I'm confused about the difference between complement and predicate. Don't both function as what the subject is doing or what the subject is?

1 Answer 1


Complements "complete" grammatical structures. They are essential to the structure and if they are omitted, the result is ungrammatical or is a different structure. The opposite of a complement is a modifier, which is optional.

The predicate is the part of a sentence that follows the subject.

Subject complements are part of the predicate of a simple sentence with a linking verb like "is". There are other complements in grammar. In a simple construction like

The cat is happy.

the predicate is "is happy", and "happy" is the complement, as it is required for the grammar.

The happy cat ate the fish.

happy is a modifier. The predicate is "ate the fish".

  • So, as the "is happy" and "happy" example above. I can conclude that complement is a part of predicate? Commented Feb 2, 2023 at 6:19
  • Yes, in that example.
    – James K
    Commented Feb 2, 2023 at 6:20

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