Types of Sentences
1. What are theTypes of Sentences?
When we write or speak, we can use many different types of sentences to express what we want to say. Here, we will discuss four main types of sentences: declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory; each has its own functions and patterns.
And dont be afraid of their fancy names; their meanings are simple and easy to understand.
2. Declarative Sentences
a. What is a Declarative sentence?
Declarative sentences give information. We use them to share facts and ideas, in other words, to declare, state, assert, or claim something. These are probably the most common kind of sentence in writing, speeches, and lectures; they are the meat-and-potatoes of giving information. Other kinds of sentence may be more common in conversation with your friends.
Here are a few examples:
- The dog went to the county fair.
- Kim saw the dog eat popcorn.
- Dogs dont usually eat popcorn.
- The popcorn blew the lid off the pot because it was so hot.
- I like popcorn more than grubs, for a snack.
b.How to Write a Declarative Sentence
A declarative sentence is a statement, such as, A is B or A does B. It ends with a period. Declarative statements can express feelings, but declarations do not have any particular feeling otherwise. For example I like popcorn, is a simple sentence informing us that you like popcorn, but the sentence itself is pretty unemotional.
If you write I LOVE popcorn! it not only informs us that you love popcorn, but the exclamation point also gives it emotional intensity, regardless of what it says. In other words, with a period it is declarative and relatively unemotional. With an exclamation point, it becomes exclamatory (see below) and more emotional.
3. Interrogative Sentences
a. What is an interrogative sentence?
An interrogative sentence is a question. They are easy to recognize because they always end with question marks (?). Questions are really requests or commands for people to give us information, but they are more polite than commands.
What kind of information we are asking for can be indicated by who, what, where, when, why, how, and compounds built from those words, such as how1 much, or in what way.
Finally, the order of the verb and subject are reversed from what they would be in a declarative sentence the verb goes before the subject and this is true also for yes/no questions also, which have no wh-word. However, if you are a native speaker of standard English you probably dont have to think about these things to get them right.
Here are some examples:
- Why is the dog going to the county fair?
- Have you ever been to a county fair? (a yes/no question)
- What is your favorite sauce to put on grubs?
- How do you make popcorn?
b. How to Write an Interrogative Sentence
Writing an interrogative sentence is simple and easy. Rememberits just a question! There are two kinds of questions in English, wh-word questions and yes/no questions.
Wh-questions are formed in three steps (that you probably dont have to think about): (1) replace the missing piece of information with the appropriate wh-word. (2) Put that word at the beginning of the sentence, and (3) if the verb is to be, or if there is a helping verb, put that before the subject of the sentence; otherwise, put the verb do before the subject.
- Who cooks fresh popcorn around here?
- Where can I buy fresh popcorn? (notice only the helping verb is inverted)
- What is the best flavor of popcorn?
- When do you usually eat popcorn?
- Why dont you let your dog eat popcorn?
- How do those grubs taste?
In order to make a yes/no-question, you simply follow rule (3) putting either a form of be, a helping verb, or do before the subject:
The popcorn is delicious.
I like it.
Is the popcorn delicious?
Do you like it?
3. Imperative Sentences
a. What is an imperative sentence?
An imperative is a verb expressing a command, thus, an imperative sentence basically gives instructions, requests, or demands, although they can also be used to share wishes and make invitations. Basically, they tell someone what to do. But commanding someone to do something like have fun! or come to my party! is naturally understood as a well-wishing or invitation. Here are some examples:
- Have fun at the fair! (well-wishing)
- Come to the fair with me! (invitation)
- Feed the dog once per day. (instruction)
- Please dont give the dog popcorn. (request)
- Stop feeding the dog! (command)
The verbs in imperative sentences are in a certain form called the imperative mood, that looks different than the declarative, or indicative, form. Look at these two sentences:
Dont feed the dog. Imperative verb dont giving a command
He didnt feed the dog. Indicative verb didnt, just stating a fact
b. How to Write an Imperative Sentence
Writing an imperative sentence is easy, but its important to remember its role. The tone of an imperative sentence can be fairly neutral or it can express strong emotions. Because of this, one can end with either a period or an exclamation mark (!). For instance, a forceful command should end with an exclamation mark, but a more neutral request needs only a period.
It is also worth noting that we have many ways to make imperatives seem less rude in English; compare:
- Get me a cup of coffee!
- Please get me a cup of coffee.
- Could I possibly trouble you to get me a cup of coffee?
Notice that the last sentence isnt even an imperative, grammatically; its a question. We call that an indirect command and its much more polite than an imperative!
Note that although both imperative and exclamatory sentences can end in exclamation marks, they have different grammatical forms and serve different purposes.
4. Exclamatory Sentences
a. What is an Exclamatory Sentence?
Exclamatory sentences are ways to share strong feelings such as excitement. They are usually just like declarative sentences in form and function, just with more emotion. But one can also make exclamatory questions, or exclamations that are not full sentences; here are a few:
- I cant believe how fast that dog ate all the popcorn!
- Hey! Theres no more popcorn!
- What do you think youre doing?!
- That popcorn isnt for dogs!
b. How to Write an Exclamatory Sentence
You can turn any declaration into an exclamatory sentence by adding an exclamation point. And people often do that in an attempt to make their words more exciting, loud, or full of emotion.
But, really it is better writing to use stronger words rather than exclamation points and words like very or so. For example, instead of saying, That movie was so bad! you might say That movie was a piece of irredeemable trash. The second way is more effective than the exclamation point.
Dont overuse exclamation points. They can make you sound like an air-head. They are better reserved to show how someone speaks, in a story, rather than to convey the strength of your own feelings.
To review, heres a chart to help you remember the four types of sentences.
Test your Knowledge1.An interrogative sentence ends with a/an ___________.
d.any of the above2.An imperative sentence ends with a/an _________.
d.both a & b3.True or False: The purpose of a declarative sentence is to give demands
b.False4.True or False: An exclamatory sentence is very expressive and emotional
Anonymous October 21, 2018, 9:02 pm
thank you! It was very helpful to me
Ayuk emmanuel October 26, 2018, 11:11 am
Thanks very much
Anonymous October 26, 2018, 11:22 am
Paul Hong October 30, 2018, 8:03 am
It is interesting that I can try this 4 types of sentences. Please let me say Thank you for your contribution for the needy people like who wish to learn English.
Paul from South Korea
hassan khan January 22, 2019, 5:25 pm
it was help full thank you
Benedict wesseh October 30, 2018, 4:35 pm
Thanks for your help
Piggy January 25, 2019, 12:04 am
Anonymous November 4, 2018, 6:27 am
Anonymous January 22, 2019, 9:20 am
Ash November 4, 2018, 6:28 am
ndaedzo November 19, 2018, 8:10 pm
jemal urgessa November 20, 2018, 7:56 am
it is very goog question continous just like this
maina Ahmad November 22, 2018, 7:48 am
Piller November 22, 2018, 6:21 pm
Thanks a lot for teachering us
Anonymous February 11, 2019, 9:34 pm
Great information but not enough
Anonymous November 23, 2018, 4:12 pm
Anonymous November 25, 2018, 6:46 pm
This is very good
farol December 2, 2018, 1:14 am
Thank you its very nice
Shakir December 4, 2018, 10:59 am
Thanks for your help
Anonymous December 5, 2018, 7:47 pm
thanks so much
Anonymous December 16, 2018, 8:16 pm
Thanks so much it really help me out
Annie February 4, 2019, 6:34 pm
Very useful to understand the difference.
Anonymous January 7, 2019, 9:00 am
Thank you so much
Anonymous January 20, 2019, 5:13 am
Thx a lot . It was very useful
Creature January 20, 2019, 5:14 am
Thx a lot . It was very useful.
Anonymous February 7, 2019, 5:14 pm
oscar February 7, 2019, 9:34 pm
is very interesting i think this help me more then i learned
Tania kabir February 17, 2019, 9:49 pm
It was very useful to me thanx a lot ..it was very interesting
Anonymous February 21, 2019, 4:16 am
Thanks, this is educative.
Mohs February 26, 2019, 3:37 am
IT IS VERY USEFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
gail February 27, 2019, 1:53 am
thanks, this was very helpful for me in helping my grandson with homework
Shining smruti April 30, 2019, 1:51 pm
I need this thank you
Nishant Singh Chauhan May 5, 2019, 4:49 am
I find it very interesting.
Chol Martin June 17, 2019, 8:01 pm
Nandini.B June 18, 2019, 1:09 am
Vaishu June 23, 2019, 2:05 pm
Wow its amazing tq so much for dis useful one.
Sprb.. i got 4 /4
Anonymous June 29, 2019, 8:50 am
Amazing! Thank you very
Anonymous June 30, 2019, 9:31 am
habila wughyime kopsherrah July 3, 2019, 1:48 pm
thank u its very helpful
Anonymous July 5, 2019, 7:56 am
It is helpful thank you