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Syntactic Theory

The Predicate

Every clause contains a predicate. The predicate is the highest VP (or AuxP) in a clause.

In English, clauses always have a VP predicate, however, this VP can also contain a semantically vacuous verb, such as the copula be, and an AP, NP, or PP (i.e. a predicative complement).

Example: with a VP predicate (a), and an AuxP predicate (b)
a)        _S_            (b)     _S_
         /   \                  /    \
        /    pred              /     pred
       /       \              /        \
     NP    ____VP___        NP   ______AuxP____
    /__\  /_________\      /__\ /______________\
    Pat   read a book.     Pat  will read a book.

Read further on other grammatical functions:

Categories: Glossary