Sentences: Sentence Functions: The Four Tops
Sentence Functions: The Four Tops
In addition to classifying sentences by the number of clauses they contain, you can pigeonhole sentences according to their functions. There are four sentence functions in English: declarative, exclamatory, interrogative, and imperative.
- Declarative sentences state an idea. They end with a period. For example:
- The first toilet ever seen on television was on Leave It to Beaver.
- The problem with the gene pool is that there's no lifeguard.
- Exclamatory sentences show strong emotions. They end with an exclamation mark. For example:
- What a mess this room is!
- The cake is ruined!
- Interrogative sentences ask a question. As you would expect, they end with a question mark. For instance:
Which type of sentence often omits the subject? Imperative sentences, because the subject is often understood, as shown in these examples: ?Clean up this mess? or ?Help!?
- How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm when they've seen Paris?
- Why is it possible to tickle someone else but not to tickle yourself?
- Imperative sentences give orders or directions, and so end with a period or an exclamation mark. For instance:
- Sit down and listen!
- Fasten your seatbelts when the sign is illuminated.
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grammar and Style 2003 by Laurie E. Rozakis, Ph.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.