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    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    Question Simple subject and predicate of a sentence help

    I am a lawyer with a B.A. in English. Unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten quite a bit of my grammar instruction from my college days. I explained simple subjects and simple predicates to my German neice recently. She did well on the more simple sentences but then ended up stumped with this one:

    One contestant might join with another contestant and may fence on a team.

    My initial thought: Simple subject is contestant. Simple predicates are join and fence. But now I'm second-guessing myself and my brain hurts.

    Any thoughts?


    • Join Date: Nov 2009
    • Posts: 966
    #2

    Re: Simple subject and predicate of a sentence help

    Quote Originally Posted by MonikaWo View Post
    I am a lawyer with a B.A. in English. Unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten quite a bit of my grammar instruction from my college days. I explained simple subjects and simple predicates to my German neice recently. She did well on the more simple sentences but then ended up stumped with this one:

    One contestant might join with another contestant and may fence on a team.

    My initial thought: Simple subject is contestant. Simple predicates are join and fence. But now I'm second-guessing myself and my brain hurts.

    Any thoughts?
    The simple subject in a sentence is the thing that is "doing the verb" without all its modifiers.

    One contestant = complete subject
    contestant = simple subject

    What is a predicate? The predicate is a part of a sentence that we get by removing the subject. What remains of the sentence after removal is the predicate.

    sentence = subject + predicate
    predication = predicate - the first helping verb in the verb phrase (if there is any)

    simple predicate = only the the verb(s)
    complete predicate = sentence - subject

    Let us apply this to the sentence at hand:

    One contestant might join with another contestant and may fence on a team.

    As you can see there are two clauses and, maybe not too surprisingly, two verb phrases. If you do not trust your knowledge in grammar, ask yourself this question:

    There are two main clauses in the sentence. In other words, we have a compound sentence with a coordinator that conjoins the clauses. Main clauses carry equal weight. Is there any justification in being biassed towards any one of these verbs when you have to pick one as the simple predicate? They are equal. No there isn't.

    simple predicate: might join; may fence

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