Predicate nominative definition: A predicate nominative is a noun that completes a linking verb and renames the subject.
What is a Predicate Nominative in a Sentence?
What does predicate nominative mean? A predicate nominative is a noun that completes a linking verb and renames the subject.
The root of the term, nominative, means name. Therefore, the predicate nominate renames the subject. A predicate nominative only exists after a linking verb.
Predicate Nominative Examples:
- Landon is my brother.
Here, “Landon” is the subject. The linking verb “is” connects the predicate nominative, “my brother,” to the subject. “My brother” is the predicate nominative.
- Ronald Reagan was the 40th United States President.
Similarly, in this sentence, “was” connects the predicate nominate “the 40th United States President” to “Ronald Reagan.”
Predicate Nominatives vs. Predicate Adjectives
Not everything that follows a linking verb is a predicate nominative.
When the term or phrase following a linking verb renames the subject, it is a predicate nominative.
When the term or phrase following a linking verb describes the subject, it is a predicate adjective.
Predicate Nominative Example:
- Landon is my brother.
Predicate Adjective Example:
- Landon is happy.
In the first sentence, the predicate nominative renames the subject—it is a noun renaming another noun.
In the second sentence, the predicate adjective describes the subject.
Compound Predicate Nominative
A predicate nominative can be more than one noun, which is then known as a compound predicate nominative.
Compound Predicate Nominative Example:
- Sally’s parents are Stephen and Stephanie.
Here, “Stephen and Stephanie” are more than one noun. They are the predicate nominative of “Sally’s parents.”
- The reward might be cookies, ice cream, and cake.
Here, “cookies, ice cream, and cake” are more than one noun. They are the predicate nominative of “reward.”
Noun Phrases / Clauses as Predicate Nominatives
A predicate nominative can also be anything renaming the subject. A predicate nominative might be phrases or clauses.
- Jacob’s favorite toy is the one that makes noise.
In this example, the predicate nominative is “the one that makes noise” which is a clause renaming “toy.”
- The best chair is the red one.
In this example, the predicate nominative is “the red one” which is a phrase renaming “chair.”
Exercises with Predicate Nominatives
Do the following sentences contain predicate nominatives or predicate adjectives?
- Lately, Zeke seems frustrated and annoyed.
- The movie we saw was the one with Tom Hanks.
- That house could have been a mansion.
Summary: What are Predicate Nominatives?
Define predicate nominative: the definition of predicate nominative is a predicate noun in the nominative case.
To sum up, a predicate nominative:
- renames the subject
- follows a linking verb
- might be a single noun, more than one noun, noun clause, or noun phrase