Predict - predicate
Fowler (1931) lists the pair predication and prediction as an example of his fourth group of Malaprops: "Words having properly no connexion with each other, but confused through superficial resemblance". Writers still sometimes confuse them, sometimes by mere accident: the insertion of a single letter is an easy typing mistake.
- The verb 'to predict' means 'to foretell', 'to say [or guess] what the future will hold'. Weather forecasters aim to predict the weather. There is an associated noun prediction. One of the tests of an hypothesis or a scientific theory is the extent to which predictions that are made on its basis occur in reality. One of the proofs of Einstein's theory of relativity was photographs taken during an eclipse in 1919 which demonstrated the bending of light waves by gravity, which the theory had predicted.
- Predicate can be a noun or a verb.
- As a noun, a predicate is essentially 'something which is said about' something. This is a useful term in grammar, logic, and some related subjects, such as Maths and Computer Science. A sentence (in grammar) or a proposition (in Logic) usually follows an identification of the Subject with the predicate. The noun is pronounced with a strong stress on the first syllable, and indeterminate unstressed vowels in both the other two: 'pRED-er-k't' (IPA: /ˈprɜdɪkət/).
- As a verb, 'to predicate' meant originally 'to declare', 'to announce publicly'. It now has two divergent meanings. It has a secondary strewss on the final syllable, which rhymes with 'late: 'pRED-er-cate' (IPA: /ˈprɛdɪkˌeɪt/
- To predicate an idea or a decision on something is to base it, in some logical or necessary sense, on that something. The Constitution of the United States is predicated upon the idea "that all men are created equal"; AWE is predicated on the idea that students in Higher Education often need advice on how to improve their skills in written English.
- In the subject of Logic, it means 'to assert as', or 'to make a statement about [a Subject]'.