THE PARTS OF SPEECH IN THE SENTENCE
A sentence is a group of words which expresses a complete thought.
– Fire burns.
– Wolves howl.
– Rain is falling.
– Charles is courageous.
– Patient effort removes mountains.
– London is the largest city in the world.
– A man who respects himself should never condescend to use slovenly language.
Some of these sentences are short, expressing a very simple thought; others are comparatively long, because the thought is more complicated and therefore requires more words for its expression. But every one of them, whether short or long, is complete in itself. It comes to a definite end, and is followed by a full pause.
Every sentence, whether short or long, consists of two parts,—a subject and a predicate.
The subject of a sentence designates the person, place, or thing that is spoken of; the predicate is that which is said of the subject.
Thus, in the first example in 1, the subject is fire and the predicate is burns. In the third, the subject is rain; the predicate, is falling. In the last, the subject is a man who respects himself; the predicate, should never condescend to use slovenly language.
Either the subject or the predicate may consist of a single word or of a number of words. But neither the subject by itself nor the predicate by itself, however extended, is a sentence. The mere mention of a thing (fire) does not express a complete thought.
Neither does a mere assertion (burns), if we neglect to mention the person or thing about which the assertion is made. Thus it appears that both a subject and a predicate are necessary to make a sentence.