Writing: Sentences

Introduction to Sentences

A sentence is a set of words that makes complete sense. It contains a subject and a predicate. The subject is what the sentence is about, and the predicate tells something about the subject. Understanding sentences is crucial to excellent writing and communicating effectively. In this tutorial, we will discuss different aspects of sentences including their types, structure, and how to construct them properly.

Types of Sentences

There are four types of sentences – declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory. Let's explore each of them with examples.

  • Declarative Sentences: Declarative sentences make a statement or express an opinion. They end with a period. E.g., "I love reading books."
  • Interrogative Sentences: Interrogative sentences ask a question. They end with a question mark. E.g., "Do you want to go to the park?"
  • Imperative Sentences: Imperative sentences give an order, a request, or a directive. They end with a period, but can occasionally end with an exclamation point. E.g., "Close the door."
  • Exclamatory Sentences: Exclamatory sentences express strong emotion or surprise. They end with an exclamation point. E.g., "What a beautiful sunset!"
  • Sentence Structure

    Understanding the anatomy of a sentence is key to writing correctly. A sentence normally contains at least one subject and one verb, forming a clause.

  • Subject: The person, place, thing, or idea that is doing or being something in the sentence.
  • Verb: It tells us what the subject of the sentence is doing.
  • For example, in the sentence "John runs", John is the subject and runs is the verb.

    Sentences can be classified based on their structure into four types: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences.

  • Simple sentences: Contains one independent clause. E.g., "I am happy."
  • Compound sentences: Contains at least two independent clauses. E.g., "I am happy, and I love my life."
  • Complex sentences: Contains one independent clause and at least one dependent clause. E.g., "Since I learned the truth, I am happy."
  • Compound-complex sentences: Contains two or more independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses. E.g., "Though it was difficult, I succeeded, and I am happy."
  • Creating Grammatically Correct Sentences

    Here are key pointers to ensure that your sentence is grammatically correct:

    1. Every sentence must have a subject and a verb.
    2. The subject and verb must agree in number (singular or plural).
    3. Every sentence must express a complete thought. If not, it becomes a sentence fragment.
    4. If punctuations like a comma or a semicolon are used, they must follow the correct rules of punctuation.

    Enhancing Your Sentences

    While it is important to create structurally correct sentences, it’s equally important to make them engaging and interesting. Here are few tips:

    1. Vary your sentence structure: Mix up simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences to avoid monotony and engage the reader.
    2. Use powerful verbs: Instead of using lots of adjectives and adverbs, use potent verbs to convey action and create vivid imagery.
    3. Be concise: Avoid filler words and make your sentences as concise as possible without losing meaning.
    4. Avoid passive voice: Whenever possible, use the active voice instead of the passive voice for more clear and potent sentences.


    Understanding the fundamentals of sentences is key to improving your writing. Remember to study the different sentence types and structures, create grammatically correct sentences, and enhance your sentences with variety, powerful verbs, conciseness, and active voice. Happy writing!

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