Why is there no predicate in "we the people"?


I can't get the idea why. Haven't found anything on the internet


Posted 2016-04-18T15:35:07.573

Reputation: 3


can you give some context? is this referring to the Preamble to the US Constitution?

– costrom – 2016-04-18T15:37:22.510

Assuming you are talking about the preamble, the actual sentence (if you exclude all of the flowery phrasing) is "We the people ordain and establish this Constitution." Looks like "Constitution" is the predicate to me... – Catija – 2016-04-18T15:42:22.053

1@Catija the predicate(s) would be ordain and establish – costrom – 2016-04-18T15:43:12.680

@costrom Sure. It still includes the object, though (if there is one)... so technically we're both half right. – Catija – 2016-04-18T17:23:03.297



The reason why there is no predicate is "we" and "the people" are two elements apposed. The linked Wikipedia article defines apposition as:

a grammatical construction in which two elements, normally noun phrases, are placed side by side, with one element serving to identify the other in a different way. The two elements are said to be in apposition. One of the elements is called the appositive, although its identification requires consideration of how the elements are used in a sentence.

You can visit the link and read it to understand further how it works.


Posted 2016-04-18T15:35:07.573