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Subjects, Predicates, and Objects

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Understanding subjects and predicates is fundamental to learning sentence structure. Without a working knowledge of subjects, predicates, and objects, one can never master the rules of punctuation. This page will clearly explain subjects, predicates, and objects and then offer free worksheets and activities to help you review. Every complete sentence must have at least two components: a thing and an action. When we are discussing parts of speech, we call these a noun and a verb; however, when we discuss sentence structure, we call them a subject and a predicate.

Subjects
The noun in the sentence or clause that takes action.

To find the subject, merely ask yourself, "What is the action?" Once you have found the action, ask yourself, "Who or what is taking this action?" The answer to that question will be the subject of the clause.

Examples
John went to the store. It was hot outside.

In the first example sentence, the action is went. Ask yourself, "Who went?" Since John went, John is the subject.

The predicate in the second sentence is was. So we ask ourselves, "What was?" In this case the subject is it.

Predicates
Actions in the clause or sentence

Action verbs are pretty easy to identify, but many students have a difficult time identifying verbs of being (am, is, are, was, were...) as predicates. The only way to improve in this regard is to study verbs, verb phrases, and gerunds. A sentence can have one predicate or many, but every grammatically complete sentence requires at least one predicate.

Examples
We ate pizza. Love was his only motivation.

In the first example sentence, the predicate is ate, because it is the action that occurs in the clause.

The second example sentence does not use an action verb, but rather expresses a state of being in which Love, the subject, existed in the past as his motivation. So the predicate in the second example sentence is was.

Objects
Nouns in the sentence or clause that do not take actions

Remember, if a noun takes the predicate, it is the subject; therefore, if a noun is not a subject then it must be an object.

Examples
We ate pizza. I forgot my shoes.

In the first example sentence, the action is ate. Ask yourself, "Who ate?" Since we take the predicate, pizza is an object. Ask yourself, "What does pizza do in this sentence?" You might reply that it gets eaten, but in that sentence it does not get eaten. Pizza was eaten in the sentence, "Pizza was eaten." But in the sentence, "We ate pizza," pizza does nothing. Since it does nothing it is an object.

The predicate in the second example sentence is forgot. Once we find this, we should ask ourselves, "Who forgot?" Since I forgot, I is the subject. Since shoes is a noun in the sentence that doesn't do anything, shoes is an object.

Compound Subjects and Predicates
A clause with more than one subject or predicate working as a single unit

A compound subject is when two or more separate subjects take the same predicate or group of predicates. A compound predicate is a when a subject or group of subjects take two or more predicates.

Examples
John and I played a game. I went home and studied.

In the first example sentence, the predicate is played. So we ask ourselves, "Who played?" Of course both John and I played, so the clause has two subjects or a compound subject.

What is the verb in the second example sentence? You might notice that there are two: went and studied. Since the subject I takes both of these predicates, the clause has a compound predicate.

Subjects, Predicates, and Objects Worksheets and Activities

Subjects, Objects, and Predicates with Pirates Worksheet
Here is an exciting sentence structure worksheet. Students read 20 exciting sentences about pirates and identify the subjects, predicates, and objects used in each. In part two, students create their own sentences and analyze them for subjects, predicates, and objects.
This is a preview image of Subjects, Objects, and Predicates with Pirates Worksheet. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.
Subjects, Predicates, and Objects with the Pretty Princess Worksheet
Here is another magical sentence structure worksheet. In this one students read sentences about the Pretty Princess' adventures in Amazingville. They also identify the subjects, predicates, and objects and even generate some sentences of their own.
This is a preview image of Subjects, Predicates, and Objects with the Pretty Princess Worksheet. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.
Subjects, Predicates, and Objects Worksheet
Here is a simple worksheet to help students review subjects, predicats, and objects. Students read thirty sentences and identify the parts of each. Then they write original sentences and identify their own uses of subjects, predicates, and objects.
This is a preview image of Subjects, Predicates, and Objects Worksheet. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.
Subjects, Objects, and Predicates with Skaters Worksheet
Looking for a fun worksheet about subjects, objects, and predicates? This one is themed around skateboarders. Students read 20 totally peachy sentences and identify subjects, objects, and predicates. Then they create original sentences and analyze them.
This is a preview image of Subjects, Objects, and Predicates with Skaters Worksheet. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.
Subjects and Predicates Worksheet 1
Here's another worksheet to help students master simple sentence structure. Students read sentence fragments and determine whether the sentence is missing a subject or predicate. Then they fill in the missing subject or predicate. The second part of the activity has them draw lines that separate the subject and the predicate in complete simple sentences.
This is a preview image of Subjects and Predicates Worksheet 1. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.
Compound Subjects and Predicates Worksheet
Here's a worksheet to help students identify compound subjects and predictes. Students will underline the subjects, circle the predicates, and determine whether the sentence has a compound subject, compound predicate or both.
This is a preview image of Compound Subjects and Predicates Worksheet. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.
Subjects, Predicates, and Objects Lesson
Here is a slideshow presentation that teaches students the differences between subjects, predicates, and objects. It includes definitions, examples, and a practice activity after the lesson. Check it out!
This is a preview image of Subjects, Predicates, and Objects Lesson. Click on it to enlarge it or view the source file.

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34 Comments

  1. Cyyyy

     /  July 11, 2022

    so whats the subject of (It was late when we got home.) ? IT or WE ?

    Reply
    • That is a complex sentence with two clauses. In the first clause the subject is IT. In the second clause the subject is WE. The clauses are joined with the conjunction WHEN.

      Reply
  2. vitoria

     /  September 19, 2020

    thank you so much this is helpful

    Reply
  3. choco

     /  July 12, 2020

    could you please attach a do it yourself worksheet

    Reply
  4. Evangeline Green

     /  March 23, 2020

    do we have to do every sheet?

    Reply
  5. Vaunn

     /  April 23, 2019

    In “Objects” example, the object is chicken and not pizza

    Reply
  6. Haha

     /  April 1, 2018

    This is a good website. I was very confused but now I got it…

    GOOD JOB

    Reply
  7. Sha

     /  February 2, 2018

    Great website
    Thank you so much

    Reply
  8. Peyton

     /  May 15, 2017

    Thank you for making this website. It helped me a lot.

    Reply
  9. Drake

     /  October 9, 2016

    NOT GOOD! GO IMPROVE! MY SCHOOL TEACHER EXPLAINS IN A MUCH EASIER LANGUAGE!

    I was joking!
    Its really really really really really really really nice!

    Reply
  10. Lily

     /  April 5, 2016

    Great worksheets

    Reply
  11. kiran

     /  July 6, 2015

    nice one

    Reply
  12. kiran

     /  July 6, 2015

    very easy to understand expecially the video.

    Reply
  13. Rukhshan Meer

     /  June 2, 2015

    Preparing for my exam from your worksheets 🙂

    Reply
  14. Laura

     /  October 21, 2014

    Thaks for making his site and it helped alot. Are there worksheets tht we can do ourselves?

    Reply
  15. maha

     /  January 9, 2014

    Its so easy to understand from this website.. Thankyou 🙂

    Reply
  16. Sean

     /  January 9, 2014

    I believe it should read, Pretty Princess’ adventures in Amazingville or the Pretty Princesses and their adventures in Amazingville. Possessive, not plural.

    “[…] sentences about the Pretty Princesses adventures in Amazingville”

    Reply
  17. Mr. Haleem

     /  December 11, 2013

    Thanks for your helpful sheets 🙂

    Reply
  18. T.Arora

     /  August 18, 2013

    Thank you for this wonderful website. I appreciate the time you have put into the lessons and the website. It is easy to understand from it. It’s been very helpful. 😀

    Reply
  19. Shabeer Ahmed

     /  November 20, 2012

    i find it very helpful for english. i am very glad that many teachers like you working and trying there best so that the students learn easily.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  20. Adriana Martinez

     /  November 8, 2012

    Thank you, this is so easy to understand. Makes it so much easier to explain to my daughter. thank you, thank you!

    Reply
  21. Sonia Clarson

     /  October 19, 2012

    Thank you for this wonderful website. I have been teaching high school English for many years, but this is my first year teaching middle school reading classes. Your website has been an excellent resource. I appreciate the time you have put into the lessons and the website. Thank you!!!

    Reply
  22. CMR

     /  September 25, 2012

    Your resources seem to be tailor-made for the middle school ELA class. I appreciate the time and effort you put into making quality teaching and learning tools. THANK YOU!

    Reply
  23. sheila marie gonzales

     /  June 30, 2012

    do you have answer key for each worksheets?

    Reply
  24. Augustine

     /  April 29, 2012

    I wanted to tell you one of the best things about your web site is the way it is so easy to understand. You give options and then give answers. I booked marked the site for myself and plan to share it with another hosp. teacher I know.
    When you spend alot of time perusing the web trying to match curriculum with special needs and illnesses, it is so nice that it is so easy to stop here.

    Reply
  25. Andrea

     /  January 29, 2012

    Thank you for the great worksheets.

    Reply
    • I’m glad that you’ve found them useful. I keep intending to improve the “Language Arts” section of this website, and I keep getting side tracked, but thanks for appreciating what I have.

      Reply

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