Learn the Four Sentence Types

Elizabeth O'Brien

Hello! I'm Elizabeth O'Brien, and my goal is to get you jazzed about grammar. 

Learn the Four Sentence Types

Are you ready to learn about the four sentence types? Great! In this lesson, you'll learn about declarative sentences, interrogative sentences, exclamatory sentences, and imperative sentences.

We use different types of sentences for different purposes, and when we categorize sentences based on their purpose, we get four types of sentences: statements, questions, exclamations, and commands.

Let's learn more about each of them, shall we?

Sentences based on purpose

By the way, there are two main ways that we can categorize sentences. One is based on a sentence's purpose or function. That's what we're looking at in this lesson. The other way is based on a sentence's structure (simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex). 

1. Statements/Declarative Sentences

These are the most common type of sentence. We use them to make statements. The fancy name for a statement is a declarative sentence. Declarative sentences end with periods.

We own a cat.

Dinosaurs lived millions of years ago.

This is my favorite movie.

2. Questions/Interrogative Sentences

When we want to ask questions, we use interrogative sentences. These sentences end with question marks.

Where is the cat? 

When did the dinosaurs live?

What is your favorite movie?

Interrogative sentences are usually written in kind of a funny word order. Usually, our sentences begin with the subject, but the word order for questions is a bit strange. Questions often have an auxiliary verb (helping verb) or another word before the subject.

3. Exclamations/Exclamatory Sentences

We can define exclamations, a.k.a. exclamatory sentences, in two ways: by their function and by their form.

Exclamatory in Function

Sentences that are exclamatory in function make statements with emotion. They end with an exclamation mark.

I can't find the cat!

The tyrannosaurus rex was huge!

I love this movie!

 Exclamatory in Form

Sentences that are exclamatory in form start with what or how, are not interrogative, and have a shift in the typical word order.

What big ears you have!

What big eyes you have!

What a terrible, big mouth you have!

4. Commands/Imperative Sentences

Commands are sentences that give commands or make requests. The fancy name for a command is an imperative sentence.

Feed the cat.

Please get me dinosaur socks.

Play the movie.

When commands are used with a noun of direct address, they're still commands.

Bob, feed the cat. 

Mom, please get me dinosaur socks. 

Jenny, play the movie.

How did that go for you? I hope that this lesson helped you learn about the four sentence types! If you'd like to test yourself, take a quiz on the types of sentences here.

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Elizabeth O'Brien

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