There are two competing notions of the predicate in theories of grammar. The first concerns traditional grammar, which tends to view a predicate as one of two main parts of a sentence, the other part being the subject; the purpose of the predicate is to modify the subject. The second derives from work in predicate calculus and is prominent in modern theories of syntax and grammar. In this approach, the predicate of a sentence corresponds mainly to the main verb and any auxiliaries that accompany the main verb, whereas the arguments of that predicate are outside the predicate. The competition between these two concepts has generated confusion concerning the use of ...

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  1. The part of the sentence (or clause) which states something about the subject or the object of the sentence.
    In "The dog barked very loudly", the subject is "the dog" and the predicate is "barked very loudly".
  2. A term of a statement, where the statement may be true or false depending on whether the thing referred to by the values of the statement's variables has the property signified by that (predicative) term.
    ''A nullary predicate is a proposition. Also, an instance of a predicate whose terms are all constant — e.g., P(2,3) — acts as a proposition.
    A predicate can be thought of as either a relation (between elements of the domain of discourse) or as a truth-valued function (of said elements).
    A predicate is either valid, satisfiable, or unsatisfiable.
    There are two ways of binding a predicate's variables: one is to assign constant values to those variables, the other is to quantify over those variables (using universal or existential quantifiers). If all of a predicate's variables are bound, the resulting formula is a proposition.
  3. An operator or function that returns either true or false.


  1. To announce or assert publicly.
  2. To state, assert.
  3. To suppose, assume; to infer.
  4. To base (on); to assert on the grounds of.

The above text is a snippet from Wiktionary: predicate
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