Types of Sentences Based on Function and Clause Structure

Sajit PS
Sajit PS
Jan 14 · 3 min read
Classification of Types of Sentences in English Grammar based on function and clause structure.
Classification of Types of Sentences in English Grammar based on function and clause structure.
Types of Sentences in English Grammar

Sentences can be classified broadly on the basis of the kind of message they convey (function) and on the structure of their clause. When you want your content to convey the exact meaning that you want to convey, you should use your sentences correctly. It is not enough if you use the sentences correctly; you should also use the punctuation marks in the right way so that your content makes for a good read. There are different types of sentences that you can use under different contexts. Let’s delve into both types of sentence classifications.

On the basis of the meaning that they convey (function), sentences can be divided into four main types. They are:

Ø Declarative Sentence

Ø Imperative Sentence

Ø Interrogative Sentence

Ø Exclamatory sentence

Let us look at a brief overview of these types of sentences herewith:

Declarative Sentence

When a sentence tells a plain statement or expresses an opinion, it is termed as a declarative sentence. In simple words, an ordinary statement is known as a declarative sentence. Some examples are listed below:

Ø The cat caught the mouse.

Ø The children play on the ground.

Ø The clouds are black today.

Imperative Sentence

When a sentence is in the form of order, command, instruction or a request, it is known as an imperative sentence. This can end with a period or exclamation mark or a question mark. Here are few examples:

Ø Don’t forget to come back early from office today.

Ø Leave my room right now!

Ø Please, can you take that box for me?

Interrogative Sentence

When a sentence denotes an interrogative characteristic and ends with a question mark, it is known as an interrogative sentence. Some examples are listed below:

Ø Why are you late to school today?

Ø Do you know where the teacher is?

Ø Why is the car not washed properly?

Exclamatory Sentence

A sentence that denotes different expressions like shock, surprise, anger, etc. is known as an exclamatory sentence. This sentence should always end with an exclamation mark. Some examples are listed below:

Ø The weather is awesome today!

Ø What a beautiful building!

Ø This is an excellent painting!

Now, let’s move on to the other type of classification.

Types of sentences based on clause structure

The four main types of sentences based on their clause type are as follows:

Ø Simple Sentence

Ø Compound Sentence

Ø Complex Sentence

Ø Compound-Complex Sentence

Simple Sentence

This is a sentence that contains only one independent clause. There is no dependent clause in this sentence. Simple sentences are short and easy to understand; therefore, they are usually used at the beginning of a paragraph or essay. Some examples of simple sentences are:

Ø The dog barked loudly.

Ø The doctor is in the clinic.

Compound Sentence

A compound sentence is one that contains at least two independent clauses that are connected by a coordinating conjunction (any one of these options — for, so, but, and, or, nor, yet). In place of a coordinating conjunction, you can also use a semicolon. Some examples are listed below:

Ø I ran, but I missed my train.

Ø It rained heavily so I wore my raincoat.

Complex Sentence

These are the types of sentences that contain a minimum of one dependent and independent clause. They are connected with the help of subordinating conjunctions like when, until, therefore, wherever, whenever, so that, because, before, after, etc. Some examples are:

Ø When it rained heavily, I closed the windows.

Ø I waited down until my bus arrived.

Compound-Complex Sentence

This is a sentence that is a perfect blend of a complex and compound sentence. It contains at least two independent clauses, at least one dependent clause, a coordinating conjunction and a subordinating conjunction. Some examples are:

Ø When I grow up, I will become a pilot and my parents will be proud of me.

Ø If I don’t study well, I will fail, and my teacher will scold me.

We hope that these types of sentences would have helped you to improve your understanding to a reasonable extent.

Sajit PS

Written by

Sajit PS

I am an avid reader who enjoys reading any topic under the sky. I write articles on language and English grammar (https://typesofsentences.com).

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