Sentences are classified in two ways – structure and purpose.
This is a traditional form of classifying sentences wherein, the sentences are classed depending on the number and types of finite clauses.
In this type of sentence, there is only one independent clause and no dependent clause. The sentence contains a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought. Simple sentences can also contain compound subjects and / or verbs but it doesn’t contain any conjunction.
- Some students (subject) like (verb) to study in the mornings.
- Juan (subject) plays (verb) football every afternoon.
- Alicia (subject) goes (verb) to the library and studies (verb) every day.
In this type of sentence, there are multiple independent clauses and no dependent clause. All the clauses are joined together by coordinating conjunctions and / or punctuation. Here, the relationship between the two independent clauses can be changed by the proper use of coordinating conjunctions.
- I (subject) tried (verb) to speak Spanish, and my friend (subject) tried (verb) to speak English.
- Alejandro (subject) played (verb) football, so Maria (subject) went (verb) shopping.
- Alejandro (subject) played (verb) football, for Maria (subject) went (verb) shopping.
This type of sentence consists of at least one independent clause and one dependent clause. One characteristic of complex sentence is that it has a relative pronoun like ‘that’, ‘who’ or ‘which’ or a subordinator like ‘because’, ‘since’, ‘when’, ‘although’ or ‘after’. If the complex sentence begins with a subordinator then a comma is placed after the dependent clause. When the sentence begins with an independent clause and the subordinators are in the middle, then there is no need to place a comma after the dependent clause.
- When (subordinator) he (subject) handed (verb) in his homework, he (subject) forgot (verb) to give the teacher the last page.
- The teacher (subject) returned (verb) the homework after (subordinator) she (subject) noticed (verb) the error.
- The students (subject) are studying (verb) because (subordinator) they (subject) have (verb) a test tomorrow.
- After (subordinator) they (subject) finished (verb) studying, Juan (subject) and Maria (subject) went (verb) to the movies.
- Juan (subject) and Maria (subject) went (verb) to the movies after (subordinator) they (subject) finished (verb) studying.
This type of sentence consists of multiple independent clauses and at least one dependent clause. The clauses are connected by both conjunctions and subordinators.
- The woman (subject), who (subordinate) my mom (subject) talked to, sells (verb) cosmetics.
- The book (subject) that (subordinate) Jonathan (subject) read is (verb) on the shelf.
- The house (subject) which (subordinate) Abraham Lincoln (subject) was born in is (verb) still standing.
- The town (subject) where (subordinate) I (subject) grew up is (verb) in the United States.
Sentences are also classified based on their purpose.
This type of sentence, also known as a declaration, is generally used to make a statement. This sentence “declares” a fact or opinion and can be either positive or negative. Declarative sentences always end with a period.
- I am happy.
- That bird is flying.
- I deposited my money in the bank.
This type of sentence asks a question or request information. However, rhetorical questions do not fall into the category of interrogative sentences. Interrogative sentence always ends with a question mark.
- When did you turn the lights off?
- Do you know how to ride a bike?
- Please tell me the real reason why you came here?
This type of sentence expresses an exclamation; it is a form of statement expressing emotion or excitement. Exclamatory sentences always end with an exclamation mark to emphasize a statement.
- “Good night!” she said.
- Wow! What a dream.
- What a beautiful sunrise!
This type of sentence is in the form of a command. This is a sentence which tells someone to do something. Imperative sentence, when framed strongly enough, can also be exclamatory. Imperative sentence can also be used to make a request and end with a period.
- Please give me that book.
- Finish all your chores before you go out.
- I want to eat pizza tonight.
In this type of sentence, a condition is implied and what one would do if the conditions were met. It generally depends on the use of ‘if’.
- If I had 100 bucks, I would go for an ice-cream.
- I could have done this for you only if I had the time.
Other Types Of Sentences
A major sentence has two components-a subject and a predicate. It is, in short, any regular sentence.
- We have to go.
- They must eat.
Any irregular sentence is known as a minor sentence. It also does not have any finite verb. Minor sentence may include stereotyped expressions, proverbs, emotional expressions, headings, etc. Nominal sentences, like catchphrases, can also be called minor sentences and they do not include any verbs. This intensifies the meaning around the nouns.
- Q – “What is the time?”
A – “Two”
Single words that form a full sentence are known as word sentences.
Aforementioned are all the possible form of sentences that you need for an above average writing and speaking skill. The examples above would help you understand all sentences properly, thus enabling you in using appropriate sentences at appropriate places.