Identifying Types of Sentences

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  • 0:01 Types of Sentences
  • 0:23 Declarative
  • 1:26 Imperative
  • 2:36 Exclamatory
  • 3:14 Interrogative
  • 3:47 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Angela Janovsky

Angela has taught middle and high school English, Business English and Speech for nine years. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology and has earned her teaching license.

Our language has four types of sentences. Watch this video lesson to not only learn the four types but also to discover the tricks to identifying types of sentences.

Types of Sentences

We use sentences in our language to help send a message. Breaking our ideas into sentences is essential for clear communication. That being said, there must be different kinds of sentences for different kinds of messages. In fact, there are four types of sentences, each with a different purpose. Let's look at each one and discuss how to identify the type of sentence.


The first type of sentences is a declarative sentence. Think of a declarative sentence as a regular statement. Declarative sentences are simply complete sentences that state some idea or claim. The purpose is to get usually one main idea or message across to the reader or listener. For example: 'I like to go biking in the mountains.' This is a complete sentence stating one main idea.

All declarative sentences end in a period. This is the simplest way to identify a declarative sentence. If the sentence ends with a period and states one main idea, then it is a declarative sentence. Declarative sentences usually don't show a strong type of feeling; those are a different type of sentence we will look at later. Here are some more examples of declarative sentences. Notice each ends in a period and is a complete thought.

'The dog chased the cat around the street.'

'First, I went to the store, and then I met Katie for lunch.'

'Yesterday I went to see a movie with a group of friends.'


The second type of sentence is an imperative sentence. Imperatives are similar to declaratives in that they also end with a period. However, these types of sentences are commands. The purpose of imperative sentences is to give an order or tell someone to do something.

For example, if your dad told you to go cut the grass, he is giving you a command. This is an imperative sentence. You might notice that there is no stated subject, which is the main person or object doing the action. Often in imperative sentences, the subject is the implied 'you.' For instance, your dad could have said, 'You, go cut the grass.' Omitting the implied subject makes sense with commands and is grammatically correct.

Imperatives can also use a name as the subject, as in 'Sarah, hand me that plate.' Whether there is an implied subject or a stated one, the key with imperatives is that they must tell someone to do an action. Here are some more examples of imperative sentences.

'Turn in your homework.'

'Please raise your hand to answer the question.'

'John, take out the trash.'

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