Answered By: Rachel Willard
Last Updated: Jul 08, 2016     Views: 10278

Every complete sentence has a subject and a predicate. The subject is the element at the beginning of a sentence that performs the action:

  •    The dog ran in circles.

  •    I stubbed my toe.

  •    His car would not start.


The predicate is what comes after the subject. In a simple sentence, the predicate can be just a verb (the action happening in the sentence):

  •    She cried.

In the predicate, there may also be an object (the thing receiving the action):

  •    He kicked the ball.

In this example, he is the subject, and kicked the ball is the predicate, made up of a verb and an object.


Academic writing is often more complicated than this, but these are the essential building blocks. To have a complete sentence, a writer must have a subject as well as a predicate that contains a verb. 


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