Posts Tagged ‘the predicate’

The Predicate

November 28th, 2009 in English Grammar, English Learning, ESL, Improve English

That part of the sentence which does not include the subject is called the predicate.

The most important word in the predicate is the verb. The verb is usually modified by an adverb or its equivalent which is called the extension of the verb or adverbial qualification. The adverbial qualification may be of different kinds.

Read the sentence given below:

He did his job sincerely. (Subject – he; predicate – did his job sincerely)
Here the verb did is modified by the adverbial qualification sincerely.

More examples are given below:

I called them one by one. (Here the extension of the verb is the adverbial phrase one by one.)
He seemed disappointed. (Here the extension of the verb is the past participle disappointed.)
She went away crying. (Here the extension of the verb is the present participle crying.)
He decided to go. (Here the extension of the verb is the infinitive to go.)

The object

If the verb in the predicate is transitive it must have an object to complete its meaning. Read the sentence given below:

He bought a bag.

The words ‘He bought’ by themselves do not make complete sense. But ‘He bought a bag’ expresses a complete thought. Here a bag is the object of the verb bought.

Kinds of Objects

The object is always a noun or a noun-equivalent.

He read a story. (Here the object story is a noun.)
We have invited them. (Here the object them is a pronoun.)
We should help the needy. (Here the object the needy is an adjective used as a noun.)
She loves singing. (Here the object singing is a gerund.)
She wanted to go. (Here the object to go is an infinitive.)

Like the subject- word, the object-word may also have some attributes.

He shot a tiger. (Here the article a is the attribute of the object-word tiger.)
I looked at the boy’s face. (Here the attribute boy’s is a noun in the possessive case.)

Direct and Indirect objects

Read the sentences given below:

I gave him a present.
She told me a story.

In sentence 1 present is the direct object of gave and him is the indirect object.

I gave … what? A present (direct object)
I gave … to whom? Him (indirect object)

In sentence 2 story is the direct object of told and me is the indirect object.

You will have noticed that the direct object is the answer to the question what? and the indirect object is the answer to the question to whom?