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What is a declarative sentence?

Elizabeth O'Brien

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What is a declarative sentence?

A declarative sentence (also know as a statement) makes a statement and ends with a period. It's named appropriately because it declares or states something.

It might be more helpful, though, to think about what these kinds of sentences don't do. They don't ask questions, make commands, or make statements with emotion

I like sleeping.

Yesterday, I slept through my alarm.

If I don't wake up when my alarm goes off tomorrow morning,
please scream until I stand up and you're sure that I'm awake.

Every sentence that you have read on this page so far fits this description.

This sentence doesn't! Can you tell why?

You knew why, right? It must end with a period, not an exclamation mark or a question mark.

Diagramming Statements

Sentence diagrams are neat little things that show us how the words in sentences are related. Every single sentence must have at least a subject and a verb. Here is how you would diagram those two things.

Sentence Diagram

Okay, just for fun, let's ramp things up and look at some more complicated examples.

Please don't get overwhelmed if you've never seen a sentence diagram before. Just sit back and take it all in! (You can learn step-by-step here if you'd like.) Here are three quotes from some old guys.

Mark Twain Quote

"A man can not be comfortable without his own approval."

- Mark Twain

Fake Quote

"The thing about quotes from the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity."

- Abraham Lincoln

In this next quote, you get two statements!

Sentene Diagram Picture

"A teacher affects eternity. He can never tell where his influence stops."

- Henry Brooks Adams

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Understand the Declarative Sentence? Learn About Other Sentence Types

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