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Lesson 1: Sentences:Introduction

Types of Sentences

Imperative Sentence

Declarative Sentence

Interrogative Sentence

Exclamatory Sentence


A sentence is a group of words that expresses a complete thought. There are four types of sentences: Imperative, Declarative, Interrogative, and Exclamatory - I DIE.

A sentence that gives a command end ends with a period is an IMPERATIVE sentence.
Can end with a period or an exclamaion mark depending on the degree of the command.
Containing the word "please" should end with a period. Is commonly used in speech but not often in writing.
Is a sentence which is used to give orders, advice, instructions, requests and commands. An exclamation mark (!) is used at the end of this sentence when there is a strong force to the expression, but for the other ‘not so strong expressions’ a full stop (.) is used.
Go away.
Shut up and listen to me!
Help me with these bags, please.
In the examples above, the subject part is not mentioned, i.e. no noun or pronoun is used before the predicate part because any ‘order, advice, command, request, etc.’ is given to the listener (the 2nd person pronoun – YOU) and so, no need to mention it directly.
The subject of the imperative sentence ‘you’ is not mentioned but understood.
However, when the listener is not paying any attention to the speaker or doing something else so there is no chance of knowing that he/she is being addressed, the speaker may use the pronoun ‘you’ to get that person’s attention.
“You there, don’t spit on the floor!”
This way of addressing somebody is considered rude by some people; therefore, we must be careful not to offend others!

Examples of imperative sentences
Be quiet!
Please hand in your homework.
"Think Small" (slogan of Volkswagen)
Bring me the book now.
Go get the pencil and paper.
"Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don't care if I never get back."
(Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game")
"Seek simplicity, and distrust it."
(Alfred North Whitehead)

We can use the imperative to give a direct order.
* Take that chewing gum out of your mouth.
* Stand up straight.
* Give me the details.
We can use the imperative to give instructions.
* Open your book.
* Take two tablets every evening.
* Take a left and then a right.
We can use the imperative to make an invitation.
* Come in and sit down. Make yourself at home.
* Please start without me. I'll be there shortly.
* Have a piece of this cake. It's delicious.
We can use the imperative on signs and notices.
* Push.
* Do not use.
* Insert one dollar.
We can use the imperative to give friendly informal advice.
* Speak to him. Tell him how you feel.
* Have a quiet word with her about it.
* Don't go. Stay at home and rest up. Get some sleep and recover.
We can make the imperative 'more polite' by adding 'do'.
* Do be quiet.
* Do come.
* Do sit down.

A sentence that makes a statement and ends with a period is a DECLARATIVE sentence.
I am going to get my book.
I have my pencil and paper.

Declarative sentences can be affirmative and negative.
Affirmative: A declarative sentence indicating "yes"; also called a positive sentence.
E.g.: John likes squash a lot.
Negative: A declarativesentence indicating "no". E.g.: Tim has no friends.

A sentence that asks a question and ends with a question mark is an INTERROGATIVE sentence.
The subject of a question is a little tricky to find. It typically comes after the verb or between parts of the verb.
The good news is that you can rewrite questions in order to make the subject easy to find!
How are you going to do this? You will change the question into a statement. (And then, the subject will be staring you in the face.)
Is your house ready for visitors?
Your house is ready for visitors.

Have you brushed your teeth today?
You have brushed your teeth today.

Sometimes questions can sound funny when we turn them into statements. This is particularly true if the question starts with who, what, where, when, why and how.
Where is your house?
Your house is where.

How do I zip your jacket?
I do zip your jacket how.

Sometimes the words who and what can be the subject of a sentence.
Who is cooking the brownies?
Who is cooking the brownies.

What was your name?
What was your name.

A sentence that shows strong feeling or excitment and ends with an exclamation point is an exclamatory sentence.
You might use it to show anger, confusion, love, happiness, or any other boisterous emotion.
I say boisterous because you probably wouldn't use an exclamation mark to show peace, calm or shyness.

Here are some examples:
No, you cannot dye the dog's hair! (anger)
I don't want to go to Grandma's house! (frustration)
I scored three goals at the soccer game! (happiness)
I can't find the peanut butter! (confusion)
I love you! (love)
We're going to Hawaii! (elation)
Look, that's the book I have been searching for!(surprise)
Oh! I love that color paper!

Information taken from:
English Skills by Deborak Broadwater