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What is a Simple Predicate? - Definition & Examples

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  • 0:01 Definition of Simple Predicate
  • 0:34 Examples of Simple Predicates
  • 2:30 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: J.R. Hudspeth

Jackie has taught college English and Critical Thinking and has a Master's degree in English Rhetoric and Composition

Learning about how all the parts of a sentence work together can help you to avoid sentence errors like fragments and run-ons. Read on to discover what a simple predicate is and how it can help you write complete sentences!

Definition of Simple Predicate

Full sentences must have two parts. First, there must be a subject. The subject is the person, place, thing or idea that the sentence is focused on. The subject also does the major action in a sentence. Second, there must be a predicate, which explains the action that the subject is doing. A simple predicate is the basic word or words that explain what specific action the subject of the sentence is doing.

Examples of Simple Predicates

To better understand simple predicates, let's look at the following sentence: 'The boy walks to school.' In this sentence, 'the boy' is the subject. The focus of the sentence is on him, and he does the action of the sentence (walking). You will notice that the subject is placed near or at the beginning of the sentence.

The rest of the sentence, which shares what the boy is doing, is known as the predicate. This means that 'walks to school' is the predicate of the sentence, since it fills us in on what the boy is up to. However, the most important part of the predicate is the simple predicate. The simple predicate is the word or words that tell us what specific action the subject is taking. The simple predicate is always a verb, or in other words, it's always a word that shows action. In the above example, 'walks' is the verb, or action word, that the boy does. That makes it the simple predicate of the sentence.

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