Complete Predicates

A complete predicate consists of both the verb of a sentence and the words around it. The words that modify the verb and complete its meaning.

So, in this sentence, “He” is the subject. And so, I’m going to put one line under it. And “ran” is the verb of this sentence.

The next lesson: Direct and Indirect Objects, both lessons are included in Practice Tests.

The following transcript is provided for your convenience.

So: “He ran a long way.”

So, just a simple predicate would just be the verb right here, “ran“. But, we’re looking for a complete predicate here.

So, a complete predicate is going to be all the sentences that modify and further describe the verb. So, “ran a long way” is the complete predicate in this sentence.

Generally, all of the words that come after the verb are going to be part of the predicate. So, you see right here, the subjects right here, and then the verb, so all these words past the verb is going to be part of the predicate.

That’s not always true, but generally, you can determine the predicate that way.

This next sentence says:

The elderly mayor retired yesterday.”

So, “mayor” is the subject, so I’ll put one line under that word, and “retired” is the verb.

So, “yesterday” right here is also part of the predicate. So, the complete predicate would be “retired yesterday“.

Now, the reason “yesterday” is part of the predicate is because I said that any words that modify the verb, or further describe the verb are part of the predicate. Well, “yesterday” is what we call an adverb, which is a word that modifies the verb, because “yesterday” is telling when the mayor retired. So, “yesterday” further explains the verb “retired“. So, that’s why “yesterday” is part of the predicate. So, “retired yesterday” would be the complete predicate of that sentence.

This last example says:

I wrote a paper last night and turned it in this morning.”

Well, this sentence looks kind of complicated when determining the predicate, but it’s actually pretty easy.

I” is the subject. Now, the verb right here is going to be “wrote“. So, the complete predicate is going to be “wrote a paper last night“.

Now, “and” right here is what we call a conjunction because it joins two parts of a sentence together.

But, right after “and“, we see another verb, which is “turned“. “Turned” is a verb. So, “turned it in this morning” is also going to be the complete predicate.

So, right here, we see a subject, two complete predicates joined together by a conjunction. So, sometimes, sentences are going to have two complete predicates.

So, the important thing to remember here is that a complete predicate consists of the verb and any words that modify or further explain the verb.

Practice tests help you remember. Take this mini-test to solidify your memory.
Mini-test: Complete Predicate 

1. How many words are in the complete predicate?

Adult cougars hunt deer and other animal
2. Choose the complete predicate in this sentence;

Each of the seven contestants will be flying to Los Angeles next week.


The next lesson: Direct and Indirect Objects, both lessons are included in Practice Tests.