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Sitting at my desk, blowing spitballs through the stem of a hollow pen, farting at intervals in a number of octaves, of variable gravitas, duration and pitch; I could not imagine that one day I would seek out the mysteries of subject and predicate.

To the consternation of my teachers and joy of willing adversaries in my class, any notion of education was discarded as we progressed heroically through each day amidst a cacophony of over-active bowels and unmanned projectiles impacting guilty and innocent alike.

Yet the day of atonement has arrived.  

A well written article often gives me pause for thought.  Setting it's content aside for a moment I sit puzzling the thing out with varying degrees of success. At the end of one depressingly articulate well structured work I decided my random approach to writing technique was holding me back.

A sound conclusion; I determined to do something about it.

The consequences of a successful search for enlightenment could be a horrendous blow to the English language. A result I am unashamedly and mischievously prepared to accept.

This piece, in which plagiarism abounds, plays on my ability to remember what I  write as opposed to what is said or sometimes what is written.  Readers should not, under any circumstance, employ the wisdom found here in their own work. It is bad enough committing grave error trying to acquire the rudiments of structure and style for myself without the thought that I will be held responsible for yours as well.

And so to the gubbins, first a few definitions:

Noun: person, place, thing, action.

Verb:  verb is a word that usually denotes an action (bring, read), an occurrence (decompose, glitter), or a state of being (exist, stand).

Subject:  Noun or noun-substitute used to refer to: a person, place, thing, action.

Predicate: The rest of a sentence apart from the subject. The predicate must contain a verb. The predicate provides information about the subject, such as what the subject is doing or what the subject is like.

Complement: A subject complement tells more about the subject by means of the verb.

Subject Predicate/Complement (S V/C) Activities

4.1   Some word groups listed below contain a subject and predicate and are therefore complete sentences. Others do not and can therefore be considered fragments or parts of sentences. If the word group is a sentence, put an S in the corresponding space. If it is a fragment, put an Fr in the space.

a. Fr Beyond the big river.  Subject missing

b. S Huge waves lapped the prow.

c. Fr More than enough money.  Subject/verb missing

d. Fr Sitting down together for Sunday breakfast. Subject missing

e. S  Her wound healed.

f. Fr Earlier and earlier each night.  Subject/verb missing

g. S The sun slipped below the horizon.

h. S Steeping the neighborhood in shadow

i. Fr Calling us in from our play.  Subject Missing

j. S Our mother was cooking supper.

4.2   The following word groups are all simple sentences. Label the subject, the verb, and the complement by writing the appropriate letter above each.

a. (s) Morning (v)dawned (c) gray and heavy.

b. (s)That basket (v)broke (c)the old record.

c. (s)You (v)are (c)not alone.

d. (s)Storm warnings (v)don't (c)scare me.

e. (s)The students (v)attended (c)the concert.

f. (s)The chimpanzee (v)learned (c)sign language.

g. (s)The new proposal (v)deserves (c)serious consideration.


A major personal milestone complete, more practice