Verbs of incomplete predication
Study the following sentences.
The baby is…
We were …
Neither sentence expresses a complete thought. Some word or words have to be supplied to complete their meaning.
The baby is hungry.
We were shocked.
Such verbs which do not express a complete thought are called verbs of incomplete predication. The chief verb of incomplete predication is be.
The verb to be is followed by a subject complement. The subject complement may be a noun, an adjective, an adverb or adverbial phrase.
|Subject complement (noun)
|Subject complement (adjective)
|Subject complement (adverb)
|in the next room.
|late at night.
Some intransitive verbs too are followed by subject complements. Examples are: remain, look, appear, turn, sound, feel, go, run, act etc. Here also the subject complement may be a noun, an adjective, an adverb or an adverbial phrase.
|a suitable site
|in a treacherous manner
The complement of the intransitive verb always describes the subject and is therefore called subject complement.