In the following sentence:
John McAdam and Thomas Teleford made important advances in road construction during the early 1800s.
Why is "made advances" not the verb? Are predicate and verb the same thing?
The reason it's not a verb is as Robusto says.
The reason you're confused is because you're using "
The distinction is a vital one.
In the sentence you cite, the real predicate is
It is a two-place predicate, and it has two arguments
It is true that most predicates are verbs, and that verbs are always predicates or parts of predicates, but adjectives and nouns can be predicates too, and so can other constituents, like phrases. As here.
But made important advances in still has a syntactic structure, even if it's been frozen, and that structure says that the "
That's all, really.
The verb in that sentence is made. The direct object is advances (or advances in road construction, taken as a phrase).