Types of Sentences in English



Now that you know how to write sentences, let us take a look at why we write sentences.

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There are four common types of sentences in English. Each sentence type has a different purpose:
Most sentences you write are to make statements. In fact, you can write an entire essay using only this type of sentence.

But, we also write sentences to give commands and to ask questions. Sometimes we even use sentences to express strong emotions.

In this lesson, we will look at the four most common types of sentences, their uses, and their punctuation.

Declarative Sentences
(also called Assertive)

Purpose:
to make a statement


Punctuation:
period


Declarative sentences are the most common type of sentence. Declarative sentences are used to make a statement. We can use declarative sentences to state a fact or an opinion.

Declarative sentences tell our readers something, without excitement or strong emotion.

Declarative sentences always end in a period.



Examples:

The truck is red.
The truck is not blue.

red truck





Today is Ben's birthday.
Ben is eating cake.

boy with birthday cake





The zookeeper showed us a parrot.
We couldn't hold the parrot.

lady with parrot




These flowers are colorful.
They are not real flowers.

flowers


Declarative sentences can be either positive (affirmative) or negative.

Declarative sentences that have a positive meaning are called affirmative sentences.

  • Affirmative sentences tell us what something has, does, or is.

Declarative sentences that have a negative meaning are called negative sentences. Negative sentences are the opposite of affirmative sentences.

  • Negative sentences tell us what something doesn't (does not) have, can't (cannot) do, or isn't (is not).

  • Negative sentences tell us something is not true.

Examples:

Positive
(Affirmative)
Negative
The balloon is red. The balloon is not blue. red balloon
The baby is crying. The baby isn’t happy. father and baby
The man has a horse. The man does not have a dog. man on horse
He is sleeping. He is not awake. man sleeping
The television is broken. The television is not broken. television

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Interrogative Sentences

Purpose:
to ask a question
to get information

Punctuation:
question mark

The purpose of an interrogative sentence is to ask a question. We ask questions to get information.

Interrogative sentences always end with a question mark.

Examples:
  • Where is the bathroom?

  • Why were you late to work?question mark

  • Do you like pizza?

  • Have you seen my cat?

  • What is your name?

  • Are you sad?

  • Is Nick in the United States?

  • Does Lisa drive a red car?
Follow the link to learn more about Asking Questions in English.


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Imperative Sentences

Purposes:
to give commands, warnings, suggestions, or advice
to request something

Punctuation:
period
exclamation mark

The purposes of imperative sentences are to give commands, warnings, suggestions, or advice. Imperative sentences can also be used to make a request.

Imperative sentences usually end in a period.


However, if the command is forceful or shouted, it can end with an exclamation mark.

the word look


Sometimes imperative sentences can be very short or even one word to express a forceful command.

Examples of imperative sentences:
  • Please sit down. (request)

  • Read pages 45-90 for homework. (command)sign

  • You should wear gloves outside. (advice)
  • Get along with others. (advice)

  • Let's eat the picnic under the tree. (suggestion)

  • Please hand me a pencil. (request)

  • Be quiet! (command)

  • Wait! (command/warning)

  • Watch out for the dog! (warning)

When we say “please” in an imperative sentence, we usually use a period instead of an exclamation point because it is a polite command.

  • Sit down!

    Please sit down.

  • Come here!

    Please come here.

  • Stop fighting!

    Stop fighting, please.

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Exclamatory Sentences


Purpose:
to express strong emotions (feelings)

Punctuation:
exclamation mark


Exclamatory sentences are statements that expresswoman yelling strong emotions.

They are like declaratives sentences, but they express stronger feelings such as happiness, sadness, surprise, and anger.

Exclamatory sentences are common when we talk and in informal writing and stories. We usually do not use exclamatory sentences in formal writing such as essays, formal letters, reports, and non-fiction books.

Here are some example sentences using the declarative examples from above.



Examples:

Declarative: The truck is red.

Exclamatory: That red truck is really big!


red truck





Declarative: Today is Ben's birthday.

Exclamatory: Surprise! Happy birthday, Ben!


boy with birthday cake




Declarative: The zookeeper showed us a parrot.

Exclamatory: Wow! That parrot is beautiful!


lady with parrot



Declarative: These flowers are colorful.

Exclamatory: My husband sent me flowers for our anniversary!


flowers


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These were Types of Sentences in English. Now that you know them, it is time to practice! Get our ESL Books!

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