What is a sentence?

A sentence is group of words which express a statement, question or command. A sentence usually has a verb and a subject and may be a simple sentence, consisting of one clause, or a complex sentence, consisting of two or more clauses. A sentence in writing has a capital letter at the beginning and a full stop, question mark, or exclamation mark at the end.

Kinds of Sentences

Sentences are of four kinds:

  • Those which make statements or assertions; as,
    • Humpty Dumpty sat on a
  • Those which ask questions; as,
    • Where do you live?
  • Those which express commands, requests, or entreaties; as,
    • Be quite. Have mercy upon us.
  • Those which express strong feelings; as,
    • How cold the night is! What a shame!

In a typical grammar language! :

  • A sentence that makes a statement or assertion is called a Declarative or Assertive
  • A sentence that asks a question is called an Interrogative
  • A sentence that expresses a command or an entreaty is called an Imperative
  • A sentence that expresses strong feeling is called an Exclamatory


Generally when we make a sentence:

  • We name some person or thing; and
  • Say something about that person or

In other words, we must have a subject to speak about and we must say or predicate something about that subject.

Hence every sentence has two parts:

  • The part which names the person or thing we are speaking about. This is called the Subject of the
  • The part which tells something about the Subject. This is called the Predicate of the sentence.


  • The Subject of a sentence usually comes first, but occasionally it is put after the Predicate; as,

Here comes the bus.

Sweet are the uses of adversity. (A famous maxim from Shakespeare’s classic play “As you like it”.)

  • In Imperative sentences the Subject is left out; as, Sit down. [Here the Subject You is understood]. Thank him. [Here too the Subject You is understood]