Sentences are formed by putting words next to each other, but we do not always need more than one word to make a meaningful sentence.

What Are Sentences in English?

What Are Sentences?

Sentences are formed by placing different words in a particular order to imply a special meaning. Even one word in English can imply a meaningful concept, so, we can have one-word sentences in English. Usually, sentences have a subject and a predicate.

Types of Sentences Based on Mood

Mainly sentences are categorized into four moods as follows:

Declarative Sentences

Declarative sentences give information about something. They have a subject and a predicate. A predicate is made of a verb and sometimes a subject complement or an object complement. Here are the examples.

My mother used to have long straight hair.

His father isn't rational enough to bear this.

Declarative sentences are also categorized into two groups:

  1. negativedeclarative sentences
  2. affirmative declarative sentences

Affirmative sentences have affirmative verbs. We use negation rules to make negative sentences. Check out the examples.

You should study to get a good job in the future.

We do not get a good salary.

Interrogatory Sentences

We use interrogative mood to ask questions about something or to ask for information about something. Usually, there is an inversion to make interrogative sentences. Here are the examples.

What was your name, again?

Were you at the party, last night?

Interrogatory sentences are categorized into two groups.

Wh-questions start with an interrogative-word and yes/no questions start with an auxiliary verb. Check the examples.

Where do you live?

Did you talk to your teacher?

an example of declarative sentence

Imperative Sentences

Imperative sentences are used to give orders. They are usually made of only one word which is actually the imperative verb. Here are the examples.

Sit down!

Have fun!

There are also two types of imperative sentences in English.

  • imperative sentence by using only one verb
  • imperative sentence by using a subject and a verb

The subject of an imperative sentence is the pronoun 'you' that is usually omitted because it can be implied from the meaning of the imperative verb.

You shut up!


'Imperative Verb,' 'Should' and 'Must'

Some English learners tend to consider the modal verbs should and must as imperative verbs, which is actually wrong. Imperative verbs are capable of being used without subjects, however, you can never use a modal verb alone as an imperative verb. So, If you can omit the subject without harming the formation of the sentence then the verb is an imperative verb. Here are the examples.

You start reading → start reading ✓

In this example, start is an imperative verb.

You must study → must study ✗

In this example the verb 'must' cannot be used without the subject so it isn't an imperative verb.

You should clean your room → should clean your room ✗

'Should' is not an imperative verb here.

Negative Imperatives

Since imperative verbs are all main verbs, to make negative imperatives all you have to do is to add don't to the beginning of an imperative sentence. For example:

Do not take my car!

Don't be jealous!

Exclamatory Sentences

Exclamatory sentences are used to show surprises. Commonly, exclamations are formed by the words 'what' and 'how.' Here are the examples.

What a nice day!

How amazing!

Punctuation Marks

Every sentence is followed by a particular punctuation mark. You can see every punctuation for each sentence on teh following list:

  • Period: declarative sentences (.)
  • question mark: interrogative sentences (?)
  • exclamation mark: exclamatory and imperative sentences (!)

Types of Sentences Based on Structure

Based on their structure, sentences are categorized into four groups:

Simple Sentences

Simple sentences are formed by a subject as the doer of activity and a predicate as the action. The important point about simple sentences is that they are not followed by dependent or subordinate clauses. For example:

Sara is beautiful.

My mother drank the tea gently.

Compound Sentences

Compound sentences are two independent sentences that are linked with linking words or conjunctions, and semicolon. Here are the examples.

This is too expensive, but I will buy it anyway.

I want to gain weight, yet I don't like eating.

Complex Sentences

Complex sentences are formed with an independent clause and at least one dependent clause linked to the independent clause. Here are the examples.

I moved in since I finished high school.

You will pass if you study better.

Compound-Complex Sentences

Compound-complex sentences merge compound sentences with complex sentences. A compound-complex sentence has at least two independent clauses and one dependent clause. Here are the examples.

He cried when he left, but I didn't care.

I am beautiful and my mother is beautiful too, yet my grandfather says she is more beautiful than me.


Sentences are made from different words. Based on their mood they are categorized into four groups:

  • declarative
  • interrogatory
  • imperative
  • exclamatory

Based on their structure, they are categorized into four groups as well.

  1. simple sentences
  2. compound sentences
  3. complex sentences
  4. compound-complex sentences


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