Wednesday's are for Grammar

About a year ago, I found myself explaining to my supervisor that "that word is an adverb. It must end in -ly. I'm sorry, but that's the grammar rule".

Her response: "Don't use big grammar words with me."

Gerund. Possessive. Ampersand. Predicate. Appositive.
Subjunctive voice. Co-ordinating clause.

We had another discussion the other day, supervisor and I. I know that possessives with an 's' are complicated. It's just that I think that you should put your big girl you-know-what's on, and deal with them.

I'm maybe a little grumpy. So I decided, because I can't teach her grammar, I'll teach all of you. Because really, it's not about education, it's about power and control and frustration. And I'm sorry, but until I get it out of my system, well,

there will be grammar lessons.

You might learn things. At the least you will be able to drop "gerund" into a sentence and amaze your friends and astound your family.

Today's Lesson:

Subjects and Predicates

Really, they aren't scary, class. Honest. They are even fun (1). They form the backbone of every sentance. And every complete sentance has a subject (or maybe two) and a predicate.

So, what is a subject?

A subject is the thing(2) in a sentence that takes the action - you could call it a receiver. It acts, is described or is acted upon. You could call it an actor too. It's what or who the sentance is about.

So, in the sentence: "Mrs. Spit was grumpy with her boss."

Can anyone tell me what the subject is? Anyone? (I'm looking at you LoriBeth!)
Yes, that's right. Mrs. Spit is the subject. She's the person who's acting, or in this case, feeling.

Ok then, if you have subjects down, what is a predicate?

A predicate is the part of the sentence that takes the action, the description, or is acted upon. It tells you what is being done to the subject, it describes the subject, or it tells you what the subject did. Back to our example:

Mrs. Spit was grumpy with her boss.

What's the object?(3) Anyone? Class? (I'm looking at you now Aunt Becky)
Yes, that's right - "was "
was tells you that I, the subject, experienced feelings of grumpiness.

There are simple subjects (Mrs. Spit) and compound subjects (Mr and Mrs. Spit or the very pretty Mrs. Spit)

There are simple predicates (was) and compound predicates (was grumpy).

So, we have the subject - what or who the sentance is about. And we have the predicate, the information about what the subject is feeling, experiencing or having happen to them.

Your homework:
*Insert groan here*. Find the subject and the predicate of the sentence, and identify if they are compound or simple subjects and predicates, in the comments.

The smarty-pants, Mrs. Spit, is a really good grammar teacher.

A really big star for all of you who get it right. And, as an additional bonus, if there is a grammar question you have always had, feel free to ask away. It can be next week's lesson.

(1) ok, I'm exaggerating, maybe just a bit.
(2) this is highly technical grammar language. We will talk about nouns and verbs at a later date.
(3) Yes, you get extra points if you tell me the object is that Mrs. Spit should drink more whisky sours. Extra extra points if you send her whisky.