A sentence can be divided into two halves: the complete subject and the complete predicate. The complete subject is made up of all the words that tell who or what the sentence is about. The complete predicate includes the verb and all the words that tell what happened in the sentence. Every word in the sentence belongs either in the complete subject or complete predicate.
Find the simple subject and simple predicate first. Then divide the sentence between the parts.
Carlo | wrote a letter to his uncle. My neighbor's dog | barked all night.
Sometimes a word or phrase will come between the simple subject and simple predicate. You will need to decide if the phrase describes the subject or the predicate.
Fred Mosby, a high school senior | will be my new tutor. (a high school senior describes Fred) The police officer | later explained what had happened. (later tells when he explained)
Watch out for inverted sentences or sentences with adverb prepositional phrases. (Remember, an adverb modifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb. For more information on adverbs, refer to lesson 5 in Module 5, Modifiers: Adjectives and Adverbs.)
Filling the auditorium were | fascinated students. Our electricity | went out during the storm. During the storm, our electricity | went out. (The adverb prepositional phrase, During the storm, is part of the predicate even though it is at the beginning of the sentence.)
Practice What You've Learned
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Use the toolbar above to underline the simple subject once and the verb of each sentence twice. Then click on the space between the complete subject and complete predicate to put a dividing line between the halves.