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(d) What is, or what is not, its state or condition; as, They are happy. We are not happy.
The former is the positive, the latter the negative form of the predicate. The negative form of the predicate includes the adverb ‘not.'
(e) The predicate may ask a question regarding the subject; . as, Did you speak ?
(f) Qr express a wish; as, May he live long. (8) Or a command; as, John, come here.
(h) The predicate may assert of the subject power to do; as, He can sing.
(i) Power derived from permission; as, You may go.
(1) Possibility of an action, state, or condition, on the part of the subject; as, We may see you to-morrow. They may be much injured. He might be very cheerful.
(m) Action, state, or condition, dependent or conditional on another action; as, If they come, we will retire. Though I were rich, I would not buy that.
The infinitive and participial moods of verbs cannot form predicates, since they possess in themselves no power to assert.
It will be seen from the above examples that predicates are formed from the indicative, imperative, potential, and subjunctive moods.
The predicate may be a simple verb; as, Napoleon died at St. Helena.
A verb substantive; as, I am.
A verb substantive and an adverb; as, He was there. They are abroad.
A verb and negative adverb; as, You did not see this.
A verb and an adjective; as, That appears right. This seemed good. Her story makes me sad.
A verb substantive and a participle, complete or incomplete; as, They are writing. The child is spoilt.
An auxiliary verb of mood with its principal verb; as, I cannot hear. You must depart.
An auxiliary verb of tense with its principal verb; as, I have written. I shall have written. I shall write.
The predicate may be formed of various combinations of verbs, adjectives, nouns, adverbs, and pronouns. Examples—You must be punctual. They will not be here. We may not appear generous. I shall not be working. You may not have finished.
It must be noticed that where the predicate is formed by the verb substantive and a pronoun, adjective, noun, or adverb, the verb substantive still expresses in some degree the idea of existence or being, present to the senses. Thus, 'He was a soldier,' means he lived a soldier. “You are he,' that you exist, identical with he; "We were there,' that we lived, for the time being, there; "That is good,' that goodness is, or exists, in that; “The book is here,' that the book exists, in the sense of being a thing present to the senses, not as possessing life.
The verb substantive used in this way to form predicates, sets forth the idea of existence merely as secondary to the idea expressed by the other part of the predicate. Thus we might say, “The king is dead,' in which case the verb 'to be evidently does not express being in the sense of life, for it cannot mean that the king exists dead. It means that the king is present to the senses or minds of his subjects in a state of death. · The substantive verb may of itself form a predicate; when it does so, it expresses distinctly the idea of life or existence. Examples—We must believe that He is.' 'Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
The verbs 'seem' and 'appear' have, in general, almost the same meaning as the verb to be. They express with some uncertainty what the verb substantive asserts positively, and when they form a predicate with a noun, such noun is in the nominative position after the verb, as if it followed the verb 'to be.' Examples-He appears a good man; he seemed a soldier. Meaning-He appears to be a good man; he seemed to be a soldier,-in which cases, 'man' and 'soldier' are nouns in apposition, following the verbs 'appeared' and 'seemed.'
The verb 'appeared’ standing alone as a predicate would mean simply, came into view; as in the clauses, The ship appeared. He appeared on the scene. “Seemed,' which is the Saxon synonym for appeared,' is never used in this sense, and cannot alone form a predicate.
When we say “That appeared good,' we do not wish to assert that the thing came before our eyes. The assertion is of goodness, and the predicate is formed of the verb and adjective.
EXERCISE. Taking the predicate to be that which we say of the subject, distinguish the predicates in the following clauses and sentences. Classify them according to what they say under a, b, c, d, etc. :
I am a linen-draper bold. Flowers are earth's jewels. The grass is cut down. Distance lends enchantment to the view. All is well.
Not lighter does the swallow skim
Thou’rt wrong as wrong can be ;
I'd gladly change with thee.
Or grasp the ocean with my span,
The mind's the standard of the man.
The object.—When the predicate consists of a transitive verb, an object is essential to its completion.
Some clauses and simple sentences have thus three essential parts: the subject, the predicate, and the object.
The object of a clause or sentence is the name of that to which the action expressed by the predicate passes over.
Examples—They gathered flowers. Here the action of gathering passes over to the word flowers, which is therefore the object of the sentence.-We enjoy reading. Here the action of enjoying passes over to the word reading, which is the name of that which we enjoy, and therefore the object of the sentence.
Clauses and simple sentences which have intransitive verbs for predicates are complete without an object, their essential parts being subject and predicate only.
The object of a sentence may at once be discovered by asking the question, Whom or what? regarding the action expressed by the transitive verb that forms the predicate ; thus, They feared the people. Whom did they fear? The people (object).—He tried to speak. What did he try? To speak (object).—They like to come. What do they like? To come (object).—The children love playing. What do they love ? Playing (object).
The object of a clause or sentence may be-
A pronoun; as, We fear him, in which case the objective form must be used. Example—I saw the man whom you befriended, (not who you befriended).
An adjective used absolutely; as, We pity the poor.
In all these cases the object is a noun, or some part of speech equivalent to a noun.
The object may also be a phrase; as, They denied having seen the child. He ignored their being present.
A sentence; as, He answered, “Still waters run deep.'
A clause; as, Call upon whoever will respond. I gave whatever they asked.
Phrases or clauses thus standing in the position of objects to transitive verbs, are called object phrases and noun object clauses respectively.
The terms Direct and Indirect object may be explained as meaning the real and the apparent object respectively.
The term objective case, as applied to a word, means that such word is in the position or relationship of object in regard to the clause or sentence in which it occurs. Object is the name of that to which the action expressed by a transitive verb passes. And in no other case can a word stand in the relationship of object in a clause or sentence.
The object of a transitive verb is sometimes called the direct object, to distinguish it from what appears to be, but is not, the object, and which has been termed the indirect object. Example-She gave the beggar an alms. If we ask what she gave, the answer will be 'an alms,' which is the real object. The word 'beggar' seems to stand in the position of object, but a glance at the meaning of the assertion will show that 'beggar' is not the object or thing which she gave. Nouns or their equivalents in such a position as the word 'beggar,' have been described as indirect objects.
These apparent or indirect objects will be found to be extensions or adjuncts to the predicate, if we inquire into the sense or meaning of the clause or sentence in which they occur.
Thus : They made William king. Here the action of making does not pass over to William ; for in that case the assertion would mean that William was made. They made a king' is the assertion. '(Of) William' tells us the material from which they made the king,' and the phrase of William' extends the predicate, and is an adverbial adjunct or extension of instrumentThe king made him his armour-bearer. Here the word 'armourbearer' is the object; it is the name of that which was made. The king did not make him, but he made an armour-bearer of him. And the extension of him’ is an adverbial adjunct of material, enlarging the predicate 'made.
He made the tough roots his ladder; He made his son a scholar, are examples of the same kind.
Again, in the sentence, We gave him a book, the meaning is that we gave a book, not that we gave him. And the phrase 'to him' limits the action of giving, for we might give a book to each child, or to each member of the household, or school, or class. We therefore describe the phrase "to him’ as an adverbial adjunct of limitation to the predicate.