Types of Sentences With Examples

Traditionally five types of sentence are recognized in English. These are

– statements,
negative sentences,
directives or commands
and exclamations

Types of Sentences With Examples
Types of Sentences With Example


Statements are sentences that ‘state’ something or give information. They are sometimes called declarative sentences because they ‘declare’ something. In most statements the subject comes before the verb. The following sentences are all declarative sentences:

  • The boy hit his sister.
  • The man attacked the old woman.
  •  We serve evening meals.
  • The weather was dreadful. Types of Sentences With Examples

Negative sentences

A negative sentence is one that makes a negative, rather than a positive, statement. This is usually created by the inclusion of a word such as not, nothing or never. The word not is sometimes contracted to n’t. When not or n’t is used it is accompanied by an auxiliary verb. The following sentences are negative sentences:

  • We did not invite her.
  • I didn’t see him.
  • I don’t like it.
  • I don’t know the man.
  • I heard nothing unusual last night.
  • They did nothing about it.
  • She has never been here.
  • We have never denied that. Types of Sentences With Examples
Types of Sentences With Examples
Types of Sentences With Examples


Questions are sentences that seek information of some kind. They are followed by a question mark (?) and they often involve the inversion of the subject and an auxiliary  or modal verb, as in:

  • Do you play the piano?
  • Did you pass the exam?
  • Have you written to him?
  • Didn’t you like it? Types of Sentences With Examples

There are three main types of questions: yes-no questions, wh-questions and alternative questions.

Yes-no questions

Yes-no questions are designed to seek a reply in the affirmative or negative, whether the reply is just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or whether this is amplified in some way, as in:

  •  Is the house occupied just now? No.
  • Has the doctor arrived yet? Yes. He’s just arrived.
  • Are we ready to begin? Let’s get started. Yes.

Tag questions

Some yes-no questions are tag questions in which the questioning part is in the tag at the end of the sentence. The following are examples of tag questions, with the tags in bold:

  • She’s a lawyer, isn’t she?
  • He’s not here yet, is he?
  • You won’t tell her, will you?


Wh-questions begin with a word beginning with wh, such as why, where, when, who and what, as in:

  • What do you want?
  • Where did he go?
  • When did you last see her?
  • Who gave you that?

Alternative questions

Alternative questions require a reply that refers to the options given in the sentence. They contain the conjunction ‘or’. The following are examples of alternative questions:

  • Did you come by bus or train? By train.
  • Is the party on Friday or Saturday? It’s on Saturday.
  • Is she younger or older than him She’s a few years younger.

Exclamatory questions

Exclamatory questions are sentences which have the structure of questions but which are actually used as exclamations and end with an exclamation mark. They are really seeking the listener’s agreement rather than seeking an answer. The following are examples of exclamatory questions:

  • Wasn’t that a wonderful meal!
  • Hasn’t she changed!
  • Isn’t it a dreadful day!

Rhetorical questions

Rhetorical questions are also sentences that have the structure of questions and they end in a question mark. However, the speaker does not require an answer to these questions. The following are examples of rhetorical questions:

  • Why should I care?
  • Who does she think she is?
  • How should I know? Types of Sentences With Examples

Question by tone of voice

 A yes-no question can have the structure of a statement, rather than a question, uttered in a questioning tone of voice and ending with a question mark. The following are examples of this:

Anne told you I was going? Yes, she did. Tom has actually left her? He went today. Yes. The house is no longer for sale? No. It’s been sold.

Types of Sentences With Examples
Types of Sentences With Examples


Directives, which are also called commands (although they are not all actually commands), are sentences that instruct someone to do something. In some directives an actual command is being given and this is followed by an exclamation mark, as in:

  • Keep quiet! Types of Sentences With Examples

There is usually no subject in a directive and the verb is in its basic or infinitive form. In this kind of structure the verb is said to be in the imperative mood. The following are examples of directives in the imperative mood:

  • Stand up!
  • Help me, please!
  • Have a piece of cake.
  • Take two of these pills after meals.
  • Turn left here.

 Some directives begin with the word ‘let’ or the word ‘do’, as in:

  • Let me help.
  • Let’s go.
  • Do come in.
  • Don’t worry.


Exclamations are sentences expressed by someone who is impressed, excited or roused by something. Exclamations sometimes take the form of a single word or a minor sentence but they can also be major sentences, often beginning with ‘what’ or ‘how’. Exclamations always end with an exclamation mark (!). The following are examples of exclamations:

  • Ouch!
  • What a day!
  • How pretty you look!

Types of Sentences With Examples

Reference : Webster\’s Word Power Better English Grammar. Improve Your Written and Spoken English – PDFDri (E-book)

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