Understanding Types of Sentences in English
Understanding types of sentences in any language helps you make your base structure very strong and learn it very fast. In continuation to grammar for sentence formation, we will learn about types of sentences in English in this article which is equally important to study as much as grammar. English majorly has four types of sentences that we use while speaking and writing, both.
- Declarative Sentences
- Interrogative Sentences
- Imperative Sentences
- Exclamatory Sentences
Above mentioned types of sentences help us to express ourselves clearly. Understanding the variety of different sentences and practising them daily will help you put across your ideas effectively. The aim is to not only learn the basics of English but also to teach you effective communications skills as well in English. In order to communicate clearly, it is important to know the functions of each type of sentence so you can make the right choice, depending on your purpose.
The most basic type of sentence is a declarative sentence which functions to convey some information and it is punctuated with a period. For example:
- The boy walked home.
- He is hungry, but he doesn’t know how to cook.
- I am studying history.
As you can see, these sentences make statements, whether facts or opinion, you are getting some information from each of the sentences. Declarative sentences are simple and can be in any tense as long as they are performing the basics of providing information. This makes it the most common type of sentence.
Read more: English Grammar Rules for Sentence Formation
Interrogative sentences, interrogate or in simple words, ask questions. These are direct questions and are punctuated with a question mark. For example:
- Why does the sunshine?
- What did you eat?
- How did you travel till here?
Majorly interrogative sentences start with words like ‘how’ or ‘why,’ but the rest is direct ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions that begin with a verb instead of a noun. It is important to remember interrogative sentences still require a noun and a verb to be complete.
Imperative sentences do not simply state a fact but instead ask someone to do something. These can be a form of friendly advice, basic instructions or forceful commands. For example:
- Please close the door.
- You should not do it.
- Turn left after the next signal.
Many of the imperative sentences end with a period, but some of the more forceful demands might end in an exclamation mark in order to highlight the emotion.
You can always identify an imperative sentence as it has a subject missing. However, the sentence is always directed to you, making these sentences second-person. The subject of the sentence may be omitted, but it’s called “you understood” because the reader is aware that each sentence could be written as “you do this” or “you do that.”
Exclamatory sentences are like declarative sentences in which they make a statement instead of asking a question, but the main purpose is to express strong emotions. They are easily recognised because they always end with an exclamation mark. For example:
- How well he sings!
- Wow, he just won a gold medal!
- I said I wanted a burger!
Exclamatory sentences are often used in casual conversation and in written dialogue to show emotion, but they are not typically useful in academic or expository writing. In these more serious works, it’s better to make your point with well-written declarative sentences instead.
The Bottom Line
Choosing the right type of sentence completely depends on your intention:
- To convey information or to answer a question, you can use declarative sentences.
- To ask a question, use an interrogative sentence.
- To tell someone what to do, use an imperative sentence.
- To express strong emotions, use an exclamatory sentence.
It is very important to understand various types of sentences. The common question asked in competitive exams is from a given passage where you have to either correct the sentence or find out the mistake in it. You need to read the passage thoroughly in the given period of time and understand each and every sentence given in it. To answer questions from the passage in English, you need a clear understanding of various types of sentences explained in the article.
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