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A simple predicate is just the verb in the complete predicate.

So are the adverbial particles of the verb part of the simple predicate?

For example, "of" in "consist of" is it part of the simple predicate?
Likewise is "after" part of the simple predicate in "look after"?

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    The simple predicate is the verb itself. – P. E. Dant Oct 11 '16 at 3:47
  • @P.E.Dant Is there any source I could refer to? I'm thinking of the Cambridge grammar of the english language by Pullum and Huddleston but I do not have a copy. I'll check Google books if they have a searchable copy. – learner Oct 11 '16 at 16:18
  • @Peter ( grammar : an adverb or preposition that when combined with a verb creates a phrasal verb ▪The phrasal verb “look up” consists of the verb “look” and the adverbial particle “up.”) Merriam Webster. So I wonder why the change from particle into prepositions? – learner Oct 11 '16 at 19:22
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    @learner I have changed it back, apologies, I misunderstood your intent. – Peter Oct 11 '16 at 21:20
  • @learner It's such a basic question that Swan and CGEL don't seem to address it, at least as far as I can tell. Hopefully my answer below sounds authoritative enough to use as your source. – P. E. Dant Oct 11 '16 at 23:18
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The simple predicate is the verb or the essential parts of the verb phrase —the parts which cannot be omitted without changing the meaning—in a sentence. In a sentence with a simple verb, the simple predicate is easy to identify:

She looked up at the sky.

In a sentence which contains an auxiliary or linking verb, the simple predicate also includes them:

She was looking up at the sky.
She has been looking up at the sky.

In a sentence which contains a phrasal verb, the essential parts of the phrasal verb are also part of the simple predicate:

She looked up his phone number in the directory.
She was looking forward to calling him.

Even when the parts of a phrasal verb are separated by other words, they are part of the simple predicate:

She was looking his phone number up in the directory.

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