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Subjects and Predicates Grades Seven
What is a Sentence? A sentence is a group of words that contains two things: –A subject (the doer of the action) –A verb (the action or condition) A sentence must express a complete thought.
What is a Sentence? This is a complete sentence. The elephant played. The verb is “played.” This is an action verb. The subject is “elephant” because it is doing the playing.
What is a Sentence? This is not a complete sentence. Ex. Building a sandcastle. The verb is “building.” In this sentence no one is doing this action; therefore, there is no subject.
What is a Fragment? A fragment is a group of words that is not a complete sentence. It contains some of the elements needed to make a sentence, but not all three parts. A fragment may contain a subject but not a verb. Ex. The man on the street A fragment may contain a verb but no subject. Ex. Walking down the street A fragment may contain a subject and a verb, but it may not be a complete thought. Ex. While the man was walking down the street
The Predicate Predicate is a fancy word for “verb.” That means that a predicate can include: 1. action verbs 2. linking verbs 3. verbs of condition 4. helping verbs To find the predicate in the sentence, look for any verbs that you have learned.
The Complete Predicate The complete predicate begins with the first verb and includes all words following it. The actual verb or verb phrase is called the simple predicate. Ex. The tall girls played a game of basketball. The verb is an action verb. It is “played.” That makes it the simple predicate. Everything that follows “played” is a part of the complete predicate. That means it includes the words “played a game of basketball.”
The Compound Predicate A compound predicate would contain more than one main verb. Compounds are connected by conjunctions such as and, but, or, for, nor, yet, or so. –Ex. I first walked and then ran down the street. (“Walked” is one main verb and “ran” is another.) –Ex. I have seen the film and enjoyed it. (“Have seen” is one verb and “enjoyed” is another.) –Ex. I have seen the movie. (This sentence Does NOT contain a compound predicate. “Have seen” is one verb phrase. “Seen” is the only main verb.)
The Subject The subject of the sentence must be a: 1. noun (person, place, or thing) 2. pronoun ( a word that takes the place of a person, place, or thing.) The subject is called the “doer” of the action.
The Subject To find the subject of the sentence you must: 1. Find the verb 2. Ask “who?” or “what?” before it Ex. Mary threw the ball. Step one – Find the verb. It is “threw.” Step two – Ask “who?’” or “what?” before it. “Who threw?” The answer is “Mary; therefore, “Mary” is the subject of the sentence.
Try to find this subject: Ex. On the table lay a pencil. Step one – find the verb. It is “lay.” Step two – Ask “who?” or “what?” before it. Who lay? What lay? The answer is “pencil; therefore, pencil is the subject of the sentence.
The Complete Subject The complete subject includes all words up until the verb begins. Within the complete subject, there will be the main subject called a simple subject. Ex. The tall girls played a game. The verb is “played,” so you would divide directly in front of “played.” That means the complete subject includes the words “The tall girls.” Within these words is the simple subject which tells who actually played. The simple subject is “girls” since it answered the question, “Who played?”
The Compound Subject A compound subject would contain more than one “doer” of the action. Often they are connected by conjunctions such as and, but, or, for, nor, yet, or so. Ex. The boys and the girls saw the play. (Both “boys” and “girls” answer the question of “Who saw?” That means both of them are subjects of this sentence. They are compound.)
Sentence Order Natural order means that the subject comes before the verb in the sentence. –Ex. A horse ran in the field. (Subject – horse Verb – ran) Inverted order means that the subject does NOT come before the verb in the sentence. –Ex. In the field ran a horse. (Subject – horse Verb – ran)
Sentence Order - Questions In a question that contains a single verb, the subject may be an interrogative pronoun if that pronoun would be taking the place of the answer to the question. Ex. Who is speaking? (The verb is “is speaking.” Would the answer to the question tell who is speaking? Yes, it would. That means the pronoun which takes that noun’s place is your subject. “Who” is an interrogative pronoun replacing that person’s name. “Who” is your subject.
Sentence Order - Questions In a question that contains a verb phrase, typically a verb phrase splits apart and the subject is located between the parts of the verb. Ex. Have you talked to your Mom? (The verb phrase is “Have talked.” In between those two words is the word “you.” Does “you” tell who talked? Yes, it does. That means that “you” is the subject of the sentence.)
Sentence Order - Commands A command tells you to do something. These are called imperative sentences. The subject of every command in the English language is the word “you.” –Ex. Close the door. (“You” is the subject.) –Ex. Open the window. (“You” is the subject.) –Ex. Answer me! (“You” is the subject.)
Sentence Order - Expletives Expletives are words that have no meaning. They serve no purpose in a sentence. The words “there” and “here” in the beginning of a sentence are usually expletives since they are not needed in the sentence. “There” and “here” will never be subjects of a sentence. Sentences that have these words at the beginning have inverted order. Their subjects will come later in the sentence. –Ex. Here are the pencils. (“Pencils” is the subject.) –Ex. There are fourteen lines in a sonnet. ( “Lines” is the subject.)
This completes the review of subjects and predicates. Additional review can be done in the review folders housed in 106 and the library.