This page was first published on the 31st of March, 2014 and last updated on the 16th of October, 2016 by Patrick Carpen.
A sentence is a group of words which express a complete thought.
Sentences in the English language are classified in two ways:
- By Purpose
- By Structure
By purpose, there are four types of sentences.
A sentence is categorized based on what it does, as explained below:
1. A declarative sentence declares something, or, in other words, makes a statement, e.g:
The earth is big.
The word “declarative” comes from the verb “to declare”. “To declare” in English means “to make known by speaking, writing, or something other way”.
Some other examples of declaration sentences are:
There is a cat on the table.
I am going to school.
The rain is falling.
2. An imperative sentence gives a command or request. Examples:
Open your books.
Wash your clothes.
Bring me some chocolate, please.
Look at the clock.
In English, imperative=must.
3. An interrogative sentence asks a question. The word “interrogative” comes from the verb “to interrogate”, which means “to question”. Some examples are:
Is the earth big?
Are you going to school today?
Is it raining?
What time is it?
As you can see, all interrogative sentences end with a question mark (?).
4. A sentence is said to be an “exclamatory” sentence if it expresses strong emotions. Examples include:
What beautiful children!
Stop the car!
Drop your weapon!
As you can see, all exclamatory sentences end in an exclamation mark (!).
The word “exclamatory” comes from the verb “to exclaim”, which means, “to say with great emotions”.
By structure, there are also four kinds of sentences:
- The Simple Sentence
- The Complex Sentence
- The Compound Sentence
- The Compound-Complex Sentence
Learn more about the kinds (or types) of sentences by structure here.