I know A stage is subject, but my question:

What is the predicate? as or refer?

What is the object? Maybe runtime?


I paste whole sentence here:

Code written using the .NET Framework is managed when it is executed (a stage usually referred to as runtime).

  • The quoted text in your title is a sentence fragment lacking a predicate. The clause beginning with usually... is a "which-clause" without its head, so to speak. aka "reduced clause"
    – TimR
    Jul 6, 2015 at 11:06
  • 1
    The name given to the time when the program is being executed is "runtime". We say "at runtime" or "at run-time". For example, Does the error happen at run-time or at compile-time? "is referred to" is a passive construction. We refer to something as X (we call it X). The thing is referred to as X.
    – TimR
    Jul 6, 2015 at 13:29

2 Answers 2


The phrase "a stage usually referred to as runtime" has no subject and no predicate.  It could serve as the subject, object or complement of some clause, but, on its own, it is only a noun phrase.

The keyword of this phrase is the noun "stage".  This keyword is modified by the indefinite article and by the participial phrase "usually referred to as runtime".

The keyword of the participial phrase is "referred".  This is the so-called past participle form.  The verb is modified by the preposition "to", forming a structure that some would call a prepositional verb and others would call a phrasal verb.  Some analysts might consider the "to" to be a particle rather than a preposition in this structure.  In any case, both the adverb "usually" and the prepositional phrase "as runtime" modify "referred to".

"As runtime" contains the preposition "as" and its object, the noun "runtime". 

In the given context, the entire parenthetical phrase is an appositive.  Both the clause "when it is executed" and the phrase in question refer to the same period of time.


As TRomano states, the given fragment that you are asking about is a dependent clause; this means (among other things) that the clause itself cannot stand alone as a sentence (and thus depends upon the sentence it is included within to be valid).

With respect to being placed into a Subject-Predicate relationship, the dependent clause is an incomplete predicate; the sentence which it depends upon provides both the entire subject (the interval of time) and the verb (the implied "is" defining a name for that interval of time).

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