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The predicate expresses an action or a state characterizing the subject. The predicate contains the mood and tense components of the predication which are denoted by the finite form of the verb. It depends on the subject for the forms of person and number.




I. The simple predicate may be expressed by:

1) a finite verb in a synthetical or analytical form (this is simple verbal predicate)

Birds sing.

I have been sitting here for 30 minutes.

I was sent in to get my tea.


2) a phraseological equivalent of a finite verb, in this case the predicate is called simple phraseological;

here belong phrases denoting momentaneous action:

have a look

have a smoke

have a talk

give a look

give a laugh

give a cry

take a look

make a move

make a remark

pay a visit


Did you have a sleep?

The man gave him a look and went out.


and phrases denoting various kinds of actions (in most cases they comprise an abstract noun):

change oneís mind

get rid of

get hold of

lose sight of

make fun of

make up oneís mind

make use of

take care of

take leave

take part in


Iíve never taken much interest in German songs.

Soon they lost sight of the ship.



II. The compound predicate may be verbal and nominal

1) The compound nominal predicate (CNP) consists of a link verb and a predicative expressed by a nominal element. The link verb expresses the grammatical categories of mood, person, number, tense, aspect, voice. The predicative carries the lexical meaning of the predicate (the state or quality of the subject).

I am a student.

This will be very difficult.


Link verbs, with regard to their meaning fall into 3 groups:

-1. verbs of being: be (also: look, feel, sound, smell, taste).

-2. verbs of becoming: become, grow, get, turn.

-3. verbs of remaining: remain, keep, stay.


All such verbs, when used as link verbs, are to be followed by an adjective, not by an adverb. This is because the word is a complement used to qualify the subject, not to modify the verb.

The predicative may be expressed by:

1) a noun

She is a beauty.

2) an adjective (or an adjective combination)

The problem is difficult.

The matter is difficult to settle.

3) a pronoun

Itís me.

The book is mine.

Who are you?

She was herself again.

4) a numeral

Iíll be twenty-one tomorrow.

Lady is first.

5) an infinitive (infinitive construction)

My plan is to start immediately.

They best thing is for you to join us.

6) a gerund (gerundial construction)

My hobby is fishing.

This is not playing the game.

7) a participle

He looked embarrassed.

It is so disillusioning!

8) a clause

Thatís what I think.

The best thing to do is what your adviser suggests.


2) The compound verbal predicate


A) The compound verbal modal predicate (CVMP) shows whether the action expressed by the non-finite form of the verb is considered possible, obligatory, necessary, desirable, doubtful, etc. It may be expressed by:

- A modal verb + an infinitive

Something must happen.

You neednít bother.

- A modal expression + an infinitive


Some modal expressions:

to be able

to be obliged

to be bound

to be willing

to be anxious

to be capable

to be going

to be sure

to be (un)likely


Iím not going to stand that sort of thing.

Are you willing to prove that?

He is sure to cope with the task.


- A verb with modal meaning + an infinitive


Some verbs with modal meaning: to hope, to expect, to intend, to attempt, to try, to endeavour, to long, to desire, to get to, etc.


He tried to get the unachievable.


B) The compound verbal aspect predicate (CVAP) expresses the beginning, repetition, duration or cessation of an action expressed by the non-finite form of the verb. It consists of a finite verb with an aspective meaning (beginning, repetition, duration, end) + a verbal (infinitive or gerund).

The most common verbs used as the first component in this type of predicate are: begin, start, continue, keep, go on, stop, finish. Here also belong ďwould + infinitiveĒ and ďused to + infinitiveĒ denoting a repeated action in the past.

He began to ask questions again.

They went on talking.

At last they stopped shooting.

He would call on us every day.

I used to dance a lot when I was young.




  1. The compound modal nominal predicate (CMNP)

It can not be true.


  1. The compound aspect nominal predicate (CNP)

I began to feel irritated.


  1. The compound modal aspect predicate (CMAP)

I had to begin living all over again.



Date: 2015-01-02; view: 13560

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