Sentences and Classifications: Basic English Grammar

Sentences and their classifications must be learnt to know English. It is because this is the basic English grammar one should start with to learn English properly if he/she is a beginner. As you talk with with parents, friends, in your mother tongue, do you realise that you follow some basic strict rules to make sentences while talking? Certainly not. Its because that is your mother tongue. But while you are learning English as a second language you need to learn and memorise its rules and forms of sentence structure. So, let’s read anf try to find out all about sentece in english grammar.

Sentence can be classified into five categories or types on the basis of function. They are :

  1. Assertive sentence 
  2. Interrogative sentence 
  3. Imperative sentence 
  4. Optative sentence 
  5. Exclamatory sentence.

Each of these types can be classified into two categories . They are :

  1. Affirmative or Positive and 
  2.  Negative.

In the basis of the structure  sentence can be classified into three categories. They are :

  1. Simple sentence
  2. Complex sentence
  3. Compound sentence

At first, let’s take a look on the 5 types of sentence.

Assertive sentence:

Now let’s discuss assertive sentence or statement. What is assertive sentence? And what is the structure of an assertive sentence?

Assertive sentences are those which express statements of a normal conversation of our daily lives.

For example,

We went to Delhi yesterday.

There we visited the Taj Mahal.

Now, let’s discuss the structure of an assertive sentence. Assertive Sentence is made in the following structure:

Subject + verb + object or complement. 

See the example: 

We are learning sentences.

Here ‘we’, is the subject and ‘are learning’ is the verb and ‘sentences’ is the object. This is the structure of an affirmative assertive sentence. When we want to make a negative sentence of the category of assertive sentence it will be: We are not learning sentences. In this sentence ‘we’ is the subject ‘are not learning’ is the word and ‘sentences’ is the object.

Interrogative sentence:

The sentences which we use to make question or to know about information from someone are called interrogative sentences. Interrogative sentences are of two types. These are : 

  1. ‘WH’- type question and 
  2. ‘Yes-no’ type question

In WH question the questions are made with the help of WH words at the beginning of the sentences. Such as 

What is your name?

Where are you going?

What do you want?

Structure or form: 

Wh-word + do/does/did or auxiliary verb + main verb + others/ object.

 Yes- no type question: 

This type of question is made when we want to know the answer in only yes or no. That’s why this type of question is known as yes no type questions.

Such as: 

Do you love me? Have you done your homework? Are you going to school today? 

All type of questions cited above will be answered in only yes or no. So these questions are called ‘Yes-no’ type question. And no WH word is used to make the sentences. Now let’s discuss the structure of this  yes no type question.

Structure of form:

For the simple present tense:

Do/does + subject + main verb object or others.

Example: Does he come ?

For simple past tense

Did + subject + main verb + object or others + ?

Example: Did he go ?

For other types of tense

Auxiliary verb + subject + main verb + object or others + ?

Example: Is he using his mobile?

Have you ever seen me ?

Will they come ?

Imperative sentence:

Imperative sentences are those which are used to make an order or an advice or a request to someone.

For example:

Shut the door.(Order)

Please read the letter.(Request)

Obey your parents.(Advice)


Verb + object/others. (Here subject is understood)

Order type example is : Go to read.

For the Request type sentence you can add your ‘please ‘at the beginning or at the end of your sentence. Example:

Please give me a call.

Example of advice type is : Do not run in the sun.

 Optative sentence :-

When we pray for someone/ourselves for something or wish for something we use Optative sentence. For example:

If I were a bird. (Wish)

May God bless you. (Pray)


May + subject + verb + object/ others.(prayer)

‘If ‘is used to make a sentence to express a wish.

Exclamatory sentence:

These are the sentences which express our emotion or feeling suddenly. When we suddenly feel sad, Joy, fear, excitement, we usually used this type of sentence. Example: Hurrah, we have won the match! Alas! He failed. We use ‘! ‘ at the end of this sentence.


Here we use the rule of assertive sentence to make sentence. We just put certain words which express our feelings or emotions, at the beginning or at the end of the sentence.

Now let’s discuss the sentences categorized by structure.

Simple sentence: 

Simple sentence contains only one finite verb.

Example : He loves his wife very much.

Complex sentence :

Sentences which has one main clause and one or more sub-ordinate clause/clauses is called complex sentence.

Example : I know the man who sent you chocolate.

Here, ‘I know the man’ is main clause which is one in number and ‘who sent you chocolate’ is sub-ordinate clause which is also one in number. For this reason, this sentence is called complex sentence.

 Compound sentence:

The sentences which contains two or more than two main clauses is called compound sentence.

Example : APJ Abdul Kalam was the former President of India, and he was a world-famous scientist.

Here, ‘APJ Abdul Kalam was the former President of India’ and ‘he was a world-famous scientist ‘-these are the main clauses. So this is a compound sentence.

Hope I have given you brief but essential outline of sentence and its categories.

Wishing, you too will love to be a learner.

About JM

Hi, I am an English Educator, guiding & teaching students for 15 years. I love to learn & teach. Just it. Thanks to you.

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