Grammar Lesson: Complete and Simple Predicates

By — John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Updated on Dec 10, 2010
  • A complete predicate is the main verb (action) along with all of its modifiers.
  • The complete predicate is italicized in these sentences.

      Each of the seven contestants will be flying to Los Angeles next week.
      The talented mechanic fixed our car yesterday afternoon.
      My sister, a hairdresser, studied hard for her state licensing examinations.
      Can you recall his name?
  • A simple predicate (verb) is the main word or phrase that tells something about the subject (doer) of the sentence.
  • The simple predicate is italicized in these sentences.

      Izzy roamed the neighborhood last night.
      The students cheered loudly for our lacrosse team.
      Youngsters really enjoy that activity.
      Will he star in the school play?


Underline the complete predicate and circle the simple predicate.

  1. The citizens heard the blaring sirens.
  2. Babies were crying during the awards ceremony.
  3. Talented musicians give their best efforts all the time.
  4. An angry bystander yelled at the speeding motorist.
  5. Who will be chosen as this year's recipient?


  1. Complete predicate: heard the blaring sirens; Simple predicate: heard
  2. Complete predicate: were crying during the awards ceremony; Simple predicate: were crying
  3. Complete predicate: give their best efforts all the time; Simple predicate: give
  4. Complete predicate: yelled at the speeding motorist; Simple predicate: yelled
  5. Complete predicate: will be chosen as this year's recipient; Simple predicate: will be chosen
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