Monday, November 12, 2012

The English Teacher Answers

Today a reader asked:
Is there a difference between a compound predicate and a compound verb? For example,the sentence, Jim swept and washed the sidewalk( in my book swept and washed are underlined and it says they are the compound verb). Why isn't it a compound predicate?

Another sentence in my book is, Jan slipped but did not fall. Slipped but did not fall is underlined and the book says it's a c. predicate. Why isn't it a compound verb?

I don't understand how to figure out the diff. between the two.

Let's start by recalling the difference between a predicate and a verb. A verb is part of the predicate of a sentence. Therefore, a compound verb is part of a compound predicate. If you have a compound verb, you also have a compound predicate.

 A sentence has a subject and a predicate. The predicate is everything that isn't part of the subject.
 The fuzzy little kitten meowed loudly
In this example, the predicate is "meowed loudly." The verb is "meowed."


A compound verb means that one subject is performing more than one verb.
The fuzzy little kitten meowed loudly and looked for her mother.
The compound verbs in this sentence are meowed and looked.  The compound predicate is "meowed loudly and looked for her mother."

In the examples from your book:
Jim swept and washed the sidewalk.
"swept and washed the sidewalk" is a compound predicate, and "swept and washed" is the compound verb. A compound verb is always part of a compound predicate.
Jan slipped but did not fall.
"slipped but did not fall" is a compound predicate, and the compound verb is "slipped" and "fall."

So to answer your question, what is the difference between a compound predicate and a compound verb, the compound verb is part of the compound predicate. You can't have one without the other.

I hope this helps. If you're still confused, please leave a comment and I'll try to clear things up.
 
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