Sentence: Definition & Types

Learning how to make accurate and correct sentences is probably the most important part of English or in the grammar of any other language. Your skill to form sentences also allows to speak that particular language as well. Normally a sentence begins with a capital letter and is ended with a punctuation mark depending upon its nature and type.

It can be defined as a collection of words joined up to form a single sentence that can accurately deliver or express what an individual is trying to convey. Mostly a sentence ends on a full stop but it can also end on a question mark if the nature of that particular sentence is interrogative. Signs such as exclamations marks and colons or semicolons are also used depending upon the sentence structure.


He is an intelligent boy (statement), is he an intelligent boy? (Question), what a nice view! (Exclaiming)

In simple words, it can be concluded that a sentence should have three primary parts or characteristics

  • Initially, No matter what type or nature of the sentence you are making the first letter of the first word should remain capital. A punctuation mark is mandatory to end the sentence, specifically only the ones that serve the purpose of ending a sentence such as question mark, exclamation mark, and a full stop.
  • Secondly, your sentence should be complete enough to inform the other person about what you are delivering or convey to them.
  • Thirdly, every Type of sentence must contain one subject either hidden or specified and a verb that can identify what that particular subject is performing.


Types of Sentence Structures:

  • Simple Sentence
  • Compound Sentence
  • Complex sentence
  • Compound-complex sentence
  • Declarative sentence
  • Imperative sentence
  • Interrogative sentence
  • Exclamatory sentence


Simple Sentence:

A simple sentence is a group of words that have a single clause (a single verb) that is meant to be independent and it cannot perceive any other type of clause.


I always wanted to become a painter. (One clause – one verb)


Compound Sentence:

A sentence that contains two or more independent clauses while having not even a single dependent clauses. Certain types of punctuation marks, conjunctions or both are used collectively to unite all such clauses.


I always wanted to become a painter, and she wanted to become an artist. (Two independent clauses – two verbs)


Complex sentence:

A complex sentence is a combination of both independent and dependent clauses. For instance, if one clause is of an independent nature then the other one must be a dependent clause in order to make it a complex sentence. However, there are some certain connectors for the purpose of being used as clauses of a complex sentence and to stay connected.


I know that you always wanted to be an artist. (Here, a dependent clause is followed by a connector and an independent clause. The other way around is also possible.)


Compound-complex sentence:

A collection of complex sentences and compound sentences is known as a compound-complex sentence. A minimum of two independent clauses and at least one dependent clause is required in a sentence in order to be a compound-complex sentence.


I know that you always wanted to become an artist, but I always wanted to become a banker.

Types of Sentence Functions

Following are the primary type of functions that are required in making a sentence.


Declarative sentence:

A sentence that serves the purpose of expressing opinions or feelings, declaration of a statement or elaborates things are known to be declarative sentences. In simple words, these sentences are used to announce or declare something. Such type of sentence ends either with a full stop.


I want to be a good racer. (a statement)

I am very sad today. (a feeling)


Imperative sentence:

Such types of sentences are used to express a request or to impose a command on someone. Imperative sentences are ended with a full stop. However, in a few circumstances the sentence can end on exclamation mark as well depending upon the message that is being delivered through that sentence.


Please calm down.

I need you to calm down now!


Interrogative sentence:

A sentence that serves the purpose of asking questions or queries is known as an Interrogative sentence. Sentences that interrogate anything must end with a question mark, no matter whatever the sentence is.


When are you going to submit your report?

Do you know her?


Exclamatory sentence:

Sentences that are used to express sudden emotions or unexpected and shocking reactions are called exclamatory sentences. Such emotions can be grief, happiness, excitement, anger, etc.


What an event it was!

I cannot believe she would do that!