Small clause
In some descriptions of grammar, small clauses are minimal predicate structures: they possess arguments and predicates
Predicate (grammar)
There are two competing notions of the predicate in theories of grammar. Traditional grammar tends to view a predicate as one of two main parts of a sentence, the other being the subject, which the predicate modifies. The other understanding of predicates is inspired from work in predicate calculus...

 but no tense
Grammatical tense
A tense is a grammatical category that locates a situation in time, to indicate when the situation takes place.Bernard Comrie, Aspect, 1976:6:...

. Small clauses usually occur within the context of full clause
In grammar, a clause is the smallest grammatical unit that can express a complete proposition. In some languages it may be a pair or group of words that consists of a subject and a predicate, although in other languages in certain clauses the subject may not appear explicitly as a noun phrase,...

s and may act as the direct object of the verb
A verb, from the Latin verbum meaning word, is a word that in syntax conveys an action , or a state of being . In the usual description of English, the basic form, with or without the particle to, is the infinitive...

. In the examples below, the small clause is italicized. Note that a verb is not necessary and that there is no tense.
  • Robert painted the house blue.
  • We consider Mary intelligent.
  • Abby saw Patrick eat the cake.
  • Eating too much cake makes me sick.
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