Normally, a person says about 7, 000 words every day. But what really forms our speech is not actually about words, but rather about sentences and how we utilize them.

We use several types of sentences in both written and oral speech. Every type serves a certain designated purpose, and, although you might not realize it, all sentence types are very different from one still another.

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Exactly how many types of sentences exist in the English language? Exactly what are their purposes and how is each formed? Once you understand the answers to these questions is very important. You will be able to bring your writing skills to an entire new level, and make your speech more thoughtful, effective, and purposeful — which is specially important for students. In this article, the EssayPro team has made a comprehensive guide on different types of sentences and their characteristics.

What Are the Four Types of Sentences?

In the English language, we are able to identify four types of sentences. They are classified based on their purposes:

  • The Declarative sentence type is used for making a statement;
  • The Interrogative type is used to ask a question;
  • Imperative sentences are used to tell somebody to complete something (i. e. offer a command or an order);
  • The Exclamatory type is used to express (e.g. surprise).

Besides their purposes, these sentence types require the use of different punctuation marks. Also, if we are speaking about oral speech rather than writing, every type uses different intonations to highlight their purposes.

In the chart below, you'll find a short summary of all these types with their key characteristics:

Sentence Type

Purpose

Final Punctuation Mark

Example

Declarative

Make a statement

.

I am a student.

Interrogative

Ask a question

?

Are you a student?

Imperative

Give a command

. or !

Welcome the new student.

Exclamatory

Form an expression

!

There are so many students here!

Also, read our: «punctuation guide» to bring your writing skills to a whole new level.

Now, when you have grasped the general idea, let’s have a close look at each sentence type separately.

Declarative Sentence

Just what is a declarative sentence? The main goal of this form of sentence is always to make a statement. Therefore in a nutshell, any sentence that tells us something may be attributed to this category. It doesn’t matter what kind of information it delivers, whether it is an established fact or even a theoretical statement, the only thing that really matters is if it declares something – if it will, it is a declarative sentence.

The conventional order of words such sentences can be as follows:

  • Subject + verb + object… = where the subject can be quite a noun or pronoun (a person, thing, place, and so forth ); the verb could be the action or state to be; and the item is any word (or multiple words) that are influenced by the verb.
Example: The lady (subject) lost (verb) her favourite doll (object).

Usually, a declarative sentence ends with a period of time. Sentences that fit the meaning for being of declarative type, can be further categorized in to two groups – negative and positive. Respectively, the difference between them is whether you wish to make an optimistic or negative statement:

Positive

Negative

Jessica likes history lectures.

Jessica does not like history lectures.

He plays on a football team.

He doesn’t play on a football team.

Where are declarative sentences used most often, you may ask? This kind of sentence could be the most common form of sentence. We use it in oral and written speech whenever we want to share some information. For that reason declarative sentences are popular in all kinds of academic papers, written documents, dialogues, and so forth

Interrogative Sentence

What exactly is an interrogative sentence? A declarative sentence aims to fairly share information, whereas an interrogative one strives to receive information. According to the interrogative sentence definition, any sentence that asks a question can be caused by this category and will always end with a question mark.
Unlike the other forms of sentences, interrogative sentences have a different word order:
(wh-word or how) + auxiliary verb + subject

Example: Where (wh-word) is (auxiliary verb) Kate (subject)?

Just like other types of sentences, interrogative sentences may be either positive or negative. Here are a few interrogative sentence samples of both:

Positive

Negative

Does Jessica like history lectures?

Doesn’t Jessica like history lectures?

Did he play on a football team?

Didn’t he play on a football team?

Where can you use this sort of sentence? Broadly speaking, interrogative sentences can have a number of applications in your speech. However , with regards to writing, particularly academic papers, questions don’t always easily fit into context. Like if you write a narrative essay, you'll likely not be asked to ask questions, as the reason for a narrative essay paper is to provide information, never to collect it. Interrogative sentences are more popular in persuasive essays to encourage readers to reflect upon or reinforce the result of the author’s arguments (e. g. “Did you understand that…? ”).

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Imperative Sentence

What exactly is an imperative sentence? The key goal of those sentences is always to tell the others to do something, or, put simply, give a command. Imperative sentences can end with whether period or an exclamation mark.

The term order and form of this type of sentence will vary from other styles. It usually doesn’t have a subject, because an imperative sentence, automagically, speaks to the recipient or reader (if this is a written text). Generally, such sentences contain a base verb + any additional details.

These sentences can be negative and positive, below are a few imperative sentence examples that will help you grasp the concept:

Positive

Negative

Attend history lectures!

Do not attend history lectures!

Join a football team.

Don’t join a football team.

In terms of possible applications of imperative sentences, they've been mostly utilized in oral speech, or, if we are speaking about writing, can be utilized in dialogues between characters, or in the shape of a “call to action” that encourages readers to complete something.

Exclamatory Sentence

What's an exclamatory sentence? The last of the four sentence types is the exclamatory sentence. It really is used expressing a strong surprise of emotion and always ends having an exclamation mark.
Listed below are a couple of types of how the basic order of words such sentences may look:

  • What (+ adjective) + noun + subject + verb
  • How (+ adjective/adverb) + subject + verb
For example: What wonderful (adjective) weather (subject)! or How generous (adjective) you (subject) are (verb)!

Unlike previous types, exclamatory sentences do not have a poor form.
Look at these exclamatory sentence examples to see how they've been formed:

  • What a beautiful painting!
  • I feel terrible!
  • What an excellent idea it was to throw him a surprise party!
  • How nice it was!

Exclamatory sentences express powerful emotions, and, respectively, strive to evoke the same emotions in readers. In many cases, using this sentence in academic papers is inappropriate. However , if you should be writing a descriptive or narrative essay, exclamatory sentences are great tools for helping your story to become much more vivid by delivering the best emotions to the reader.

Extra Tips on Variety

What exactly is the key to using the perfect writing style? Some may say it is a solid vocabulary, the others may not and suggest that it's being able to include an abundance of details. Furthermore, people might declare that it is the quantity of ideas, examples, and arguments you use in your writing. But, in the event that you put all of it together, as it happens that the actual key to literary mastery is variety!

Therefore , here is our best tip for empowering your writing – add more variety. It may seem a bit tricky at first. But, as soon as you grasp the concept behind every sentence type and obtain a bit more more comfortable with each, you can test experimenting with them.

Below are a few of the best tips about how you can use different types of sentences to your benefit on paper:

  1. Make a hook with a question. The introduction of a paper should be intriguing and engaging to make the reader want to keep reading. A good way to draw attention is always to put a hook, in the shape of a question, at the beginning of one's introduction.
Example: “Have you ever thought just how much benefit school uniforms may bring to students? ”
  1. Use imperative sentences to establish the proper guidance. The proper command, presented in the proper tone, might have a powerful influence on readers and stimulate their interest.
Example: “The way people thought of uniforms in schools has frequently been controversial. Some such as the idea of it, while others don’t. However , tests also show that uniforms have more pros than cons. Get ready to alter your opinion! ”
  1. Try different word orders. Even though we have shared some basic formulas for shaping sentences with you in this article, they don’t fundamentally always have to follow along with the “subject + verb” scenario. Actually changing the order of words will often add variety to your thing and make your text look and sound better.
Example: As opposed to writing - “I know very well what it means to be always a part of a big team, therefore i know how hard it can be to get compromises. ” Try using another format - “Knowing what it means to be always a part of a big team, I know how hard it can be to get compromises. ” See the huge difference?
  1. Use a question to summarize key points. Here’s another method to use interrogative sentences – put them at the beginning of a paragraph to create a quick summary of one's ideas.
Example: “What was the consequence of a study on the pros of uniforms? – that’s what we are going to discuss. ”

This trick will help you create a smoother transition between paragraphs.

  1. Use different structures. Generally, most writing tips say the same thing – “Keep it Simple! ” While these tips makes sense, sometimes adding a bit of variety won’t hurt. To keep readers engaged, writers often make use of this trick. They alternate simple, compound, and complex constructions. This tip helps to dramatically improve the readability of the writing. The thing is that people find it hard and tiring to read the exact same sentence types one after another.

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