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Types of Sentences

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A sentence is a set of words that makes complete sense. A sentence always gives a complete idea.

Every sentence has two parts:

1. a subject
(who or what the sentence is about)
2. a predicate
(the part which tells something about the subject)

For example:

She (subject) speaks (predicate).

  • A subject contains a noun or a pronoun and words describing the noun or pronoun. In the above sentence, the pronoun "she" is itself the subject.
  • A predicate always contains a verb and all the words related to that verb except the subject. In the above sentence, the predicate itself is a verb.

For example:

John and Cody (subject) play (verb) basketball whenever they get time (predicate).

In the given sentence, John and Cody are the subjects. Play basketball whenever they get time is the predicate, and play is the verb.

Look at these sentences:

  • What time is it?
  • It is almost noon.
  • Look at the clock.
  • Wow, it's very late!

We see that:

  • Sentence #1 is question.
  • Sentence #2 is a statement.
  • Sentence #3 is a command.
  • Sentence #4 is an exclamation.

We use the four basic types of sentences in our writing to convey different tones.

1. Declarative sentences form a statement:

  • Today is Saturday.
  • We should go skiing.
  • Declarative sentences are the most common type of sentences.
  • A declarative sentence ends in a period (.).

2. Interrogative sentences form a question:

  • Where is the library?
  • Have you seen my dog?
  • An interrogative sentence ends in a question mark (?).

3. Imperative sentences make a command or a polite request:

  • Please turn off the radio.
(polite request)
  • Get out!
(command)
  • An imperative sentence ends in an exclamation point (!) or a period (.).
  • If the command is forceful, use an exclamation point. If the command is polite or it is a request, use a period.

Notice that these sentences don't seem to have a subject. Actually, they have what we call an understood subject, and it is you. The reader or listener understands that the subject of each sentence is you.

4. Exclamatory sentences show powerful feelings:

  • Get out of here!
  • I can't believe how cold it is outside!
  • An exclamatory sentence ends in an exclamation point (!).

Notice that an exclamatory sentence can also have an understood subject (you). This is demonstrated in the first example, "Get out of here!"

Summary
  • A sentence is a set of words that makes complete sense, and consists of a subject and a predicate.
  • We use declarative, imperative, interrogative, and exclamatory sentences in our writing.
  • Below given is a table that explains different types of sentences.
Type of Sentence Use Punctuation Mark Examples
Declarative Forms a statement (.)
  • The store opens at 9:00 AM.
  • I think I will wear a dress today.
  • There were many people at the beach.
  • I have never been on an airplane before.
Interrogative Asks a question (?)
  • Where is your textbook?
  • What is your phone number?
  • Do you know where the library is?
  • Could there be two answers to that question?
Imperative Gives a command or makes a polite request (.) or (!)
  • Brush your teeth!
  • Pass the ketchup.
  • Get out of my way!
  • Turn in your homework, please.
Exclamatory Shows powerful feelings (!)
  • Be careful!
  • Get out of here!
  • I am so excited!
  • I can't believe I got an A on this!

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