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English Grammar - Predicates Options
Wise Kwashie
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018 8:56:42 AM

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4. Identify the predicate in the following sentence:
“My sister and my brother both like to read.” a) My sister and my brother
b) both like to read (correct answer)
c) like to read (your answer)
d) to read
I thought ”both” in the sentence modifies the subject and, thus, isn't part of the predicate. Can someone explain? Thanks.
FounDit
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018 10:07:22 AM

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Wise Kwashie wrote:
4. Identify the predicate in the following sentence:
“My sister and my brother both like to read.” a) My sister and my brother
b) both like to read (correct answer)
c) like to read (your answer)
d) to read
I thought ”both” in the sentence modifies the subject and, thus, isn't part of the predicate. Can someone explain? Thanks.


Modifying the subject is what the predicate does, so here, "both" does that as well as everything else, including the verb.


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Tyoma
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 1:51:29 AM
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FounDit wrote:
Modifying the subject is what the predicate does.

Oh, really?

“If a word or phrase modifies another word or phrase used with it, it limits or adds to its meaning.” (Cambridge Dictionary)

In “My brother is swimming” the predicate “is swimming” doesn’t change in any way the meaning of the phrase “my brother”. He is just “my brother”, regardless of whatever he is doing at the moment.

Wise Kwashie
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 4:29:43 AM

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Joined: 2/10/2017
Posts: 3
Neurons: 105,370
Location: Accra, Greater Accra, Ghana
So, what's the predicate in the sentence "My sister and my brother both like to read."?
Is it
a) both like to read, or
b) like to read?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 4:41:13 AM

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Hello Wise Kwashie!
Welcome to the forum.
In my opinion, it is debatable. One can look at it in two ways.
The predicate normally includes everything in the sentence except the subject noun-phrase.

In the sentence "Both my sister and brother like to read", it's very obvious that the noun-phrase is "both my sister and brother".

When I was doing that test, I gave the predicate of "My sister and brother both like to read" as "like to read".

I considered the adjective "both" to be modifying 'sister and brother' in the same way that the adjectives do here:
"My elder sister and younger brother like to read."

No-one would say the predicate is "elder younger like to read" . . . would they?Anxious Anxious Eh?

However, I can see that one COULD look at it that 'both' is somewhat adverbial - expanding the scope of "like".

"Both my sister and brother like to read." ("Both" is adjectival and not part of the predicate.)
"My sister and brother both like to read." ("Both" is somewhat adverbial and could be considered to be part of the predicate.)

(EDITED to add some sentences.)

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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