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English Arts - Lessons

Simple Subjects and Simple Predicates

Every sentence has a few key words that are more important than the rest.

Look at these sentences:

Busy sparrows†††† hopped around in the grass.

The subject of this sentence is Busy sparrows. The key word is sparrows.

The predicate of this sentence is hopped around in the grass. The key word is hopped.

The crickets†††† chirped loudly outside the cabin.

The subject of this sentence is The crickets. The key word is crickets.

The predicate of this sentence is chirped loudly outside the cabin. The key word is chirped.

Notice that when you put the two key words in a sentence together, they make sense. With just those two words, you have an idea of what the sentence is about.

sparrows hopped

crickets chirped†

These key words are called the simple subject and the simple predicate.

Definitions:

Simple subject: The key word in the subject is the simple subject.

Simple predicate: The key word in the predicate is the simple predicate.

The simple predicate is always the verb in the sentence.

From now on we will use the word verb instead of simple predicate.

How do you find the subject and the verb of a sentence?

The subject and the verb are the most important parts of a sentence. If one of them is missing, you donít have a complete sentence. The rest of the sentence is built around them.

First, find the verb in the sentence. (Remember, a verb is a word that tells an action or a state of being.)

Then ask who or what about the verb. This will tell you the subject of the verb.

Look at the example:

The busy sparrows hopped around in the grass.

Find the verb: hopped (word that tells action or state of being)

Ask what hopped: Sparrows.

Sparrows is the simple subject of the sentence.

You have now found the subject and the verb of the sentence.

Exercise: Find the simple subject and the verb.† (Remember to look for the verb first.) Write S over the simple subject, and V over the verb.

  1. A box of apples arrived from Washington.
  1. Our new computer prints photographs.
  1. A tiny gray kitten slept on our front porch.
  1. The car across the street has a flat tire.
  1. The crowd rose to its feet to cheer for the team.
  1. A heavy snow covered the houses and streets.
  1. My sister won first place in the spelling bee.
  1. The woman in the red shirt is my aunt.
  1. Three little bluebirds made a nest in the old oak tree.
  1. A shaggy white puppy wandered into the room.

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