Sentence structure refers to the way in which words are put together to create a cohesive whole.
There are many different types of sentences that can be used to express a variety of thoughts. These types are majorly differentiated based on their structure and function.
This blog will explain how and why you should use each type of sentence. It's important to know the basics when it comes to English usage and structure so that you don't make mistakes in your writing.
And knowing about different types of sentences will help you in it.
Let's get started!
4 Types of Sentences Based on Function
There are four types of sentences according to the purpose they fulfill or the message they communicate. These are further explained and exemplified below.
Declarative sentences are statements or opinions that declare something. They simply state a fact or express an opinion.
Look at the following examples to know more:
- I forgot to bring my wallet.
This is a declarative sentence that is giving some information.
- She is a brilliant artist.
This declarative sentence is expressing an opinion.
- Sun sets in the west.
This is a declarative sentence that conveys a fact.
Usage of Punctuation in Declarative Sentence
Declarative sentences end on a period or a full stop. They are not expressive sentences, rather simple statements. Thus, a period is used to end declarative sentences.
An imperative sentence gives a command or makes a request. An imperative sentence is a command or request that invokes an action in the reader and is unlike a simple sentence.
It’s telling the reader exactly what they need to do.
Read the examples below to know more:
- Get out of the class!
This imperative sentence orders someone.
- Please stand up.
This is an imperative sentence that is making a request.
Usage of Punctuation in Imperative Sentence
The imperative sentences usually end on a full stop or an exclamation mark. When they are assertive or commanding, they end on an exclamation mark. Otherwise, they use a period.
If you want to express excitement or any other emotion, then an exclamatory sentence is the best place.
Exclamatory sentences express strong emotions like surprise, happiness, anger, sorrow, etc.
Learn more about exclamatory sentences through these examples:
- We are going on a vacation!
This exclamatory sentence expresses excitement or happiness.
- She died due to the Coronavirus!
This is an exclamatory sentence that tells that the writer is sad.
Usage of Punctuation in Exclamatory Sentence
Since an exclamatory sentence expresses emotions, it always ends with an exclamation mark. An exclamation mark is also called an exclamation point.
The kind of sentence that asks a question is called an interrogative sentence. Its purpose is to inquire about something or to get some information. They usually begin with words like what, who, where, if, why, etc.
Here are some examples of interrogative sentences:
- Do you want to go to the market?
- How did you make this cake?
Usage of Punctuation in Exclamatory Sentence
Because an interrogative sentence asks a question, it always ends with a question mark.
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4 Types of Sentences Based on Structure
“What are the four types of sentences?”
The types of sentences according to their grammatical structures are further explained below.
A simple sentence has a subject, verb, and object. Therefore, it is one independent clause.
Following are some examples of simple sentences:
- He wrote the novel.
‘He’ is the subject, ‘wrote’ is the verb, and ‘novel’ is the object.
- They got bored of writing.
In this simple sentence, ‘they’ is the subject, ‘bored’ is the action or verb, and ‘writing’ is the object. Though ‘writing’ as an individual word represents an action. But, it is the object discussed in the sentence.
Two independent clauses join together to form a compound sentence. The two clauses can be linked to each other through a comma or conjunction, like "and, but, or”. You can also use semicolons to join them.
Some examples of compound sentences are as follows:
- She completed her work, and she submitted the work on time.
This is a compound sentence that connects two independent clauses by the conjunction ‘and’. The first independent clause is ‘she completed her work’. The second independent clause is ‘she submitted the work on time’.
- He structured his paper’s content; however, he did not add references to the paper.
This is a compound sentence that includes two independent clauses connected by a semicolon and conjunction.
A complex sentence contains one independent clause and another dependent clause. It is important to note that the clauses are not always opposite in meaning, but there must be some connection between them for the reader’s understanding.
Note the positioning of the comma in complex sentences. If you place the independent sentence first, then there will be no comma in between. However, if the dependent clause comes in the start, then there will be a comma in between.
Consider the following examples:
- As they were late for the meeting, they apologized to the participants of the meeting.
This complex sentence starts with a dependent clause, so there is a comma when this clause ends, and the independent clause starts.
- He read the novel for hours as it was his favorite book.
See, this complex starts with an independent clause, ‘He read the novel for hours,’ so there is no comma after it or before the dependent clause.
As the name indicates, these types of sentences are a combination of complex and compound sentences.
A compound-complex sentence is a sentence formed by two independent clauses and one dependent clause. Sometimes, the first independent clause will be a complex predicate because it contains more than just a subject, verb, or object.
Read the examples below to learn more about compound-complex sentences:
- She wrote her literature review, but she still needs to include the diagrams, although she made them long ago.
- Although she made the diagrams, she forgot to include them in the paper, which was her mistake.
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Components of a Sentence Structure
Every sentence has a grammatical structure. This structure is made up of components. The arrangement and usage of these components tell which type of sentence it is. Or whether it is grammatically correct or not.
- 1. Subject
The subject in a sentence is the person, place, animal, or thing that performs the action being discussed in the sentence. For example:
- Ali wrote the book. (Subject: Ali)
- The cow ran away. (Subject: Cow)
- 2. Verb
An independent sentence always has an action that is performed by a subject. Sometimes, there are also auxiliary verbs with main verbs. These are the helping verbs that express the state of the verb.
Supposing the example above, ‘wrote’ and ‘ran’ are the verbs of the respective sentences.
- 3. Object
The object is the person, place, animal, or thing that is being acted upon. They are at the receiving end of an action. An independent sentence may or may not have an object.
- 4. The Modifier or the Prepositional Phrase
These phrases start with a preposition, e.g., in, at, upon, etc., and add to the sentence’s meaning. For example:
- The cow ran away. (modifier: ran away)
- I will have spaghetti for dinner. ( preposition phrase: for dinner)
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2 Types of Clauses
There are two types of clauses that help build up a sentence. Their arrangement and usage determine the type of sentence as well. The two types are further explained below.
- 1. Independent Clause
An independent clause is a simple complete sentence. It necessarily has a subject and a verb. That means someone is performing some action.
It can have an object or a modifier also. They are common sentences that have complete meaning.
For example, “Mary hired John” . This is an independent clause where ‘Mary’ is the subject, ‘hired’ is the verb, and ‘John’ is the object. It gives complete information.
- 2. Dependent Clause
Dependent clauses are incomplete sentences on their own. They need to be attached to a sentence for them to convey the complete meaning. They are also called subordinate clauses, complements, or appositives.
For instance, ‘When she went out’ is a dependent clause because it does not give complete information about what happened when she went out.
If you want to take your writing skills up a notch, you must understand the types of sentences and their function.
This blog explains the different types of sentences according to their needs. In addition, we have given various examples about using different types of sentences.
A paragraph or any writing is not composed of a single type of sentence. Instead, it is a mix. Therefore, understanding the sentence structure will help you formulate various sentences that you can use for different purposes.
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