adjective, a noun in the possessive case or a possessive adjective.
Study the following sentences.
Children play football.
The children play football. (Here the article the is used to modify the subject children.)
Our children play football. (Here the possessive adjective our is used to modify the subject children.)
Peter’s children play football. (Here Peter’s, a noun in the possessive case, is used to modify the subject children.)
Active children play football. (Here the adjective active is used to modify the subject children.)
Other types of words like participles and adjective phrases can also be used to modify the subject.
The verb may consist of one word or several words. Verbs in the simple present and simple past tense consist of just one word.
The dog barks. (verb – barks)
The dog barked. (Verb – barked)
Verbs in the continuous and perfect tenses consist of two words.
The dog is barking. (Verb – is barking)
The dog has barked. (Verb – has barked)
Verbs in the perfect continuous tenses consist of three words.
The dog has been barking. (Verb – has been barking)
If the verb in the predicate is a transitive verb, it must have an object to complete its meaning. Consider the sentence, ‘I bought a pen.’ The words ‘I bought’ by themselves do not make complete sense. But ‘I bought a pen’ expresses a complete thought. Here ‘a pen’ is the object of the verb ‘bought’.