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Declarative, interrogative, and imperative statements - Easy Learning Grammar

Each sentence in English provides some type of information. For example, a sentence can be a statement, a question, a request, a command, a denial or a response, etc. In English the choice and order of the parts of a sentence help us express these meanings.Most statements and denials are in the declarative. An important feature of declarative sentences is that they have a subject that comes before the verb.
  • Our dog eats any old thing.
  • Our dog won’t just eat any old thing.
  • The dog has already been fed.
  • The dog hasn’t been fed yet.
  • We have already won several races.
  • We haven’t won any races yet.
Most questions are in the interrogative. An important feature of interrogative sentences is that they normally have a subject that comes after an auxiliary verb.
  • Does your dog eat any old thing?
  • Has the dog already been fed?
  • Hasn’t the dog been fed yet?
  • Have you won any races yet?
  • Haven’t you won any races yet?
If the subject does come first it will be a special question word.
  • Who won the race?
  • Which team was it?
  • Exceptionally, we can ask questions using the declarative. We do this by using a special tone of voice.
  • You’re telling me he has a new car? I don’t believe it.
  • It’s raining again? That makes three days running.
Many commands are in the imperative. Commands in the imperative have no word that acts as a subject, though the subject is understood to be you. Commands in the imperative can sometimes sound rude or impatient.
  • Eat up quickly. We have to go!
  • Leave me alone.
  • On your marks, get set … go!
  • We can make a request, which is a type of command, sound more polite by using the interrogative.
  • Would you feed the dog, please.
  • Would you mind shutting the door.
  • Could I have that now, thank you.
Not all imperative sentences are orders or commands. They can be social expressions.
  • Have a nice day.
  • Get well soon.
  • Help yourselves to coffee.
There is also a subjunctive form. This is rarely used in English now. It may be used when you want to talk about an improbable or unlikely situation.
  • If I were Prime Minister, I’d spend more money on education.

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