Subject & Predicate: Grammar Lesson

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Lesson Overview

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify subjects and predicates in sentences.
  2. Apply the rules of the subject-predicate agreement.
  3. Construct sentences using simple and compound subjects and predicates.
  4. Revise sentences to correct subject-predicate errors.
  5. Use subjects and predicates to enhance writing clarity and effectiveness.

Introduction to Subject and Predicate

Do sentences sometimes feel like puzzles you just can't solve? The key to cracking this code lies in understanding two critical pieces: the Subject and the Predicate. This lesson is your ultimate guide to understanding these essential elements of sentence construction. 

You'll explore every facet of subjects and predicates, learn to spot 'who' or 'what' the sentence revolves around (the Subject), and uncover what action is taking place or what condition befalls the subject (the Predicate). Through interactive exercises and engaging challenges, you'll transform into a sentence construction expert, ready to tackle any literary piece with confidence and ease.

What is a Subject and a Predicate?


The subject of a sentence is the person, place, thing, or idea that is being talked about or performing the action. It answers the questions "who" or "what" before the verb.

  • Example: In the sentence "The cat sleeps on the sofa," "The cat" is the subject.


The predicate expresses the action the subject is doing or tells something about the subject. It includes the verb and all other components like objects, complements, or modifiers.

  • Example: In the sentence "The cat sleeps on the sofa," "sleeps on the sofa" is the predicate.

What Are The Rules for Using Subject and Predicate?

  • Agreement: The subject and predicate must agree in number; both must be singular or both must be plural.
  • Clarity: The predicate should clearly describe the action or state of being of the subject without ambiguity.
  • Positioning: In most cases, the subject comes before the predicate, especially in declarative sentences.

What Are The Types of Subject and Predicate?

Types of Subject

  • Simple Subject: The core noun or pronoun that tells what the sentence is about.
    • Example: In "Birds chirp," "Birds" is the simple subject.
  • Complete Subject: The simple subject plus all its modifiers.
    • Example: In "The small birds chirp loudly," "The small birds" is the complete subject.
  • Compound Subject: Consists of two or more subjects combined with a conjunction.
    • Example: In "Tom and Jerry play," "Tom and Jerry" is the compound subject.

Types of Predicate

  • Simple Predicate: The verb or verb phrase that tells something about the subject.
    • Example: In "The leaves were green," "were green" is the simple predicate.
  • Complete Predicate: The verb and all the words that state something about the subject.
    • Example: In "The leaves on the tree were fluttering in the wind," "were fluttering in the wind" is the complete predicate.
  • Compound Predicate: Consists of two or more predicates (verbs or verb phrases) that share the same subject.
    • Example: In "She runs, jumps, and plays," "runs, jumps, and plays" is the compound predicate.

What Is the Difference Between a Subject and a Predicate?

Understanding the distinction between the subject and the predicate helps clarify sentence structure for better comprehension and communication:

  • Subject:
    • What it does: Tells who or what the sentence is about.
    • Consists of: Nouns or pronouns along with any modifiers.
    • Function: Usually performs the action but can also be the recipient.
  • Predicate:
    • What it does: Tells something about the subject, such as what the subject is doing or what condition the subject is in.
    • Consists of: Verb or verb phrase along with objects, complements, adverbials, or modifiers.
    • Function: Describes the action or state of being of the subject.

Key Differences:

  • The subject is typically a noun or pronoun that indicates what the sentence is about, while the predicate explains the activity or condition of the subject.
  • Predicates always include a verb, conveying action or being, whereas subjects are primarily composed of nouns or pronouns.

Take These Quizzes:


Objective: Reinforce your understanding of subjects and predicates by applying your knowledge to identify and correct them in various sentences.

Exercise 1: Identifying Subjects and Predicates

Instructions: For each sentence provided, identify the subject and the predicate.

Examples and Explanations:

  1. The bright sun is shining vibrantly today.
    • Subject: The bright sun
      • Explanation: 'The bright sun' is the subject because it tells us what the sentence is about�'the sun', which is described as 'bright'.
    • Predicate: is shining vibrantly today
      • Explanation: 'is shining vibrantly today' is the predicate because it tells us what the subject is doing�'shining', and how�'vibrantly today'.
  2. Michael and Sarah were laughing at the joke.
    • Subject: Michael and Sarah
      • Explanation: 'Michael and Sarah' is the subject as it refers to the people who are performing the action.
    • Predicate: were laughing at the joke
      • Explanation: 'were laughing at the joke' is the predicate, which describes the action that the subjects are doing�'laughing', and the object of their action�'the joke'.
  1. The old tree has lost all its leaves.
    • Subject: The old tree
      • Explanation: 'The old tree' is the subject, indicating what or who the sentence is about, which in this case is 'the tree' described as 'old'.
    • Predicate: has lost all its leaves
      • Explanation: 'has lost all its leaves' tells us what has happened to the subject�'lost all its leaves'.
  2. The children were playing in the park.
    • Subject: The children
      • Explanation: 'The children' is the subject that tells us who is performing the action in the sentence.
    • Predicate: were playing in the park
      • Explanation: 'were playing in the park' describes the action 'playing' that the subjects 'the children' were engaged in, and 'in the park' tells us the location of the action.
  1. An ancient oak tree stands in the field.
    • Subject: An ancient oak tree
      • Explanation: 'An ancient oak tree' is the subject here, highlighting what the sentence is centered on, described as 'ancient' and specifying 'oak tree'.
    • Predicate: stands in the field
      • Explanation: 'stands in the field' is the predicate which explains the action 'stands' and the location 'in the field'.

Take these Quizzes:

Exercise 2: Create Sentences Using These Subjects and Predicates

Instructions: Construct sentences using the given subjects and predicates.

Examples and Explanations:

  1. Subject: The teacher and the students | Predicate: are reading different books.
    • Sentence: The teacher and the students are reading different books.
      • Explanation: This sentence correctly pairs the compound subject 'the teacher and the students' with the predicate 'are reading different books', which indicates a concurrent action involving multiple subjects.
  1. Subject: A horse | Predicate: galloped across the field.
    • Sentence: A horse galloped across the field.
      • Explanation: Here, the simple subject 'a horse' is effectively described by the predicate 'galloped across the field', telling us what the horse did and where it happened.
  1. Subject: The mountains | Predicate: are visible from our house.
    • Sentence: The mountains are visible from our house.
      • Explanation: The subject 'the mountains' matches well with the predicate 'are visible from our house', which describes the visibility and location relative to 'our house'.

Exercise 3: Correct the Subject-Predicate Agreement

Instructions: Rewrite these sentences to correct the subject-predicate agreement errors.

Examples and Explanations:

  1. Incorrect: The list of items were on the table.
    • Correct: The list of items was on the table.
      • Explanation: 'The list' is a singular subject, hence the verb should be singular 'was', not 'were'.
  2. Incorrect: The boy, along with his friends, run every day.
    • Correct: The boy, along with his friends, runs every day.
      • Explanation: The main subject 'The boy' is singular, so the verb should also be singular 'runs'. The phrase 'along with his friends' does not change the number of the subject.
  1. Incorrect: The team of players are wearing red today.
    • Correct: The team of players is wearing red today.
      • Explanation: Despite 'players' being plural, 'the team' is the main subject and is singular, requiring the singular verb 'is'.


In conclusion, mastering the identification and use of subjects and predicates isn't just about grammar trophies! It's your key to unlocking clear and powerful communication. Think of them as the building blocks of sentences. By understanding who or what the sentence is about (subject) and what's happening to them (predicate), you can construct clear and concise messages.

This lesson has equipped you with the skills to dissect and construct sentences like a pro, ensuring your writing is grammatically sound and engaging. Remember, the more you practice these exercises, the more comfortable you'll become with these fundamental concepts. So keep building those sentences, and watch your communication skills soar!

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