What is a Simple Predicate? Definition, Examples of Predicates

Simple predicate definition: A simple predicate is the main verb or verb phrase of a sentence that tells what the subject does.

What is a Simple Predicate?

What is the simple predicate? A simple predicate is the main verb or verb phrase of a sentence that tells what the subject does.

A simple predicate is only the main verb or verb phrase of a sentence. It does not include any modifiers in the sentence.

Simple Predicate Examples:

  • I walked.

What did I do? Walked. “Walked” is the simple predicate.

  • I walked to the store.

What is simple predicate list What did I do? Walked. “Walked” is the simple predicate. “To the store” modifies where I walked; therefore, it is not a part of the simple predicate.

Simple Predicate with Modifiers

Example of simple predicate of a sentence Sometimes, a modifier will “interrupt” or “come in between” a verb phrase. In this case, the modifier is not a part of the simple predicate.

The simple predicate is only the verb or verb phrase, without any modifiers.

Example of modifier interrupting verb phrase:

  • We have often visited the Grand Canyon.

In this sentence, “often” is an adverb modifying the verb phrase, “have visited.” “Often” is not a part of the simple predicate. The simple predicate is “have visited.”

What did we do? “Have visited.” “Have visited” is the simple predicate.

Other Types of Predicates

What is a predicate? Are there any other types of predicate? Let’s take a look at some of the more common predicate classifications.

Complete Predicate

Simple subject and simple predicate examples What is a complete predicate? A complete predicate includes the verb or verb phrase and any modifiers.

Complete Predicate Examples:

  • We have often visited the Grand Canyon.
  • Rory walked down the street
  • Shandra enjoys coffee and doughnuts on Sunday morning.

In each of these examples, the simple predicate is underlined. However, the complete predicate are the italicized phrases which include the main verb or verb phrase and any modifiers.

Compound Predicate

Simple subject and predicates What is a compound predicate? A compound predicate includes more than one verb or verb phrase joined by a conjunction. A compound predicate may also include any modifiers.

Compound Predicate Examples:

  • Daniel cooked breakfast and washed the dishes.
  • Jean arrived late to the meeting and had to explain herself to her boss.
  • Mom reheated her coffee but was unable to enjoy it.

Each of these examples has more than one verb or verb phrase. Each verb or verb phrase is joined by a conjunction (the underlined term). The modifiers in these sentences (anything that adds information to the verb) are also a part of the compound predicate.

More Examples of Simple Predicates

What is a simple predicate in a sentence? In the following examples, the simple predicates are underlined.

  • Using nationally representative data, researchers analyzed the diets of 2,600 French adults who for seven days recorded everything they ate. –Time
  • An eclectic group of curious cyclists rode across the bridge into Harford County shortly after the 9 a.m. start time. –The Baltimore Sun
  • Mr Osborne, in his speech, is abandoning a plan to achieve a budget surplus by 2020. This could allow for more borrowing to mitigate any negative economic effects of uncertainty around the referendum result. –BBC News

Exercises with Simple Predicates

What is the simple predicate of the following sentences? Find the simple predicate in each sentence. Even if the sentence has modifiers, locate the simple predicate only.

  1. The baby drank from a bottle.
  2. We ate dinner at my favorite restaurant last night.
  3. Frequently, the dog barks at the neighbors.

See answers below.

Summary: What are Simple Predicates?

Define simple predicate: the definition of simple predicate is the part of the sentence that tells us what the subject does, without any modifiers.

A simple predicate is the verb or the verb phrase that the subject “does” in the sentence. It does not include any verb modifiers. A simple predicate is always only one verb or verb phrase.

Related Articles:

What is a Predicate?

What is a Simple Subject?

Answers:

  1. The baby drank from a bottle.
  2. We ate dinner at my favorite restaurant last night.
  3. Frequently, the dog barks at the neighbors.