Grammar - The Sentence


A group of words that make complete sense is called a sentence. A sentence begins with a capital letter and usually ends with a full stop.

Example:  Shreya is reading a newspaper.

Sometimes a group of words make sense, but not complete sense. 
Example:  at night

- Sometimes a group of words make sense, but not complete sense is called a phrase.

- A sentence always has a verb in it; a phrase doesn’t have one.


Sentences are divided into five kinds, namely:
1. Declarative/Assertive sentence
2. Interrogative sentence
3. Imperative sentence
4. Exclamatory sentence
5. Optative sentence 

1. Declarative sentence:

Declarative/Assertive sentence is statement that states or declares something.

- Mr Vedanth is a teacher.
- Bengaluru is the capital city of Karnataka
- We waited for him at the bus stop.

Note: a declarative/assertive sentence ends with a full stop.

2. Interrogative sentence:

Interrogative sentences are questions. A sentence that asks a question is called an Interrogative Sentence.

- Where did you go yesterday?
- Do you know English grammar?
- What do you want?

Note: an interrogative sentence ends with a question mark.

3. Imperative sentence:

A sentence that expresses a command, a request, an entreaty or suggestion is called an Imperative sentence.


- Please pass me your book.
- Can you lend me thousand rupees?
- May I ask you a question?
- Could you please wait for me at the garden?

- Keep quite.
- Don’t shut the doors.
- Come here.
- Ask me your questions.
- Turn off the computer.

- You should help your students.
- You must do your duty with sincerity.
- How about going for a movie this evening?

4. Exclamatory sentence:

Exclamatory sentences are expressions of strong or sudden feelings.

 - How beautiful she is!
 - What a wonderful monument!
 - How sad it is!
 - How dangerous place it was!

 Note: Exclamatory sentences end with exclamatory mark (!).

5. Optative sentence:

An Optative sentence expresses a wish, probability or supposition.

 - I wish you all the best.
 - May God bless you for your future endeavors.
 - I wish she would be with me.
 - If I had wings, I would fly.


Every sentence is made up of two parts.  The first part of the sentence which refers to what we are speaking about is called the subject. The second part of the sentence that says something about the subject is called the predicate.

    Subject                     Predicate

    Mrs Shreya             is a teacher
    She                     teaches English
    Vedanth             is a good doctor
    The sun             rises in the East

Every grammatical sentence usually has a subject part and predicate part. In each of the sentences given above the predicate part has a verb which says what the subject is, has, does etc. For example, in the first sentence above, the predicate part is a teacher says what Mrs Shreya is.

In most of the statements, the subject is placed before the predicate.
  Example: The book is interesting

- But sometimes, for the sake of emphasis, this order is reversed.
  Example:  Sheela is coming – this sentence can be written as ‘here comes Sheela’.

- In imperative sentences, the subject is not mentioned.
  Example: Close the door.

 - In interrogative sentences and exclamatory sentences the subject is not placed first.
   Example:  Have your completed your work?
             How nice the weather is!


From the structural point of view, the sentences can be divided into three classes:

 1. Simple sentence
 2. Compound sentence 
 3. Complex sentence

1. Simple sentence:

Look at these example sentences:
 a) Shreya worked hard.
 b) She passed in the first division.
 c) She won a scholarship.
 d) She became a doctor.

Each of these sentences has a subject and one verb in the predicate part. This means that a sentence which has only one subject and one predicate is called a simple  sentence.

2. Compound sentence:

Look at these example sentences:
 a) Shreya worked hard and passed in the first division.

 b) Rani worked hard too, but she did not pass in the first division.

Sentences in which two or more main clauses are linked by co-ordinating conjunctions are called compound sentences.

Note: Co-ordinating conjunctions link not only clauses, but also words and phrases.

3. Complex sentence:

Look at these example sentences:
 a) I saw Vedanth when he was talking to his mother Abhinanda.

 b) Shreya got a job after she had completed her studies.

 c) If you know about the person, please tell me.

 d) If you see him not studying, please ring me at any time.

A sentence which consist of one main clause and one or more subordinate clauses is called a complex sentence.

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