Predicate is one of two main parts of sentence together with subject. Predicate can express action or state of being. It is usually expressed by verb, which frequently used as synonym for term “predicate”. However verb may be omitted in compound predicates (see below). Subject and object are called arguments of predicate. One of arguments of an action is the agent (which makes an action, usually subject) and the other one is the patient (receiver, undergoer of action, usually object).

Sentences may lack explicitly stated predicate. The best example is phrase “Uglúk u bagronk...” from “The Two Towers”, where Allative case ending “-u” became a preposition with verbal meaning “go to”, “get/move yourself to”.

Compound predicate

Predicate may consist of more than one word:

  • Two or more verbs:
    • Modal verb and main verb (usually infinitive): “Dragons can fly” ⇒ “Lûg pâshû skoirut”;
    • Verbs expressing state or phase of action like “begin” (= “îs-”), “become” (= “thôl-”), “stop” (= “puzg-”) and others (called “light verb”) together with main verb (in infinitive or gerundive): “He stopped to breathe” = “Tapuzguz sûmut”;
    • their combination: “We must try to survive” ⇒ “Dakmaug tuglut kibrut1)
  • Verb (usually “to be”, often omitted in present tense) and nominal predicative (a part of predicate that is not a verb):
    • Noun in Nominative case or phrase with noun: “Witch-king of Angmar is the ruler of Nazgûl” ⇒ “Dusharn Onkmokhob kulâ durbalum Nazgûlob”;
    • Adjective: “Mordor is beautiful” ⇒ “Uzgbûrz kulâ nîr”;
    • Pronoun: “Well, of course I know him. He's me” ⇒ “Bhog, da îstan durtarz. Takuliz.”;
    • Participle: “This ring is stolen” ⇒ “Za nazg kul orskaga”.

Second part of compound predicate should be not mixed with other parts of sentence, as it is semantically the main part. Compare “Food was good” where “was good” is predicate as whole, and “Good food was eaten” where “good” is determiner and predicate is “was eaten”.

Negation in compound predicates

Negative participle “nar” is added to the modal or “light” verbs and not to the infinitive or predicative in expressions of negation. Examples:

  • “I must not fear” ⇒ “Danarmaug ufurut”;
  • “He didn't stopped killing” ⇒ “Tanarpuzguz dogut”
please note, that English “try” is still counted as infinitive, particle “to” is not used with some modal verbs in English, while in Nûrlâm infinitive suffix -ut is added anyway
syntax_predicate.txt · Last modified: 2023/09/07 19:38 by