Diagramming Predicate Nominatives

A predicate nominative is a noun that follows the verb and renames the subject person, animal, or thing. It explains or defines the subject. In a diagram, the predicate nominative is indicated by a line that slants back toward the subject. Here we diagram the simple subject, linking verb, and predicate nominative of this sentence. 

  • Lincoln was our sixteenth president.

Diagramming predicate nominatives is demonstrated below.

  • Our winter sports are skiing, skating, and sledding.
  • My mother is Joyce.
  • Favorite characters from Alice in Wonderland are the March Hare, the Mad Hatter, and the Cheshire Cat.
  • Some of the representatives for Massachusetts were Caleb Strong, Nathaniel Gorham, and Rufus King.
  • James has been a diligent student.
  • John is a common name.

Examples 1

Diagram the simple subject, linking verb, and predicate nominatives of the following sentences. The simple subject is italicized and the linking verb is underlined to help you.

  1. Georgia's exports are cotton, peaches, peanuts, and poultry.
  2. Savannah was Georgia's first capital.
  3. Boll weevils were terrible pests.
  4. Great Britain became the most powerful and prosperous country in Europe in the 1800s.
  5. Queen Victoria was the queen of Britain during this time.
  6. The current ruler of Great Britian is Queen Elizabeth II.
  7. Mr. Clemens was a printer, steamboat pilot, Confederate soldier, and silver miner.
  8. Samuel Clemens's pen name is Mark Twain.
  9. Bret Harte and Mark Twain were good friends.











When diagramming predicate nominatives, we remember that gerunds and infinitives can function as nouns. Therefore, a predicate nominative may be a gerund or an infinitive, as in these sentences:

Anton's favorite sport is skiing.

His goal was to float.

Examples 2

Diagramming predicate nominatives requires that we recognize predicate nominatives in sentences. Write each predicate nominative that you find in the sentences below.

  1. Gordon has become an orthodontist.
  2. Will his sister become a surgeon?
  3. King James was a monarch.
  4. Are you and Madison friends?
  5. One of my hobbies is gardening.
  6. His responsibility will be cooking.
  7. Has he become an expert?
  8. I think that you are a talented artist.
  9. Cora has been mayor for three years.
  10. That man is a famous poet and a fine comedian.


  1. orthodontist
  2. surgeon
  3. monarch
  4. friends
  5. gardening
  6. cooking
  7. expert
  8. artist
  9. mayor
  10. poet, comedian