A person speaks approximately 7,000 words per day on average. However, what truly shapes our speech is not words but rather sentences and how we use them.
Different types of sentences are used in both written and oral communication. Each type serves a specific purpose, and all sentence types are distinct from one another, even if you aren’t aware of it.
How many different types of sentences are there in the English language? What are their goals, and how are they formed? It is critical to know the answers to these questions. You will improve your writing skills and make your speeches more thoughtful, practical, and purposeful, especially for students.
What Are the Four Different Kinds of Sentences?
There are four types of sentences in the English language. They are classified according to their intended use:
- Declarative sentences are used to make a statement.
- To ask a question, use the interrogative form.
- Imperative sentences are used to tell someone what to do (i.e., to issue a command or an order).
- The exclamatory type is used to express excitement (e.g., surprise).
Apart from their functions, these sentence types necessitate various punctuation marks. Furthermore, if we discuss oral speech rather than writing, each type uses different intonations to emphasize its purposes.
Let’s look at each sentence type individually.
What exactly is a declarative sentence? This type of sentence’s primary goal is to make a statement. In a nutshell, any sentence that tells us something falls into this category. It makes no difference what kind of information it conveys, whether a proven fact or a theoretical statement; what matters is whether it declares something – if it does, it is a declarative sentence.
The following is the standard word order in such sentences:
- Subject + verb + object… = where the subject is typically a noun or pronoun (a person, thing, place, etc. ); the verb is the action or state of being; and the object is any word (or multiple words) influenced by the verb.
For instance, the girl (subject) misplaced (verb) her favorite doll (object).
A declarative sentence usually ends with a period. Sentences that meet the definition of declarative type can be divided into two categories: positive and negative. The distinction between them is whether you intend to make a positive or negative statement:
Positive: Jessica enjoys history classes.
Negative: Jessica despises history lectures.
Positive: He is a member of a football team.
Negative: He is not a member of a football team.
Where you might wonder, are declarative sentences most commonly used? The most common type of sentence is one like this. We use it in both oral and written speech when we want to share information. As a result, declarative sentences are commonly used in academic papers, written documents, dialogues, etc.
What exactly is an interrogative statement, and how do you use one? A declarative sentence seeks to share information, whereas an interrogative sentence seeks to receive it. According to the meaning of an interrogative sentence, any sentence that asks a question falls into this category and will always end with a question mark.
Interrogative sentences, unlike other types of sentences, have a different word order:
auxiliary verb + subject + (wh-word or how)
Where (wh-word) is (auxiliary verb) Kate (subject)?
Like other types of sentences, interrogative sentences can be either positive or negative. Here are some examples of both types of interrogative sentences:
Positive: Is Jessica a fan of history lectures?
Negative: Jessica dislikes history lectures.
Positive: Was he a member of a football team?
Negative: Didn’t he use to be a football team member?
Where can this type of sentence be used? In general, interrogative sentences can be used in various contexts in your speech. However, questions do not always fit in context when writing, particularly academic papers. For example, suppose you write a narrative essay. In that case, you will almost certainly not be required to ask questions because the purpose of a narrative essay paper is to provide information rather than to collect it. In persuasive essays, interrogative sentences are more commonly used to encourage readers to reflect on or reinforce the impact of the author’s arguments (e.g., “Did you know that…?”).
What exactly is an imperative sentence? The major function of these sentences is to direct others to do something or to issue a demand to someone else. Imperative sentences can be ended with a period or an exclamation mark.
The word order and form of such a sentence differ from other types. It frequently lacks a subject because an imperative sentence, by definition, addresses the recipient or reader (if it is a written text). In general, such sentences consist of a base verb plus additional information.
These sentences can be both negative and positive; here are a few examples of imperative sentences to help you understand the concept:
Positive: Attend history classes!
Negative: Attend no history lectures!
Positive: Participate in a football team.
Negative: Joining a football team is not a good idea.
Imperative sentences are primarily used in oral speech in terms of possible applications. Still, they can also be used in dialogues between characters or as a “call to action” that encourages readers to do something if we’re talking about writing.
What is the definition of an exclamatory sentence? The exclamatory sentence is the last of the four sentence types. It is used to express astonishment and is always followed by an exclamation mark.
Here are a few examples of how the basic word order in such sentences might look:
- What (+ adjectival modifier) + noun + subject + verb
- How (+adverb/adverb) + subject + verb
For instance: What beautiful (adjective) weather (subject)! or How (adjective) generous (topic) you are (verb)!
Exclamatory sentences, unlike previous types, do not have a negative form.
Examine the following exclamatory sentence examples to see how they are constructed:
- What a lovely painting!
- I’m in agony!
- What a brilliant idea to throw him a surprise party!
- It was wonderful!
Exclamatory sentences express strong emotions and, in turn, attempt to elicit the same feelings in readers. Using this type of sentence in academic papers is often inappropriate. However, if you’re writing a descriptive or narrative essay, exclamatory sentences can help your story come to life by conveying the right emotions to the reader.
Extra Suggestions for Variety
What is the secret to having a flawless writing style? Some may say it is a strong vocabulary, while others may disagree and argue that it is the ability to include many details. People may also suggest the number of ideas, examples, and arguments you have in your writing. But, when you put it all together, it turns out that variety is the valid key to literary mastery!
So, here’s our best writing-empowerment tip: add more variety. It may appear not very easy at first. However, once you fully understand the concept behind each sentence type and become more comfortable with them, you can begin experimenting with them.
Here are some of the best tips for using different types of sentences to your advantage in writing:
Create a hook by asking a question.
The introduction to a paper should be intriguing and engaging to entice the reader to keep reading. In the form of a question, a hook at the beginning of your introduction is an excellent way to draw attention.
To establish the correct direction.
Use imperative sentences. The correct command, delivered in the right tone, can substantially impact readers and pique their interest.
Experiment with different word combinations.
Although we have shared some basic sentence-formation formulas with you in this article, they do not always have to follow the “subject + verb” scenario. Changing the order of words can occasionally add variety to your style and improve the appearance and sound of your text.
To summarize key points.
Ask a question. Another way to use interrogative sentences is to place them at the start of a paragraph to create a quick summary of your ideas.
Make use of various structures.
Most writing tips, on the whole, say the same thing: “Keep it Simple!” While this advice sounds, a little variety isn’t always a bad thing. Writers frequently employ this technique to keep readers interested. They alternate between simple, compound, and complex structures. This tip significantly improves the text’s readability. The problem is that people find it difficult and exhausting to read the same sentence types one after the other.