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Interrogative Sentence: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:00 Sentences
  • 0:37 Interrogative Sentences
  • 1:21 End Marks
  • 2:37 Formation
  • 4:03 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.

There are four types of sentences we use on an everyday basis. In this lesson, you will learn about one of those important kinds of sentences: the interrogative. What is that?

Sentences

A language must have structure. Having an established set of guidelines allows spoken and written communication to be effective. One such guideline is to organize words into sentences, which are sets of words with a complete thought consisting of a subject and a predicate.

Furthermore, we have different types of sentences to accomplish different thoughts and goals. We need some sentences to express emotions, some to give information, and still others to request information. To accomplish these tasks, our society has established four kinds of sentences, one of which is the interrogative sentence.

Interrogative Sentences

An interrogative sentence is one that requests some sort of information. Think about it; how many times each day do you ask a person something? We are constantly asking questions of each other, from something as small as 'How are you?', all the way up to something as important as 'What is your blood type?' In writing, questions are important to include for many reasons. In fiction, questions can be included in dialogue to make it more realistic. In addition, essays can include rhetorical questions to stress a certain argument or point out inconsistencies. On the other hand, a piece of writing with too many questions, or questions without answers, can irritate the reader. Overall, when used appropriately, questions are very important features in our language.

End Marks

One important piece of information about interrogative sentences is the punctuation that goes along with these sentences. All sentences must have an end mark, which is the punctuation that indicates the end of a sentence. End marks are very important as they can signify the emotion or purpose of a sentence. Look at these two sentences:

  • You're really funny.
  • You're really funny!

These sentences have the same exact words, but the end marks are different. The first ends with a period to indicate a simple statement with no real enthusiasm. In fact, with that end mark the sentence could even imply sarcasm and mean the person is not funny at all. On the other hand, the second sentence ends with an exclamation mark indicating excitement and high emotion. You can see how end marks make a big difference in meaning.

Interrogative sentences always have the same end mark: the question mark. This type of punctuation is only used in interrogative sentences. In verbal communication, questions are indicated by a higher pitch in one's voice at the end of the sentence. You can notice it in any question you ask. For instance, say this question out loud: 'Did you have fun going to the pool yesterday?' The pitch in your voice should have gone up when you said the word 'yesterday.' That's how we indicate questions orally.

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