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Everything from an atom to a zucchini has parts. And a sentence is no exception.

Any complete sentence has two main parts, called the subject and the predicate. What is the subject?

he subject of a sentence is simply what or whom the sentence is about. !t usually comes before the predicate. "or example, consider this sentence#

$amantha collects reptiles.

his sentence is about a person with an unusual hobby%$amantha. $amantha is therefore the subject of the sentence. &ere's another example#

(y girlfriend's boa constrictor seems restless this morning.

What is this sentence about? !t's about my girlfriend's boa constrictor. he boa constrictor is therefore the subject of the sentence. $ome sentences that give commands might loo) as if they don't contain a subject#

*ome in, please.

!n the example above, there is no visible subject. +ut don't be fooled# the subject in such a sentence is the pronoun you. ,ormally, the subject in a command is left out, or invisible.

When we do express the subject you in a command, it's most often a sign of strong irritation#

-ou get that fish hoo) out of my a.uarium right now/

What is the predicate?

he predicate is the part of the sentence that ma)es a statement about the subject. he main part of the predicate is the verb.

he predicate usually comes after the subject. 0nce you find the subject, you can easily find the predicate. 1ust as) yourself what the sentence is telling you about the subject.

he predicate might tell you what the subject did 2or does, or will do3. 4et's ta)e another loo) at our first example#

$amantha collects reptiles.

!n this sentence, as you )now, the subject is $amantha. he predicate collects reptiles tells you what $amantha does. he verb here is the action verb collects.

he predicate might also give a description of the subject, as in our second example#

(y girlfriend's boa constrictor seems restless this morning.

&ere, seems restless this morning gives a description of the subject boa constrictor. he verb is the lin)ing verb seems, which merely lin)s the description to the subject, without expressing any action.

he predicates we have seen have all been two or more words long. +ut sometimes, the predicate is simply a verb by itself#

1ean5(arc sneezed.

!n the above example, 1ean5(arc is the subject, and the verb sneezed is the predicate. 6oes the subject always come before the predicate?

,o, the subject isn't always first. here are three situations in which the subject appears after the verb instead of before it.

7. !n most .uestions#

Are you ready? 2 he subject you appears after the verb are.3 6id ! forget to feed my iguana again? 2 he subject ! is placed after the first half of the verb did forget.3

8. !n many sentences beginning with here or there#

&ere comes the jury. 2 he subject jury appears after the verb comes.3 here were fifteen cats and an eviction notice on 1anet's front porch. 2 he subject fifteen cats and an eviction notice is placed after the verb were.3

9. !n some sentences beginning with one or more prepositional phrases#

Across the clearing and through the stream ran the frightened deer. 2 he subject deer comes after the verb ran.3

+eing able to recognize subjects and predicates is a useful s)ill, because they are the building bloc)s of complete sentences.