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How To Find Subjects And Predicates | with practice

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

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What is a subject?

A subject does the action or another way to say it is it performs the verb. The issue is not all verbs are actions, we have verbs like "am" "was" "have", and "has" and those are not actions, so in this case, the subject is being something, or having something. That's why we say the subject 'performs the verb.'

What is a predicate?

A predicate is a verb and its friends, which is the simplest way to explain it. A predicate is everything that is not the subject in the sentence.

Let's look at the example below.

Simple and Complete Subjects

We have different types of subjects: simple subjects, complete subjects, and compound subjects. We are going to focus on simple and complete subjects today.

A simple subject is the single word doing or performing the verb and a complete subject is that word and all of its friends.

Let's look at the example below:

Let's get some practice:

Here are the answers:

Why does it matter?

Every sentence needs a subject, a predicate, and a complete thought. To be able to identify when a sentence is complete and when it is not complete is a skill. The first step in developing that skill is really to know what the subject, the complete subject, and the predicate are in a sentence.

What is a complete thought?

When it comes to understanding what a complete thought is, examples of these are in the left box below. In each of these, we don't mean that we have all of the information needed to understand the situation, we just mean that the sentence has a finished thought like: "She laughed." We're not adding "because" to that, we're not using a verb that requires an object and ending that sentence before we've given the object.

In the right box below are examples of incomplete thoughts, like: "Because she laughed". The word 'because' here really needs a second part to complete the sentence. "I wiped"--what was wiped? Here, the verb needs an object.

"The laughing owl"--that's only the subject of a sentence and we don't have a predicate here.


Fragments are when a sentence is incomplete--it may be missing a subject, a predicate, or a complete thought.

Which of the following here do you think are fragments?

Let's look at the answers:

Here are some ways to correct the fragments:

I really hope you enjoy this article. Thank you and see you next time!


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