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English Sentence Structure and Purpose

What is a sentence?
In grammar, a sentence is the basic grammatical unit. It contains a group of words and expresses a complete thought.
To Comprehend kinds of sentences according to Its purpose and structure, sentences are categorized in two ways:
1. By purpose.
2. By structure

English Sentence Structure and Purpose
English Sentence Structure and Purpose

English Sentence Structure and Purpose

Kinds Of Sentences By Purpose:

Here are five kinds of sentences by purpose.

  1. Assertive or declarative sentences
  2. Interrogative sentences
  3. Imperative sentences
  4. Exclamatory sentences
  5. Optative sentences

1. Assertive sentences
Sentences which make simple assertions or statements are called assertive or declarative sentences. 

  • It is raining.
  • The child is going to school.
  • I get up early in the morning.
  • I like reading.

Note: Assertive or declarative sentences may be positive (affirmative) or negative. Sentences which give a positive or affirmative sense are called affirmative sentences.

  • Honesty is the best policy.
  • Barking dogs seldom bite.
  • I have been to Canada.

Sentences which give a negative meaning are called negative sentences.

  • She will not listen to me.
  • She should not hate anybody.

2. Interrogative sentences
Sentences which ask questions are called interrogative sentences.

  • What is your name?
  • Where do you live?
  • Who is your father?

3. Imperative sentences
Sentences which express orders, commands, requests, advice, proposals or suggestions are called imperative sentences.

  • Leave this place at once. (Order)
  • Get lost. (Order)
  • Please help me. (Request)
  • Work hard. (Advice)
  • Let’s go for a walk. (Suggestion)

4. Exclamatory sentences
Sentences which express some strong feelings or emotions such as joy, sorrow, regret, surprise, wonder etc., are called exclamatory sentences.

  • What a marvelous sight!
  • How beautiful the flower is!
  • Hurrah! We have won.
  • Alas! She is no more.

5. Optative sentences
Sentences which express an ardent wish, prayer, curse etc., are called optative sentences.

  • May you live long!
  • May God help you!

Kinds Of Sentences By Structure:

A sentence can be simple, compound, complex or compound complex.
One way to categorize sentences is by the clauses they contain. (A clause is a part of a sentence containing a subject and a predicate.)

1. Simple: Contains a single, independent clause.

  • I don’t like dogs.
  • Our school basketball team lost their last game of the season 75-68.

2. Compound: Contains two independent clauses that are joined by a coordinating conjunction.
(The most common coordinating conjunctions are:but, or, and, so.)

  • I don’t like dogs, and my sister doesn’t like cats.
  • You can write on paper, or you can use a computer.

3. Complex: Contains an independent clause plus one or more dependent clauses.
(A dependent clause starts with a subordinating conjunction. Examples: that, because, while, although, where, if.)

  • I don’t like dogs that bark at me when I go past.
  • She did my homework, while her father cooked dinner.

4. Compound-complex: Contains 3 or more clauses (of which at least two are independent and one is dependent).

  • I don’t like dogs, and my sister doesn’t like cats because they make her sneeze.
  • You can write on paper, but using a computer is better as you can easily correct your mistakes.


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