The Different Types of Sentences by Intent and Structure

Sentences are used to communicate meaning. They deliver different messages according to their type. They also impart varied meanings according to their structure. This article will explore the different ways we use sentence type and structure to communicate.

The 4 Types of Sentences by Intent

1. Declarative Sentence

Declarative sentences are those which communicate meaning by making a statement. They are declaring something. A declarative sentence can be made in any tense of the English language. An example of this type of sentence is as follows:

“Today I am going to the store.”

2. Interrogative Sentence

An interrogative sentence is one which communicates by asking a question. They can also be constructed in any verb tense in the English language. An example of this type of sentence is as follows:

“When are you going to the store?”

3. Exclamatory Sentence

The exclamatory sentence is one which attempts to communicate powerful emotion. These sentences are full of feeling. Again, they can be constructed using past, present, or future verb tense. An example of this type of sentence is as follows:

“You went to the store!”

4. Imperative Sentence

Imperative sentences are those types which communicate a request or command. They are not as strong as exclamatory sentences, but certainly more fir than declarative sentences since they are giving a command rather than just stating something that happened. They can be constructed using past, present, future verb tense as well. An exemple of this type of sentence is as follows:

“Go to the store.”

Now that we have covered the four types of sentences we will next take a look at different types of sentence structure. There are four basic types of sentence structure and they are discussed below.

Before we discuss them, we need to talk about clauses. A clause is a group of words that together form an idea. There are two types of clauses, independent and dependent. An independent clause needs nothing else to help it become a complete thought. It stands on its own containing both a subject and predicate. A dependent clause will need to rely on an independent clause for it to make sense. It is incomplete by definition. However, both types of clauses are used to create the various types of sentence structure found below.

The Four Types of Sentences by Structure

1. Simple Sentence

This type of sentence consists of one independent clause. An example of this type of sentence is as follows:

“Jason went to the store.”

There is one thought in that sentence. Jason is going to the store. No other action is occurring.

2. Compound Sentence

This type of sentence contains two or more simple sentences put together. An example of this type of sentence structure is as follows:

“Jason went to the store and bought a soft drink.”

There are two separate actions going on there,. Jason is going to the store and he is buying a soft drink. Two independent thoughts creating one sentence, That is a compound sentence.

3. Complex Sentence

This type of sentence consist of an independent clause joined together with a dependent clause. Dependent clauses do not express complete thoughts so they usually become subordinate, or dependent, to the independent clause. An example of this type of sentence is as follows:

“Jason went to the store, although he was broke.”

the clause “although he was broke” does not express a full thought and is therefore dependent on the independent clause “Jason went to the store” to get its meaning.

4. Complex-Compound Sentence

This type of sentence is formed by joining a complex sentence wit ha compound sentence. The result is a rather interesting combination of words. An example of this type of sentence is as follows:

“Although he was broke, Jason walked to the store and bought a soft drink.”

The simple sentence “Jason walked to the store” is connected to the dependent clause “although he was broke” and also is connected to the dependent clause “bought a soft drink”. All of these together combine to create a complex compound sentence.

Now you understand the four basic sentence types, declarative, interrogative, exclamatory, and imperative sentence. We have also covered the four types of sentence structures which are simple, compound, complex, and complex compound sentence. These are the basic types of grammatical construction used in the English language. As you progress, you will become acquainted with many more.

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