Predicate Nouns and Adjectives
"Linking Verbs" in Latin
The "predicate" of a sentence strictly speaking means the part of a sentence that is not about the subject. The idea is that every sentence has a subject, and makes a declaration (a "predication") about the subject.
The phrase "predicate" is used more loosely to refer to the way that there can be nouns and adjectives that refer back to the subject of the sentence, but which are not technically the subject of the sentence.
In Latin, it is important to understand that predicate nouns and adjectives be in the same case as the subject. Usually this means that predicate nouns and adjectives are in the nominative case, because this is usually the case for the subject in the Latin sentence. But you know that the subject of an infinitive is in accusative case, which means that predicate nouns and adjectives are in the accusative case when the verb is an infinitive.
You need to be able to recognize what kinds of verbs can introduce predicate nouns and adjectives in Latin. There are a number of different verbs of being and becoming which will introduce predicate nouns and adjectives. Latin also uses a number of passive verbs, like videor, which introduce predicate nouns and adjectives. The predicate is underlined in these sentences. Notice that the predicate often comes before the verb in Latin. This can be hard for English-speakers to get used to!
Predicate Adjectives Used Adverbially
Latin is a language that is very poor in adverbs, but it uses predicate adjectives in a very creative way in order to do "adverbial" things. Here's an example:
It is very important to understand the subject and predicate of this sentence in order to translate it correctly:
As English speakers, it is really easy to get confused about sentences like this, because we almost never use predicate adjectives in this way. It is a very common usage in Latin!