Easy Learning

The declarative - Easy Learning Grammar

The declarative is used to make statements. A statement is usually the expression of a fact or of an opinion. Statements can be both positive or negative.
  • Kate is not working after all.
  • Tim wasn’t reading your diary.
  • Helen wasn’t talking about you.
  • I’m not going on holiday this year.
Declarative sentences always contain a subject and a following verb phrase.The normal word order for declarative sentences: subject + verb phrase
  • Kate is working.
  • Tim was reading.
  • Helen stared at me in surprise.
subject + verb phrase + direct object
  • Ross is writing a letter.
  • Pam borrowed three library books.
  • Stephen ordered vegetarian lasagne.
subject + verb phrase + adverbial
  • Dominic was eating very slowly.
  • Lyndsey was studying in her room.
  • Mikhail laughed nervously.
subject + verb phrase + direct object + adverbial
  • Dominic was eating his lunch very slowly.
  • Lyndsey had been reading a book in her room.
Certain verbs must have following objects, e.g. see, find, prefer, take.
  • She saw her friend.
  • He found a camera.
  • They took a holiday brochure.
Other verbs need, or can have, both a direct and an indirect object, e.g. give, buy, offer.
  • Laura offered me another biscuit.
  • Scott’s uncle bought him a new bike.
The word order can be either:   subject + verb + indirect object + direct object
  • Kate gave the dog a bone.
  • Stuart bought Marie a birthday present.
or, with the addition of a word that indicates the recipient:   subject + verb + direct object + to/for + indirect object.
  • Kate gave a bone to the dog.
  • Stuart bought a birthday present for Marie.
Another group of verbs must be followed either by an object and an adverbial expression, or an adverbial expression on its own e.g. put, place, stand.
  • Richard placed the computer on the table.
  • Diana put her jeans in the drawer.
  • Michael stood in the middle of the pitch.
A further type of declarative statement has the same basic order of subject and verb as the subject + verb phrase + direct object example on The declarative, but with a complement replacing the direct object. See Complements for more about complements and Parts of speech for more about objects.
  • Elisabeth seems to have been rather worried lately.
  • This dessert is delicious.

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