Every sentence must have a simple subject and simple predicate. Addressing these elements early will only strengthen student writing. Babies just months old can identify whom or what is doing an action. When my boys began communicating in the early months of their lives, they loved to identify our dog. Everything was his fault. A water cup was tipped over. Who did it? Dog. Magazines are spilled off the coffee table. Who did it? Dog. As soon as they could manage his name, Kaine, everything became Kaine’s fault.
Simple subjects and simple predicates are the “must–haves” in sentence structure. These two words are the foundation in which grammar and writing are further built on. In this article, we will answer the questions of what a simple subject is, and what a simple predicate is in the context of simple sentences. A simple sentence expresses a complete thought and has two parts: the subject and the predicate.
What is a simple subject?
The subject is the part of the sentence that tells whom or what the sentence is about and may consist of a single word or more than one word. The complete subject includes all the words in the subject part of the sentence. The simple subject is the most important word in the complete subject. It tells exactly whom or what the subject is about and usually comes at the beginning of a sentence. When the simple subject is one word or a name, the simple subject and the complete subject are the same. More commonly, the simple subject is part of the complete subject.
What is a simple predicate?
The predicate is the part of the sentence that tells what the subject does or is. The complete predicate includes all the words in the predicate part of the sentence. The simple predicate is the most important word in the complete predicate. The simple predicate tells exactly what the subject does or is. When the simple predicate is one word, it is the same as the complete predicate. More commonly, the simple predicate is part of the complete predicate.
What is an example of a simple subject and a simple predicate?
In the chart below, the simple subject and simple predicate are in boldface.
Write simple subject, simple predicate, complete subject, or complete predicate to tell what part of each sentence is in boldface.
An average coyote weighs about 30 pounds. __________________
People confuse coyotes with dogs sometimes. __________________
A coyote’s thick busy tail hangs low. __________________
Below is a clear learning and practice prompt you can use in your classroom to discuss simple subjects and simple predicates. Download my free Simple Subjects and Predicates practice worksheets to review simple subjects and simple predicates with grammar students in grades 3–5.