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Can you name the four sentence types?
August 02, 2016

August 2, 2016


English Grammar Revolution This newsletter just reached 50,000 subscribers! That's amazing! I started sending this out in 2009 when I had 18 subscribers, and most of them were my family.

To celebrate reaching this milestone, we'll give a complimentary copy of the Grammar Revolution documentary to anyone who purchases of all of the courses and books.

If we were to categorize sentences based on their purposes, how many categories do you think there would be? It's probably fewer than you think. Read the grammar lesson below to find out!

Happy Learning,

Elizabeth O'Brien

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Types of Sentences

We constantly use sentences to communicate with each other, and even though each sentence has a unique purpose, we can divide these countless purposes into four main categories.

We'll look at each of these purposes, and we'll also take a peek at how each one is diagrammed.

1. Declarative sentences make statements. They end with periods.

I play soccer.

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In all of our sentence diagrams, we put the subject and the verb on the same horizontal line, and we separate them with a vertical line that cuts through the horizontal line.

Notice that the subject (I) is on the left side of the vertical line and the verb (play) is on the right side of the line.

2. Interrogative sentences ask questions. They end with question marks.

Do you play soccer?

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Questions are typically worded in a different order than statements. Notice that in this sentence, the subject (you) comes between the helping verb (do) and the main verb (play).

3. Exclamatory sentences make emotional statements. They end with exclamation marks. Did you know that there are actually two types of exclamatory statements? It's true!

    A. Some sentences are exclamatory in function. To be exclamatory in function, the sentence just needs to end with an exclamation mark.

    I love soccer!

    Exclamatory Sentence Diagram

    B. Other sentences are exclamatory in form. These start with how or what, are not interrogative, and typically have a strange word order.

    What fun soccer is!

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    No matter how the original sentence is worded, the subject always starts the sentence diagram.

4. Imperative sentences give commands. They end with periods or exclamation marks.

Imperative sentences are unusual because their subject is always implied.

The subject of every imperative sentence is (you). We call this you understood.

Play soccer.

Imperative Sentence Diagram

There you have it!

Would you like to learn more,? You'll find these pages helpful.

Are you an educator? Feel free to use this information with your students.

About Elizabeth

English Grammar Revolution

Elizabeth O'Brien is founder of, a company devoted to helping people learn and love grammar.

Through her website, books, and programs, Elizabeth shows people how to teach and learn grammar the easy way. She's on a mission to inspire and motivate people by making grammar fun and friendly.

If you liked today's issue, you'll love Elizabeth's grammar and sentence diagramming programs, which will help you learn or teach grammar through simple, step-by-step instructions and sentence diagrams.

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