What is a Compound Predicate?
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, thus making a compound sentence.
Some simple sentences can be made into compound predicates by combining them together with proper word placements. Parts of the sentence can be moved around and replaced to make a sentence into a compound predicate after the break down of its parts. Compound-complex sentences are also a possibility. English grammar is odd at times but can be helpful for certain meanings. Different types of sentences may require semicolons and commas to be complete, and English language classes taught to students in high school normally elaborate on these needs with worksheets and examples.
Grammatical errors can be common in English writing and language arts, so make sure to identify the main verb, own subject, sentence fragments, sentence structures and parts of a sentence that need to be changed for the parts of speech you are learning and working on. Run-on sentences are also an issue in writing with these kinds of compound predicate inclusions, so make sure to check your sentences and sentence fragments.
The following sentences and examples explain the differences:
Simple Subject & Simple 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.
- Henry runs.
In this example, the subject (Henry) makes up the simple subject and the predicate (runs) makes up the simple predicate.
Complete Subject & Complete Predicate
The complete subject and complete predicate include the verb and noun along with all modifiers.
- The mean little boy in the garden laughed obnoxiously at the frightened puppy.
In this example, the subject (boy), the adjectives (mean and little) and the prepositional phrase (in the garden) are the complete subject. The verb (laughed), the adverb (obnoxiously) and the prepositional phrase (at the frightened puppy) make up the complete predicate.
The words "and," "or" and "but" are coordinating conjunctions used to link two or more nouns, verbs or complete sentences together. An example of 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 subject (Randy) is taking three separate actions. He "jumped," "hit," and "sped." The conjunction "and" links the three verbs together and altogether they form a compound predicate. This sentence also uses commas to separate the actions into independent clauses and verb phrases in the sentence using classic English writing rules.
Compound Subject & Compound 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) to form a compound subject. The conjunction "and" links the three verbs (stole, maxed, emptied) to form a compound predicate. One of the two subjects committed all three actions.
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.