Subject & Predicate Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

Even though you can write sentences about literally anything in the world, all sentences have something in common: a subject and a predicate. In this lesson, you will learn about identifying the different types of subjects and predicates.

Identifying Subjects and Predicates

What do all these words have in common?

  • peanut butter and jelly
  • Rudolph and Santa Claus
  • race cars and checkered flags

These are all famous pairs; however, there's an even more famous pair found in every sentence you write.

Subjects and predicates combine together to make sentences. A subject is the person, place, or thing that the sentence is about. A predicate is the part of the sentence that tells about the subject. It contains the verb(s) that tells about the subject.

To identify the subject of a sentence, look at the verb. Then, ask yourself: Who or what is this verb referring to or talking about? This is the subject.

Look at the following sentence. Can you identify the subject?

Rudolph's bright nose shined in the foggy night.

The verb of the sentence is 'shined.' What or who shined? Rudolph's bright nose shined. Therefore, Rudolph's nose is the subject of the sentence.

To find the predicate, look at what or who the sentence is about. This is usually found before the verb in the sentence. Then, ask yourself: What does the sentence say about the subject? This is the predicate.

Can you find the predicate in this sentence?

The checkered flag waved as the first racer crossed the finish line.

The subject of the sentence is the 'checkered flag'. What does the sentence tell you about the checkered flag? It 'waved as the first racer crossed the finish line'. You know that part of the sentence is the predicate because it tells you what the flag did.


It's Simple

Have you ever heard of K.I.S.S? No, not the old time rock band or the smooching kind, but Keep It Simple Silly. It means that whatever you do, you should try to keep it as simple and easy as possible. Similarly, when you find the simple subject or simple predicate of a sentence, you eliminate unnecessary words to find the basic subject and predicate.

The simple subject of a sentence is the topic of the sentence minus any describing words. Likewise, the simple predicate of a sentence is the verb of the sentence that is related to the subject. Any words following the verb that describe it are also not included.

Can you find the simple subject and simple predicate in this sentence?

The tired Santa Claus delivered toys around the world.

  • The simple subject is Santa Claus. Even though 'the tired' describes Santa Claus, the simplest way to describe the subject of the sentence would be that it is about Santa Claus.

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