What Is a Compound Predicate?

by David Samson

In order to form a complete thought, a sentence must include a subject and a predicate. The subject is the main noun or pronoun of a sentence plus all adjectives and modifiers, while the predicate consists of the verb or verb string with all adverbs and adverbial phrases. The predicate is compound when two or more verbs are linked with a coordinating conjunction.

Simple Subject and Predicate

The simple subject and simple predicate of a sentence refer to just the noun (or pronoun) and the verb, without including modifiers or prepositions. Very basic sentences contain just a simple subject and predicate. For example: "Henry runs." "You talk." In these examples, "Henry" and "you" are the subjects, and "runs" and "talk" are the predicates.

Complete Subject and Predicate

The complete subject and complete predicate include the verb and noun along with all modifiers. "The fat, mean little boy in the garden laughed obnoxiously at the frightened puppy." In this example, the subject (boy), the adjectives (fat, mean and little) and the prepositional phrase (in the garden) constitute the complete subject. The verb (laughed), the adverb (obnoxiously) and the prepositional phrase (at the frightened puppy) make up the complete predicate.

Compound Predicate

The words "and," "or" and "but" are coordinating conjunctions used to link two or more nouns, verbs or complete sentences together. A compound predicate contains two or more verbs linked with a conjunction. "Randy jumped on his motorcycle, hit the accelerator and sped away." In this sentence, the same subject (Randy) is taking three separate actions. He "jumped," "hit" and "sped." The conjunction "and" links the three verbs together.

Compound Subject and Predicate

A sentence can have both a compound subject and a compound predicate. "Either you or Henry stole my wallet, maxed out my credit cards, and emptied my bank account." The conjunction "or" links the two subjects (you, Henry). "And" links the three verbs (stole, maxed, emptied). One of the two subjects committed all three actions.

About the Author

David Samson has been contributing since 1999 under various pseudonyms to a number of underground avant-garde/punk magazines, including "The Bourgeois-Geist" and "Medatrocity." He has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin, and also works as a freelance writing tutor.

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