Understanding Simple and Complete Predicates

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Grade Level
Elementary School
Length of Time
45 minutes

This lesson covers simple and complete predicates. I have explained the difference and have given examples and exercises for you to use with your students.


Students will learn to:
Understand simple predicates
Understand complete predicates
Identify simple and complete predicates in sentences
Write sentences correctly using simple and complete predicates

Materials Needed

You need study sheets and worksheets on simple and complete predicates so that students will understand the difference. I have included some information here for you to use.


Once you have located the subject, the predicates are easy to find. A predicate shows action. The subject is the one who is doing the action.

There are different kinds of predicates just like there were for subjects.

Simple Predicate

The simple predicate, which can be from one to four words long, is the verb in the complete predicate.

Here are some examples:

1. The squirrel ran across the yard and over the fence.

2. The girl jogged for one mile to the park and one mile back home.

The Complete Predicate

The complete predicate is easy to locate once you know what the complete subject is. It's everything in the sentence that the complete subject isn't.

Here's an example: The girl with the short brown hair came to my house.

Came to my house is the complete predicate.


Look at the following sentences and pick out the complete predicate.

1. The girl ran around the yard.

2. The basketball player scored thirty points in the game.

3. The television show was really scary for the children.

4. He decided to come to my party.

5. Tom and Mary went to the movies.

Compound Predicate

The compound predicate is two or more verbs joined by a conjunction such as and, or, or but.

Here is an example.

The goat ran around the yard and broke through the gate.


1. The woman ran out of the house and ran away.

2. Sadey sat on the sofa and then started barking at the people outside.

3. The blue bird flew on the fence and then flew away.

4. The suspect dashed down the street and then hid in an abandoned building.

5. The police turned on their lights and chased the speeding car.


First, you will need to go over subjects to make sure your students understand subjects. Then, you need to explain the difference between simple and complete predicates.

You can use the exercises in this lesson on the board as examples to teach the lesson. After that, you can pass out worksheets on simple and complete predicates for students to do.


100 to 90 = A

89 to 80 = B

79 to 70 = C

69 to 60 = D

Below 60 = F

You can grade by recording the total number correct out of the total number possible on each worksheet.

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