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UFC OF BEJAIA Grammar First year.

Subject and Predicate

Every complete sentence contains two parts: a subject and a predicate. The subject is
what (or whom) the sentence is about, while the predicate tells something about the subject. In
the following sentences, the predicate is enclosed in braces ([ ]), while the subject is in bold.

1. Mr Jones [runs ].
2. Mr Jones and his dog [run on the beach every morning].

To determine the subject of a sentence, first isolate the verb and then make a question by
placing "who?" or "what?" before it -- the answer is the subject.

The teacher called on the shy student several times

The verb in the above sentence is "called" Who or what called? The teacher did. "The
teacher" is the subject of the sentence. The predicate (which always includes the verb) goes on
to relate something about the subject: what about the teacher? It "called on the shy student
several times”

Unusual Sentences

Imperative sentences (sentences that give a command or an order) differ from conventional
sentences in that their subject, which is always "you," is understood rather than expressed.

 Fire in self – defense! ("You" is understood before "fire.")

Be careful with sentences that begin with "there" plus a form of the verb "to be." In such
sentences, "there" is not the subject; it merely signals that the true subject will soon follow.

 There were some students listening to the teacher’s speech.

If you ask who? or what? before the verb ("were listening"), the answer is "some students,"
the correct subject.

Simple Subject and Simple Predicate

Every subject is built around one noun or pronoun (or more) that, when stripped of all the
words that modify it, is known as the simple subject. Consider the following example:

 A bar of Swiss chocolate would satisfy his hunger.

The subject is built around the noun "bar," with the other words of the subject -- "a" and "of
Swiss chocolate" -- modifying the noun. "bar" is the simple subject.

Likewise, a predicate has at its centre a simple predicate, which is always the verb or verbs
that link up with the subject. In the example we just considered, the simple predicate is
"would satisfy" -- in other words, the verb of the sentence.

A sentence may have a compound subject -- a simple subject consisting of more than one
noun or pronoun -- as in these examples:

3. Football teams, music posters and family photographs covered the boy's bedroom
4. Her uncle and she walked slowly through the art gallery and admired the powerful
sculptures exhibited there.

The second sentence above features a compound predicate, a predicate that includes more
than one verb pertaining to the same subject (in this case, "walked" and "admired").

Exercise one:
Indicate the subject in each of the following sentences and say whether it is simple or
1. Kathy and Joe have known each other for years.
2. They and I played tennis in the school yard.
3. A favorite game of theirs was baseball.
4. The two friends were often captains of the opposing teams.
5. Would you believe they never fought over the games?

Exercise two:
Indicate the predicate in each of the following sentences and say whether it is simple or
1. Joe and Kathy were in many of the same classes in middle school and high school.
2. One of their favorite classes was band.
3. They were not and did not play in the same sections in band.
4. The younger of the two was Kathy.
5. Joe often acted much younger than Kathy and sang beautifully.
6. Teachers at their school enjoyed having the two in class together.
7. They remained close friends all through high school.
8. Their choices in college separated them and made them miss each other.
9. Joe went to school in a college in another state and became enginner.
10. Kathy chose to go to college close to home.