Subject and Predicate Review

Contributor: Kristen Gardiner. Lesson ID: 10416

This is a quick and entertaining review of complete and simple subjects and predicates. Learners will gain a strong understanding of complete sentence structure.


Grammar, Writing

English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5), Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!


What's happening in the above picture?

Discuss the Picture Above. 

With your teacher, spend a few minutes talking about the photograph. What do you see? Who is in the picture? What are they doing? Maybe you'd like to give them names, or even tell what game they are playing. Are they brothers or friends? Are they playing a game as teammates or as opponents? If they are playing against one another, who is winning? 

I'll bet you can come up with a great sentence about this picture. Take a moment to do that now, and write it down. Have your teacher take a look at your sentence. 

Here's an Example: 
Best friends Jim and Andy are playing Forza on Jim's new PS4. 

Who is Doing What? 

We all know that sentences are made up of two main parts: a subject and a predicate. First we are going to review what words and phrases are part of the subject. The subject is the noun, noun phrase or pronoun that is doing the action or that is being described in some way by the predicate of the sentence. 

In the case of the example above, we need to ask who is performing the action? Well, it seems like we have a compound subject, because more than one person is performing the action (Jim and Andy). We also have to look for any words that go along with our subject. For example, are there any adjectives that modify our main nouns? Yes, there are words describing Jim and Andy (Best friends). So that entire part of the sentence, Best friends Jim and Andy is our subject. 


  • Subjects can be compound, meaning they can include more than one noun separated by the conjunction and (or commas if the list contains three or more nouns). 
  • We want to make sure we get the whole noun phrase - the nouns and the words that modify them - into the subject.  
  • The subject can be a pronoun. For example: They are playing a video game. In this case, they is our subject. 

Now, What is Our Subject Doing or What Words are Hanging Around a  
Verb Telling Something About the Subject? 

The predicate is the part of the sentence that tells us what the subject is doing or uses an auxiliary verb (form of the verb to be) to tell us something about the subject. Again, we need to include all of these parts of the sentence. We have the "who" question answered by the subject. Now we need the "what""when", "where", and sometimes "how" answered by the predicate. 

In our example, the complete predicate is:  are playing Forza on Jim's new PS4. 


  • Predicates can be compound, meaning they can include more than one action separated by the conjunction and (or commas if the list contains three or more actions). For example, we could say:  The boys played video games, ate pizza, and fell asleep
  • We want to make sure we get the whole predicate phrases - the verbs and the words and/or phrases that modify them - into the predicate. Sometimes other words, like adverbs can describe nouns. For example: The boys played tirelesslyPlayed is our verb, but tirelessly is an adverb that describes how the boys played. Prepositional phrases also like to be a part of the predicate, often describing when, where or how the subject performed the action(s). In the example above, we can answer the question of where the two boys were playing Forza:  on Jim's new PS4.
  • The predicate can be an auxiliary verb. Auxiliary verbs, more commonly known as helping, linking or to be verbs, often work together with prepositional phrases to answer the when, where or how questions.  

For Example: The girls are going to the mall after dinner.  

Here, the simple predicate is the auxiliary verb are. We can go a step further and ask where and when are they going?  They are going to the mall after dinner. 

Now find the complete subject and predicate in the sentence you wrote. (The simple predicate is just that - simply the noun(s) and verb.) Circle the predicate and underline the subject. Draw boxes around the simple subject and predicate. 

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