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Predicate

 
 
The predicate is the central constituent of a sentence. It always consists of at least one finite verb form (= verb form having a specific person and number). Every sentence has a predicate. The predicate largely determines the structure of a sentence. It governs the other constituents of the sentence.

Predicate = central constituent of the sentences 
Simple and complex predicates


Predicate = central constituent of the sentences 

The predicate is the central constituent of a sentence. It always consists of at least one finite verb form (= verb form having a specific person and number). The predicate largely determines which other constituents can or must be present in the sentence. For example:

The verb geben requires three different "roles":

the role of the giver
the role of the receiver
the role of what is given

The verb geben also determines, which role has to be played by which constituent. The predicate gibt requires:

Role Constituent Example
giver subject der Großvater 
receiver dative object dem Enkel
gift accusative object  einen Euro

The verb form gibt determines that the sentence

Der Großvater gibt dem Enkel einen Euro.

has a subject, a dative object and an accusative object. In contrast, the subject der Großvater, for example, does not determine that the sentence has a dative and an accusative object.


Simple and complex predicates

Simple predicates

A predicate always consists of at least one finite verb form (= verb form having a specific person and number):

Der Großvater gibt dem Enkel ein Bonbon.
Du
fährst viel zu schnell.
Es regnet.
Kühe
fressen Gras.

The predicates in this examples are simple predicates, i.e. they consist of one single verb form.

See Simple predicate  

Complex predicates

Predicates often consist of more than one wordform:

Der Großvater hat dem Enkel ein Bonbon gegeben.
Du
solltest nicht so schnell fahren.
Es hört auf zu regnen.

See Complex predicate  

Predicatives

Predicatives are a special kind of parts of a sentence. Some grammars treat them as parts of the predicate, others treat them as separate constituents.

Er wird Lehrer.
Kühe sind
Wiederkäuer.
Sie findet das Buch
interessant.

See The predicative   







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