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Subjects and predicates

A subject is the noun or pronoun-based part of a sentence, and a predicate is the verb-based part that the subject performs. Let’s explore how that works in context. 

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  • duskpin tree style avatar for user Apollo, Like the God
    What about a copula? E.g. I [subject] am [copula] sad [predicate].
    (7 votes)
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  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user 𝘜𝘱𝘴𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘌𝘤𝘩𝘰
    Is it possible for there to be a sentence without a noun subject? Would the sentence be incorrect or correct? Also, what is a syntax and how is it related to grammar?
    (6 votes)
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    • female robot amelia style avatar for user Johanna
      Well there can be pronoun subjects, too. Otherwise, you can only have things that act as nouns be the subject of a sentence. In the sentence "Swimming is my favorite," the word "swimming" is the subject. It's a verbal (specifically a gerund), which is a form of a verb acting as a noun.

      Syntax is sentence structure and the rules that govern it.
      (4 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user Erin Bybee
    Struggling with this sentence-One of my earliest memories of that day was watching the news on television with my aunt. Help! Can't figure out if the simple subject is "memories" or something else.
    (6 votes)
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  • male robot hal style avatar for user Nandha Krishnan
    What is the meaning of goblin?
    (3 votes)
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    • aqualine tree style avatar for user David Alexander
      A goblin is a mythical beast, tending toward the evil side of the taxonomy of such beings. If you draw a line across a page and put a dot in the middle to indicate "neutral", and then label one end "evil" and the other end "good", then you can create such a taxonomy. Think of the most evil mythical creature you can, and put that name at the "evil" end. Then think of the best mythical creature you can and put that name at the "good" end. Now, arrange all the names of all the other mythical creatures you can find or think of along the line depending on whether they are nearer or farther from the "neutral" dot in the middle. "Goblin" will be somewhere between neutral and evil.
      (6 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user Robin Marcus Fuentes Legaspi
    We sometimes don't appreciate ourselves. Is it a subject-predicate sentence?
    (0 votes)
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  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user zipperyplayz
    If there are 2 nouns or pronouns, would they both count as a subject? What I am trying to ask is that is it possible to have 2 subjects.
    (3 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user RagingRaptor
    In the statement, "I am happy", "I" is the subject, "am" is the verb, then what is "happy"? Is it an adjective or an adverb, as it is describing what I "am" being?
    (3 votes)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Hecretary Bird
      In the sentence you kindly provided, "happy" tells us more about how the "I" is, so it's an adjective. Specifically, because it follows a linking verb like "am" or "feel", we call it a predicate adjective.
      Adjectives modify nouns, and adverbs modify verbs (and other adjectives and adverbs too). Here, you would use happily, the adverb form, if you were trying to "be" in a happy way. Here you're just describing a noun, yourself, so happy is an adjective.
      (3 votes)
  • duskpin seed style avatar for user jawills
    Why is the topic goblins?
    (3 votes)
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  • male robot hal style avatar for user Temi
    is it possible to have more than two subjects? If not, is it possible to have two or more predicates?
    (1 vote)
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  • female robot grace style avatar for user Harmony Shakir
    I want to now is " I can eat a long foot hot dog" a subject?
    (2 votes)
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Video transcript

- [Voiceover] Hello, grammarians. Hello, Paige. - [Paige] Hi, David. - [David] Today we're going to talk about identifying subjects and predicates and in order to do that, we shall begin with a sentence. Paige, would you read me the sentence, please? - [Paige] I bought a crate of goblin hats. - [David] Thank you, Paige. So Paige, do you think that's hats for goblins, or hats that make you look like a goblin? - [Paige] Well, I bought it, so I can say that it is both. - [David] So we could go either way is what you're saying. - [Paige] (Laughs) Oh, yeah. - [David] A sentence is kind of a like a car. It's got a lot of different parts, like an engine, or wheels, or a body, whatever. A sentence is very much the same way and you can divide up a sentence into parts. Today, we're going to be dividing up the sentence into subject and predicate. Paige, what is the subject of a sentence? - [Paige] The subject is a noun or a pronoun that is doing the action in the sentence or performing the verb. - [David] What does that mean to perform a verb? - [Paige] Right, so a verb isn't always an action, right? That's why I wanted to clarify. - [David] Mm-hmm. - [Paige] Because you can say, "I am happy." Am is a verb, but that's not an action that I'm doing. - [David] Right, you can't just actively am. - [Paige] Right. (laughs) - [David] But in the sentence, "I am happy," the subject I is performing the verb to be, or am. - [Paige] Right. - [David] Gotcha. What is a predicate? - [Paige] A predicate is all of the rest of the sentence that isn't the subject. What it really is is the verb and all of the parts that are related to the verb. Yeah, verb and its pals, that's good. - [David] Let's apply that approach to goblin hat sentence. - [Paige] Mm-hmm. - [David] Okay, so I'm looking for a noun or pronoun that performs a verb in the sentence. Well, I found the verb and the verb is bought. Who's doing the buying? I am. - [Paige] Right. - [David] So our subject is I. - [Paige] Yeah. - [David] Then predicate is basically everything else, right? It's bought, what did I buy? A crate of goblin hats. - [Paige] Right. You can see that a crate of goblin hats is also a noun, right? But it's not doing anything in the sentence. I am buying. - [David] Just because there's a noun, just because there's another noun in the sentence, like crate or goblin hats, doesn't necessarily mean that it's the subject. - [Paige] Right. - [David] So you have to look for the thing that is performing the verb. - [Paige] Exactly. - [David] Paige, I think that covers everything except exactly what a goblin hat is, but we can talk about that some other time. - [Paige] Yeah. - [David] That's identifying subjects and predicates. You can learn anything. David out. - [Paige] Paige out.