April 4, 2019
Written by Douglas Shaw
A sentence is the largest unit of any language. In English, it begins with a capital letter and ends with a period (.)(full-stop), or a question mark (?), or an exclamation mark (!).
The sentence is generally defined as a word or a group of words that expresses a thorough idea by giving a statement/order, or asking a question, or exclaiming.
A complete English sentence must have three characteristics:
- First, in written form, a sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a period (i.e., a full stop) [.], a note of interrogation (i.e., a question mark) [?], or a note of exclamation (i.e., an exclamation mark) [!].
- Second, it must express a complete thought.
- Third, it must contain at least one subject (hidden/visible) and one verb comprising an independent clause. (An independent clause contains an independent subject and verb and expresses a complete thought.)
A sentence functions in 4 different types:
Declarative: An assertive sentence (declarative sentence) simply expresses an opinion/feeling, or makes a statement, or describes things. This type of sentence ends with a period (.), a full-stop).
- I want to be a good teacher. (a statement)
- I am very happy today. (a feeling)
Imperative: An imperative sentence to make a request or to give a command. Imperative sentences usually end with a period (i.e., a full stop), but under certain circumstances, it can end with a note of exclamation (!), exclamation mark).
- Please be quiet.
- I need you to be quiet now!
Interrogative: An interrogative sentence asks a question. Interrogative sentences must end with a note of interrogation (?), question mark)
- When are you going to submit your assignment?
- Do you know him?
Exclamatory: An exclamatory sentence, or exclamation, is a more forceful version of a declarative sentence. In other words, an exclamatory sentence makes a statement (just like a declarative sentence), but it also conveys excitement or emotion.
- What a day it was!
- I cannot believe he would do that!
A simple sentence must have a single clause (a single verb) which is independent, and it cannot take another clause.
I always wanted to become a doctor. (One clause – one verb)