Types of Sentences

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There are four different types of sentences in the English language: Declarative, Imperative, Interrogative and Exclamatory. Each type serves a different purpose which can vary from making statements, asking questions or even making commands. Understanding which sentence is which type is important for writing more effectively and also for correctly punctuating the sentence. Types of sentences are essential for IELTS grammar, let’s explore everything you need to know about types of sentences.

What is a Sentence?

A sentence is a set of words that is complete in itself, typically containing a subject and predicate, conveying a statement, question, exclamation, or command, and consisting of a main clause and sometimes one or more subordinate clauses. The subject is who or what is doing the action and the predicate is the verb or action which is done. Sentences can be categorised into four types, declarative, imperative, interrogative and exclamatory. Each of these types of sentences can either be a simple sentence, compound sentence, complex sentence or compound-complex sentence

Examples of Sentences

  • The train was late.
  • Meet me at 5’o clock.
  • How are you?
  • Wow, the rainbow is beautiful!

Before we understand the different types of sentences, let’s understand the difference between a sentence, clause and phrase and also what simple, compound, complex and compound-complex sentences are.

Credits: Grammar Songs by Mellissa

Also Read: Clauses: Meaning, Types and Examples

Difference Between Sentence, Clause and Phrase

A clause is a group of words that have both subjects and predicates. There are two types of clauses, independent clauses and subordinate clauses. An independent clause can act as a complete sentence whereas subordinate clauses, on their own, cannot act as a complete sentence and need to be used with an independent clause to complete their meaning.

Examples:

  • The dog barked. (independent clause, complete sentence)
  • When the man broke into the house. (subordinate clause, incomplete sentence)
  • When the man broke into the house, the dog barked. (complete sentence)

A phrase is a short or long group of words, without a subject or a verb, that does not convey a complete thought. On the other hand, a sentence conveys a complete thought. Also, a phrase is not punctuated.

Examples:

  • When the rain stopped
  • After dinner
  • Beside the lake
  • Very pretty

Simple Sentence

A simple sentence is a basic sentence that contains a subject, predicate and expresses a complete thought. 

Examples:

  • I took the dog to the park.
  • Please pass the salt.

Compound Sentence

A compound sentence is made up of two independent clauses which are joined by a comma or a conjunction. Compound sentences connect two simple sentences, but they often do not show a clear relationship between the two independent clauses. 

Examples:

  • The sky looks blue, and the clouds look grey.
  • Speak now or forever hold your peace.

Also Read: Punctuation

Complex Sentence

A complex sentence is made up of an independent clause and one or more subordinate clauses. Unlike compound sentences, these clauses show a clear connection between them.

Examples:

  • We won the game because we worked together as a team.  
  • If you miss the bus, call an Uber.

Compound-Complex Sentence

Compound-complex sentences are made up of two independent clauses and at least one subordinate clause.

Examples:

  • Though Jack prefers watching comedy films (independent clause), he rented the latest spy thriller (subordinate clause), and he enjoyed it very much (independent clause). 
  • Don’t answer the door (independent clause) unless your parents are home (subordinate clause), it is not safe at night (independent clause).

Also Read: Paragraph Writing Topics

Types of Sentences

Declarative Sentence

A declarative sentence is a sentence that makes a statement, which can be a fact or an opinion, convey ideas, observation, explanations. This is the commonly used type of sentence and is the simplest way to communicate information. A declarative sentence is followed by a full stop/period.

Examples:

  • This building was constructed in 1970.
  • I saw a rainbow over the lake.
  • I was late as there was traffic.
  • We can make a presentation for our upcoming event.

Imperative Sentence

Imperative sentences are sentences that are used to make a request, offer advice, issue a command, or give an instruction. Imperative sentences can be positive or negative. They typically end up in a full stop/period. Sometimes, however, they can end in an exclamation mark when the command/order is given with a lot of feeling.

Examples:

  • Please maintain silence in the library.
  • Don’t go outside without an umbrella.
  • Complete the task by noon.
  • Shut the door!

Interrogative Sentence

Interrogative sentences are used to ask questions or interrogate. They always end in a question mark. These sentences often begin with who, when, what, where, why and how. Interrogative sentences can be either yes/no questions or open-ended questions which require an explanation.

Examples:

  • What are you doing here?
  • Do you want something to eat?
  • Where is Isabel?
  • Is there any other way?

Exclamatory Sentence

Exclamatory sentences are used to express strong feelings and emotions like happiness, excitement, anger, disbelief, etc. These sentences are followed by an exclamation point and are an effective way to show/evoke strong emotion in your writing.

Examples:

  • Wow-what a day!
  • Just shut up!
  • That man just robbed a bank!

Types of Sentences Exercises

Exercise 1

Identify simple sentences, compound sentences, complex sentences, and compound-complex sentences.

  1. Our coach will host a pizza party when we win our first game. 
  2. Olivia and Caroline went to the movies. 
  3. Although I broke my arm, I still cheered for my team from the sidelines
  4. James grilled burgers, and Patrick made a salad.
  5. Susie called her friend on the phone.
  6. Since I made the honour roll, my parents let me have a friend spend the night. 
  7. Before Alice called me, she called her mom, and her mom asked her to babysit her brother.
  8. I waited for the bus, but it was late.
  9. Jennifer sat in her chair, which was a dark red recliner, and she read all evening.
  10. The young students enjoyed the game

Answers:

  1. Complex
  2. Simple
  3. Complex
  4. Compound
  5. Simple 
  6. Complex
  7. Compound-complex
  8. Compound
  9. Compound-complex
  10. Simple

Exercise 2

Read the following sentences and mark whether Declarative, Interrogative, Imperative or Exclamatory.

  1. Do you drink milk daily?
  2. Stars are twinkling in the sky.
  3. Ah, what a lovely rose!
  4. Let us go for a river bath.
  5. Keep quiet!
  6. The train is not running on time.
  7. Where has Rohan gone?
  8. Call in the doctor, please.
  9. Kindly lend me your book.
  10. I like this book.

Answers

  1. Interrogative
  2. Declarative
  3. Exclamatory
  4. Imperative
  5. Imperative
  6. Declarative
  7. Interrogative
  8. Imperative
  9. Imperative
  10. Declarative

We hope this blog has helped you to understand everything related to types of sentences. Preparing for English proficiency tests like IELTS or TOEFL? Our Leverage Live mentors are here to provide you with the best preparation guidance to achieve your dream score. Sign up for a free demo session with Leverage Edu now!

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