Sentences are a means of expressing oneself through the use of clauses, words and thoughts. Linguistically, a sentence can be defined as “an expression that indicates a grammatical unit consisting of one or more words that generally bear minimal syntactic relation to the words that precede or follow it”. A sentence formed includes one or more words grouped together to express a meaningful statement, question, exclamation, request or command. A sentence consists of one or more clauses that are combined together to give a sensible sentence. Furthermore, a sentence can be classified into different types on the basis of two categories: structure and purpose. Glance through the lines below to find out the various kinds of sentences in English language.
Different Kinds Of Sentences
On the Basis of Structure
A simple sentence comprises of one independent clause and has no dependent clauses. It consists of a subject and a verb to express the complete thought. Sentences like ‘Some students like to study in the mornings’ and ‘The fox jumped over the fence’ are examples of simple sentences. Here, the words 'students' and 'fox' are the subject, while 'like' and 'jumped' are the verbs.
A compound sentence contains two independent clauses that are linked by a coordinator or conjunction. This conjunction can be any one of the three links, namely coordinating conjunction (for, and, but, not, yet, etc.), conjunctive adverbs (however, therefore, while, etc.) and a semicolon. Some such examples are ‘Tom ate the cake and Jerry ate the chips’, ‘Alejandro played football while Maria went shopping’ and ‘I had a parry; John did not come’. Here, 'Tom', 'Jerry', 'Alejandro', 'Maria', 'I' and 'John' are independent clauses, while the words 'and', 'while' and the semicolon are coordinators.
A complex sentence contains an independent clause connected by one or more dependent clauses. Additionally, it also has a subordinator or subordinating conjunction, such as although, because, since, after and when, or a relative pronoun such as that, who or which. In case the sentence begins with a subordinator, a comma is placed after the end of the dependent clause. The following sentences are fine examples of complex sentences.
The teacher returned the homework after she noticed the error.
After they finished studying, Juan and Maria went for a movie.
The students are studying because they have a test tomorrow.
A complex-compound sentence or a compound-complex sentence contains at least two independent clauses and at least one dependent clause. Consider the following example:
A had a table, chair and computer for my work, but my boss, who obviously held a higher position, had a cubicle of his own.
Here, ‘I had a table, chair and computer for my work’ and ‘My boss had a cubicle of his own’ are independent clauses. However, ‘Who obviously held a higher position’ is a dependent clause.
On The Basis Of Purpose
The most common type of a sentence, a declarative sentence makes a statement or declaration and hence, ends with a period or full stop. Some examples are ‘The house will be built on a hill.’, ‘Rice is a popular food.’, and ‘I am going home.’.
An interrogative sentence is one that is framed to ask or gather information. Thus, an interrogative sentence ends with a question mark. For example: ‘Is it raining?’, How many farmers are there in India?’, and ‘When are you going to work?’ are all interrogative sentences.
Sentences used to express strong emotions, feelings or excitement, are known as exclamatory sentences. For instance, ‘The house is on fire!’, ‘Wow, what a wonderful day!’, and ‘The monster is attacking’ are exclamatory sentences.
Sentences that indicate commands or polite requests are termed as imperative sentences. ‘Close the door.’, ‘Please be quiet.’, and ‘Go to work at 7.30 tomorrow morning.’ are some examples of imperative sentences.