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What is a Sentence? (4 Types of Sentences)

Sentences are groups of words that communicate a complete thought, and contain a subject and a predicate.

Last updated on February 20th, 2024 at 04:10 am



What is a sentence?

When we speak, write, or even think, we do so in words (obviously). Words grouped together that form coherent thoughts are sentences. A sentence includes a subject and a predicate:  

Ben is away on vacation.

Jack sat in the corner.

What a cold night it is!

Sentences must include a subject (who or what the sentence is about, or references) and a predicate (which tells us something about the subject, or what the subject is doing). In other words, when we speak, we must say something about something—this is a sentence.

Types of sentences

The four types of sentences are:

1. Declarative sentence (those that make statements or assertions, e.g., “I love chocolate“, “blue is my favourite colour“)

2. Interrogative sentence  (those that ask a question, e.g., ‘where do you live?‘, ‘what time is it?‘)

3. Imperative sentence (those that make a command or request, e.g., ‘go to bed early tonight and get some rest’, ‘call me as soon as you get home.’

4. Exclamative sentence (those that make an exclamation, ‘I lost my phone!‘, ‘you scared me to death!‘)

Declarative sentences

Declarative sentences provide information or make a statement. They are the most common type of sentence and can be used to express facts, opinions, observations, or ideas. See some examples of declarative sentences:

1. The sun is shining brightly today.

2. I like to drink coffee in the morning.

3. She is a talented musician.

4. He lives in a small apartment near the city center.

5. The Earth revolves around the sun.

These sentences all express a statement or fact in a straightforward manner, without posing a question or giving a command. They can be affirmative or negative, and they can vary in length and complexity depending on the information being conveyed.

Interrogative sentences

Interrogative sentences are sentences that ask a question. They typically begin with a question word (who, what, when, where, why, how) or an auxiliary verb (is, are, can, do, will) and end with a question mark. Here are some examples of interrogative sentences:

1. What time is it?

2. Have you seen my keys?

3. Where did you go on vacation last year?

4. Can you speak Spanish fluently?

5. Why are you so upset?

These sentences all ask a question and seek information or clarification from the listener or reader. The tone of an interrogative sentence can range from curious to demanding, depending on the situation and the speaker’s intent.

Imperative sentences

Imperative sentences are sentences that give a command or make a request. They are usually structured without a subject (you) and begin with a verb or a verb phrase. Here are some examples of imperative sentences:

1. Stop talking and listen to me.

2. Pass me the salt, please.

3. Don’t touch that hot stove!

4. Open the window to let some fresh air in.

5. Come here and give me a hug.

These sentences are used to give commands, make requests, or offer advice to the listener or reader. They can be forceful or polite, depending on the tone and context of the situation. Imperative sentences are often used in instructions, manuals, signs, and other forms of communication that require direct action from the recipient.

Exclamatory sentences

Exclamatory sentences are sentences that express strong feelings or emotions. They are usually structured with an exclamation point at the end and can be formed with a variety of words and sentence structures. Here are some examples of exclamatory sentences:

1. What a beautiful day!

2. I can’t believe I won the lottery!

3. That was an amazing performance!

4. Help! I’m stuck in here!

5. Oh no! I left my phone at home!

These sentences express strong emotions, such as surprise, joy, fear, or admiration. They can be used to emphasize a point, convey excitement, or simply express a feeling in an enthusiastic way. The tone of an exclamatory sentence can vary from dramatic to lighthearted, depending on the situation and the speaker’s intent.

Keep on learning! It’s encouraged.



Sources

  1. P.C. Wren’s High School English Grammar and Composition.

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