What is a Simple Predicate?

An essential aspect of building one’s literacy skills rests in understanding the structure of sentences. One element that plays a significant role in sentence construction is the “simple predicate.” A sentence typically consists of two main parts: the subject and the predicate. The subject tells us who or what the sentence is about, while the predicate contains the verb that shows what the subject is doing. The simple predicate is the main verb or verb phrase within the predicate that conveys the action performed by the subject. It defines what the subject is doing or its state of being.

Understanding and recognizing the simple predicate is an important part of helping children grasp the core meaning of a sentence. When readers and writers can identify the central action or state of being, they can more easily comprehend the overall message of that statement. Moreover, this knowledge goes beyond just understanding sentences; it also enhances their writing skills. With the ability to identify the simple predicate, writers can construct sentences that exhibit clarity and coherence per specific grammar rules. In turn, complex sentences become less daunting to analyze when individuals can identify the simple predicate and comprehend its relationship with the subject.

Let’s review example sentences to understand the concept of a simple predicate:

Sentence: Mary laughs.

In this sentence, “laughs” is the simple predicate as it represents the action performed by the subject “Mary.”

Sentence: The cat chased the toy.

In this sample, “chased” is the simple predicate, indicating the action carried out by “the cat.”

Sentence: My brother is watching an exciting show.

In this sentence, the simple predicate is “is watching,” conveying the ongoing action performed by “my brother.”

Sentence: The students completed their assignments yesterday.

“Completed” is the simple predicate, describing the action of the students finishing their assignments.

Sentence: The sun shines brightly.

Here, “shines” is the simple predicate, showing the state of being of the subject “the sun.”

There are many ways that both parents and educators can help children grasp this concept:

Sentence deconstruction is one valuable approach. Simply select sentences from books or educational materials and work with the child to identify the simple predicate. After identifying the simple predicate, discuss the associated action or state of being in each sentence. Likewise, encouraging children to create their own sentences can reinforce their understanding and application of the concept. When they underline or highlight the simple predicate in their sentences, they can begin to internalize where it appears depending on what they’ve written. Moreover, they can identify errors in their sentences if the simple predicate is unclear. Of course, there is great value in incorporating fun games that involve forming sentences with a focus on identifying this type of verb.

Understanding the simple predicate is an essential skill that helps literacy learners grasp sentence structure, improve their writing, and enhance their overall language skills. We hope you found this article helpful!

More articles like this:

What is Phonological Awareness?

What Is a Central Idea in Literature?