Simple Predicate

The simple predicate is the verb or verb phrase. A verb expresses action or being. In the sentence below, "described" tells what Mrs. Cameron did.

Mrs. Cameron described the Grand Canyon.

We have underlined the simple predicates of the sentences below.


A generous person shares with others.
Daniel Boone explored Kentucky.
A shaggy donkey brays at midnight.
History is fascinating.
A moral person treats others fairly.
Queen Esther saved her people.
The jiggly jellyfish slid off my dish.
Geometry is fun.
The macron is a pronunciation tool.
The school adopted a new textbook.
Yiddish evolved from a German dialect.
Eventually, we adapt to changes.
The colonies became independent states.
The Continental Congress created a feeble confederation in 1781.

Notice that sometimes the verb contains more than one word as in the sentences below. We call this the verb phrase.

  • The thief has returned the tarts.
  • Dad will be singing with the choir.
  • You should have done your homework.
  • A thief had stolen the jewels.
  • Mom will be waiting at the airport.
  • You should have come sooner.
  • Many plants can grow after dark.
  • Yiddish has developed under Slavic influences.
  • Debby has been adopting stray cats for many years.
  • The Articles of Confederation had dissatisfied the young nation.
  • We have been studying the history of our country.


Write the simple predicate (verb or verb phrase) of each sentence.

  1. A good tennis player practices every day.
  2. The basketball player shoots baskets every day.
  3. Spanish explorers named the plain.
  4. The delegates had been arguing for hours.


  1. We examine the sentence and discover that the player "practices." Therefore, practices is the verb.
  2. We examine the sentence and discover that the player "shoots." Therefore, shoots is the verb.
  3. We examine the sentence and discover that the explorers "named." Therefore, named is the verb.
  4. Delegates is the subject. Had been arguing is the verb phrase because it describes the action of the delegates.