Is the predicate one word only?


I have read different things regarding the predicate of the sentence. Can a phrase in a sentence be considered the predicate, or does it need to be just one word and the other words are "modifiers?"


ex. Scholars learn lessons.


The book says that the predicate is "learn," but I would have thought it would be "learn lessons."


Thank you!

predicate asked Sep 23 '13 at 21:52 sali New member

1 answer


Often new teachers will confuse "verbs", "predicates", and "simple predicates".


A young Language Arts teacher will know that the foundation for sentences are our verbs.


So, they tell the kids "find your predicates" when what they really mean is "find your verb" or "find your simple predicate".


In your sentence, "learn" is your verb (aka the 'simple predicate').


The entire predicate includes the verb and all words modifying the verb and completing the thought began by the verb.


Scholars learn what?  lessons, the direct object.


If we broke this independent clause into the two fundamental parts required for sentence structure, they would be:

[learn lessons.] predicate

Who learns lessons?

[Scholars] subject


[learn] = simple predicate

link comment edited Sep 23 '13 at 23:41 Aaron Prejean Expert

Your answer

Write at least 20 characters

Have a question about English grammar, style or vocabulary use? Ask now to get help from Grammarly experts for FREE.