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.
The subject is 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.
John went to the store.
In this sentence, the action is went. Ask yourself, “Who went?” Since John went, John is the subject.
It was hot outside.
The predicate in this sentence is was. So we ask ourselves, “What was?” In this case the subject is it.
Predicates are 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. There 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.
We ate pizza.
In this sentence, the predicate is ate, because it is the action that occurs in the clause.
Love was his only motivation.
This 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; therefore, the predicate in the example sentence is was.
Objects are 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.
We ate chicken.
In this 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.
I forgot my shoes.
The predicate in the above sentence is forgot, so we 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 compound subject or predicate occurs when a clause has more than one subject or predicate functioning 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.
John and I played a game.
In this 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.
I went home and studied.
What is the verb in the above 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, Objects, and Predicates with Pirates Worksheet – Students read 20 exciting sentences about pirates and identify the subjects, predicates, and objects used in each. In part two students will create their own sentences and analyze them for subjects, predicates, and objects.
Subjects, Objects, and Predicates with Pirates Worksheet | RTF
Subjects, Objects, and Predicates with Pirates Worksheet | PDF
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Subjects, Objects, and Predicates Worksheet with Pirates | Ereading Worksheet
Subjects, Predicates, and Objects with the Pretty Princess – Students read sentences about the Pretty Princess’s adventures in Amazingville, and they identify subjects, predicates, and objects in each sentence. At the end of the activity, they are asked to write original sentences that meet structural requirements.
Subjects, Predicates, and Objects Worksheet | RTF
Subjects, Predicates, and Objects Worksheet | PDF
Subjects, Predicates, and Objects Worksheet | Preview
Subjects, Predicates, and Objects Worksheet | Ereading Worksheet
Subjects, Predicates, and Objects Worksheet 2 – Students read thirty sentences and find the subjects, predicates, and objects in each. Then, students write original sentences and identify their subjects, predicates, and objects.
Subjects, Predicates, and Objects Worksheet 2 RTF
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Online Subjects, Predicates, and Objects Practice Test 1 – Students complete twenty interactive problems and explain their answers. Then they can print, save, or email their results and responses as a PDF file.
Online Subjects, Predicates, and Objects Practice Test 1
Subjects and Predicates Worksheet – Determine whether the sentence is missing a subject or predicate. Fill in the missing subject or predicate. Draw lines separating the subject and the predicate.
Subjects and Predicates RTF
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Compound Subjects and Predicates Worksheet – Underline the subjects, circle the predicates, determine whether the sentence has a compound subject, compound predicate or both.
Compound Subjects and Predicates Worksheet RTF
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Subjects, Predicates, and Objects Lesson – slide show presentation teaching students the difference between subjects, predicates, and objects. Includes a practice assessment after the lesson.
Subjects, Predicates, and Objects Lesson PPT