Predicate Noun

What is a Predicate Noun?

A predicate noun is an important part of English grammar. Generally, predicate nouns are found after verbs in a sentence and they refer to the subject of the verb.

For example, in the sentence “The teacher is Mary,” Mary is the predicate noun as it follows the sentence’s verb “is”. It tells readers who or what is performing the action denoted by the verb.

Though predicate nouns can be any part of speech, they often take on their own form which combines both a verb and a noun into one word, like “understandings” – understanding being a combination of understand + ing. By understanding predicate nouns and how to use them, effective communication with others becomes easier.

Predicate Noun Rules

Learning these four critical rules when using a Predicate Noun phrase will help communication become clearer and easier. With these four rules firmly entrenched in one’s grammar skillset, any English speaker can properly construct sentences with ease!

ApplicationCases of nouns should be applied in order to build meaningful sentences – cases like possessive, nominative, objective and genitive can all determine how a sentence is formed.
CapitalizationProper nouns need to be capitalized when written; failure to do so could create confusion or suggest incorrect punctuation.
DistinctionsAll English nouns have gender distinctions; for instance, all animate beings and things such as vehicles are classified as either masculine or feminine.
PluralizationMost singular nouns must be made plural in order to enable them to join sentences with other words.
Predicate Rules and Explanations Table
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Examples of the Predicate Noun

A predicate noun phrase is a type of noun that comes after a linking verb and which renames or further defines the subject of the sentence. If a predicate noun is present in a sentence, then it usually follows one of these verbs:

  • Be
  • Seem
  • Appear
  • Become
  • Feel
  • Look
  • Grow
  • Sound
  • Smell
  • Taste

This can make it easier to identify predicate nouns among other types of nouns in a sentence. For example: “John became a teacher.” In this sentence, “teacher” is the predicate noun because it follows the linking verb “became”.

Predicate nouns are an important part of written and spoken language and can enhance our understanding by providing more complete thoughts.

Predicate Noun Exercises with Answers


  • _ was an engineer.
  • _ chose her replacement.
  • _ became my saviour.
  • _ is a choreographer.
  • _ were their tenants.


  • James was an engineer.
  • I chose her replacement.
  • He became my saviour.
  • She is a choreographer.
  • We were their tenants.

Predicate Noun List

Predicate nouns are the nouns that are the predicate part of a sentence, usually following the verb “to be.” There are seven major examples of predicate nouns:

Subject ComplimentThe subject complement is a predicate nominative that interacts with the linking verb and gives more information on what is being described.
Predicate ComplimentA predicate nominative is linked to the same subject as an equal noun or pronoun and follows a linking verb to state an equal relationship between two items.
Direct ObjectA direct object receives action from an action verb and usually follows the word “it” or “him/her”.
Indirect ObjectAn indirect object is like a direct object but it comes before any verbs and is not directly affected by them.
Object ComplimentObject complements draw additional attention to either subjects or objects within a sentence, often reacting with action verbs to give more detail on what happened in the sentence.
AppositiveAppositives indicate placement within a sentence and rename that which was just stated previously, such as in “My sister Mary loves baking.”
PredicatePredicate adjectives follow linking verbs to describe or qualify nouns or pronouns found elsewhere within the sentence along with providing extra information about its subject.
Predicate Noun List Table
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Advice for ESL Students & English Language Learners

ESL students and English language learners should remember that learning a language is an ongoing process. To increase fluency, it is important to practice predicate nouns—words used to specify what is being said about a subject. For example, rather than just saying the word “box”, predicate nouns can expand information such as: “The brown cardboard box contains magazines.” Although intimidating at first, predicate nouns provide more detail to help easier communication in English.

To become more familiar with predicate forms, try reading stories out loud or spending time practising them in conversations with native English speakers. As learners progress through their language journey, predicate nouns become fundamental tools for creating vivid descriptions and conversations.

Additionally, it is important for learners to properly understand appositive and subject of the sentence.

Common Mistakes Made by English Learners

English can be a challenging language for learners who are not native speakers. The complex grammar rules and differences in word usage between American and British English can often cause confusion.

The predicate noun is a particularly common mistake made by learners; it is when the predicate of a sentence acts as if it were the object or subject of that predicate. For example, instead of saying “I am going to school,” some learners might mistakenly write “Going to school I am.” To avoid this mistake, learners should remember that the predicate in any sentence comes after the subject and includes an action verb typically followed by an object. With practice, mastering the predicate noun structure will become second nature!

Common Mistakes:

1. Incorrect Tense

Why it Happens

Not having a firm grasp on correct noun usage can confuse your statements. This can cause you to use the wrong nouns and misconstrue your message.

Correct Use

When speaking English, you would use a noun that reflects the subject in question. Keep context in mind when selecting your nouns.

2. Lack of Nouns

Why it Happens

The easiest mistake is leaving out nouns when needed. Failing to use these in phrases can lead others to misinterpret what you are trying to express.

Correct Use

Nouns join words to a person, place, or thing – for example, ‘the cat meowed’ or ‘I love pasta’.

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3. Inconsistency

Why it Happens

People forget how they described something before and change the context in a contradictory manner. This confuses the reader.

Correct Use

Be sure that your nouns remain consistent throughout your writing. There should be no sudden shifts from ‘woman’ to ‘girl’ unless there was a clear shift in the thing being described.

4. Incorrect Usage

Why it Happens

You don’t know which nouns to use, so you use too many and it confuses the statement.

Correct Use

Using too many nouns can make your writing sound monotonous and can also lead to viewers losing interest. Therefore it is important to focus on expressing yourself clearly and effectively with them.

Tips to Avoid Common Mistakes:

Mistakes in writing can be natural, but taking steps to ensure accuracy and precision will strengthen your overall work. Employing predicate nouns as the subject of a sentence can help clarify your message and reduce the potential for miscommunication.

A predicate noun is a noun that follows a linking verb and modifies the subject. Utilizing predicate nouns allows you to use active language without using any personal pronouns. This adds meaning and differentiation to your words, helping you avoid common writing mistakes.

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Learning Predicate Noun Strategies and Best Practices

Learning predicate nouns can be an invaluable tool for both learners of English and experienced writers alike. Knowing when to use predicate nouns correctly can greatly improve writing by adding more precise meaning to sentences.

The predicate noun comes after a linking verb, and adds additional information to the sentence, such as “The favourite game of many is basketball” where “basketball” is the predicate noun. With practice and repetition, mastering predicate nouns gets easier quickly and the payoff will be seen in your writing. Additionally, keep reading for more useful tips:

Tip 1: Study a List

Why it helps

Learning the various forms and using them properly in speaking and writing is easier than it seems with daily practice. A list can simplify this process and make it seem less daunting.

Daily Life Example

The best way to learn to use nouns correctly is to study a list of nouns and their usages, and then practice writing sentences with them.

Tip 2: Practice Reading

Why it helps

Exposing yourself to nouns hidden between other words can help you identify them faster and with more accuracy.

Daily Life Example

To ensure that you understand how frequently a type of noun should be used it’s important to practice reading with them as well, so the meanings become clear. So keep a book of your choice on hand and highlight every noun you come across.

Tip 3: Everyday Conversations

Why it helps

By applying the nouns exercise to everyday conversations, you’ll find these words easy to remember and use in the near future.

Daily Life Example

Take your time when speaking to people. Take note of the nouns they use, and try and repeat them back in different contexts. You can also do this from the comfort of your home by recording yourself or using an AI assistant.

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Predicate Noun Frequently Asked Questions

A predicate noun is a noun that completes the thought of a sentence as part of the predicate.

To identify this major term in a particular sentence, look for linking verbs that are connecting the predicate to the subject. Common examples of predicate nouns include pronouns like ‘he’, ‘she’, or ‘it.’ Nouns like ‘police officer’ or ‘athlete’ can also act as predicate nouns in sentences. For example, in the sentence “He is a police officer,” ‘police officer’ is a predicate agreement because it is connected to the subject with the linking verb “is.”

Finding predicate nouns can often be a tricky business, especially in more complex sentences. One method that can help you identify predicate nouns is to scan the sentence for verbs and determine who or what is performing the action. The noun associated with that verb is typically the predicate noun.

Additionally, remember that predicate nouns usually follow linking verbs such as “became”, “felt” or “remained”. Whether you’ve got a simple or complex complete sentence, by following these tips you should be well on your way to discovering predicate nouns.

Predicates are a fundamental element of grammar and can take on three distinct forms. A predicate noun is the most common type, providing additional detail about the subject in a sentence. This can include titles, occupations or even physical descriptions of the subject.

The second type is predicate adjectives, which add more information to describe the subject, such as colouring or sentiment they might be feeling. Predicate adverbs are the last type of predicate, and focus on how the action is done by the subject. These typically focus on ideas such as place and time that help define a scene or narrative more clearly.

Each predicate descriptor helps to form an understanding of the full scope of any given sentence, and creates drastically different meanings when even one predicate changes!

Predicate noun definitions are nouns that modify the predicate of a sentence and make it more descriptive.

These predicate nouns, also known as predicate nominatives, create an essential link between two separate sentences in order to connect them with one idea. For example, let’s say we were discussing a wonderful singer.

Examples of sentences with a term predicate include: “The singer is talented.” or “The singer needs improvement.” Here we have two distinct sentences connected by the predicate noun “singer”. Without this connection, the whole thought would not be expressed as clearly or importantly as it needs to be.

Predicate adjectives also fulfil this role of connection between two statements; they usually come after linking verbs like ‘is’ or ‘was’, and provide more detail to complete the thought. An example of this would be “The singer was talented” using the predicate adjective “talented” to finish describing the singer.

Predicate nouns may sound like something from a foreign language, but they are actually an important part of speaking and writing. A predicate subject noun is a noun that renames or describes the subject of a sentence.

For kids, understanding predicate nouns can give them the ability to express themselves more clearly in both spoken and written English. For example: ‘Mommy is an amazing cook’, where “cook” is the predicate noun which renames Mommy as someone who knows how to cook. Kids should remember predicate noun functions to make their writing stronger and easier to understand.

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