A simple sentence is a group of words expressing a complete thought, and it must have a subject and a verb (predicate – some grammar books use the word predicate, but I will use verb). A verb shows action or state of being. Examples: The bell rang. The boy is here. The subject tells who or what about the verb. Examples: The bell rang. The boyis here. When finding the subject and the verb in a sentence, always find the verbfirst and then say who or what followed by the verb. Example: The bell rang. Find the verb – rang. Now say who or what rang? Bell rang. Bell is the subject.
A predicate nominative or predicate noun completes a linking verb and renames the subject. It is a complement or completerbecause it completes the verb. Predicate nominatives complete only linking verbs. The linking verbs include the following: the helping verbs is, am, are, was, were, be, being, and been; the sense verbs look, taste, smell, feel, and sound; and verbs like become, seem, appear, grow, continue, stay, and turn. The verb in a sentence having a predicate nominative can always be replaced by the word equals. Examples: Mr. Johanson is a teacher. Mr. Johanson equals a teacher. A predicate nominative will never be in a prepositional phrase.
A direct object receives the action performed by the subject. The verb is always an action verb. Another way of saying it is that the subject does the verb to the direct object. Example: The car hit the tree. To find the direct object, say the subject and verb followed by whom or what. The car hit whom or what? Tree answers the question so tree is the direct object. If nothing answers the question whom or what, you know that there is no direct object. Example: The car sped past. The car sped whom or what? Nothing answers the question so the sentence has no direct object. The direct object must be a noun or pronoun. A direct object will never be in a prepositional phrase.
Instructions: Find the subjects, verbs, predicate nominatives, and direct objects in these sentences.
1. Mutt and Jeff were old comic characters.
2. Ila scraped and rubbed the old tub for hours.
3. He hit the ball hard and ran to first base.
4. Do you have the ticket or the money?
5. Well, the television program had too much violence and gore.
–For answers scroll down.
1. Mutt, Jeff = subjects / were = verb / characters = predicate nominative
2. Ila = subject / scraped, rubbed = verbs / tub = direct object
3. He = subject / hit = verb / ball = direct object // ran = verb
4. you = subject / do have = verb / ticket, money = direct objects
5. program = subject / had = verb / violence, gore = direct objects
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