I can think of several examples of where technical teams knew a proposed well would be dry and yet senior management wanted to drill it because of pressure from government or business partners.

I would like to know in the above sentence which one is the predicate?

The sentence construction makes me confused. "can think of" or "would be dry" are both predicates?One sentence only has one predicate.

  • [What is the predicate in this sentence? and the sentence above, not above sentence]
    – Lambie
    Apr 8, 2022 at 13:44

2 Answers 2


English is quite strict about word order. So identifying subjects and predicates is simple: the grammatical subject comes before the verb.

Your example is a compound sentence with two main clauses joined by "and yet". Each clause has a subject and predicate (so it's not true that a sentence has one predicate)

So the subject in the italicised part is "I" and the predicate is the rest of the clause "can think of ... be dry". However this clause has a subordinate clause. It is content clause introduced by "where" This clause has its own subject and predicate. The subject of the content clause is "technical teams" and its predicate is "knew ... be dry".

But this subordiate clause even has a sub-subordinate clause, the complement "knew". And this clause has its own subject and predicate: "a proposed well" and "would be dry". So you can parse this as

 can think of several examples of where 
     [technical teams| 
          [a proposed well| 
           would be dry

A predicate is the part of a sentence or clause containing a verb and stating something about the subject, in this case, the subject is either "you" or the "technical teams". In this context, I think the subject should be "technical teams", and therefore the predicate should be "would be dry".

This is because "I can think of several examples of where …" is just a add on of the sentence, and I think it does not really contribute much to the subject of the sentence.

Source: Lexico

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