ABE English Tutorials/simple sentences/Kinds of sentences

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Kinds of Sentences

Tutorial.png Simple Sentences 

Intro to writing skills | Intro to a sentence | Helping verbs | Adding modifiers | Kinds of sentences | Writing simple sentences | Finding objects and phrases | Here and There | Spelling: Part 1 | Spelling List 1 | Writing with objects and phrases | Verbs that change with Number | Verbs that change with Time | Irregular Verbs | Verb Participles | Writing with verb tenses | Compound Subjects | Subject-Verb Agreeement | Understanding sentence lists | Sentence Fragments | Writing sentence lists | Review for Unit 1 |


Statements, Questions, and Exclamations:

You already know that a sentence starts with a capital letter and ends with a period. Look at these examples:

  • The boy sat under an elm tree.
  • My mother is a good cook.
  • Karen got her phone bill last week.

These sentences are all just telling us a fact. They are called statement sentences. Statement sentences all end with a period, but not all sentences are stating a fact. Some sentences are asking for information:

  • Do you like carrots?
  • What colour is a flamingo?
  • When does the summer vacation begin?

These sentences are called question sentences. Question sentences always end with a question mark. It is not always so clear if a sentence is a question or a statement. Sentences that begin with a "question word", such as:

  • what or which
  • where
  • when
  • why
  • who
  • how

are almost always questions.

Sentences that have part of the verb before the subject are also often questions (the subject has been bolded in these examples):

  • Is he waiting for the bus?
  • Can dogs see in colour?
  • Was the interview a success? and
  • Do you like carrots?

Statement sentences can be turned into questions, and questions can be turned into statements, as in these examples:

  • Marta studies for three hours every night.(Statement)
  • Does Marta study for three hours every night? (Question)
  • Kent was in Vancouver last month.(Statement)
  • Was Kent in Vancouver last month? (Question)
  • That is a solid oak table. (Statement)
  • Is that a solid oak table? (Question)

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Try turning these statements into questions:
  1. Jim is her best friend.
  2. Cats can see well in the dark.
  3. Regular exercise will keep you in shape.

Here are some suggested answers:

  1. Is Jim her best friend?
  2. Can cats see well in the dark?
  3. Will regular exercise keep you in shape?

Of course, direct yes-no questions are usually answered with statements:

Question: Are you going to pay the rent? Answer: Yes, I am going to pay the rent. (or you might just answer: Yes, I am.)

Another example: Question: Is the Lada an expensive car? Answer: No, it's not very expensive.

 * Punctuation pointer: 
   When you start a statement with yes or no, you should always have a  
   comma right after the yes or no. 

There is one more kind of sentence. This sentence is like a statement, but it is "stronger" -- when you say it out loud, you usually say it in a louder or more "excited" voice:

What a beautiful day! I forgot my airplane ticket! That is wonderful news!

These sentences are called exclamations. When we give an order, we often do it with an exclamation sentence:

Look out! Stop that this minute! Don't forget my appointment!

Can you find the subject in these sentences? When we give an order, we often leave the subject out. In this kind of sentence, the subject is always "you", even if it is not written in.

(You) look out! (You) stop that this minute! (You) don't forget my appointment!

Try to decide if each sentence is a statement, a question, or an exclamation.

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Add the right punctuation ( . ? ! ) to the end of each sentence.
  • Don't step on the broken glass
  • Are you ready for the trip
  • Prairie towns get a lot of snow
  • What is your daughter's name

Check your answers:

  • (Exclamation) Don't step on the broken glass!
  • (Question) Are you ready for the trip?
  • (Statement) Prairie towns get a lot of snow.
  • (Question) What is your daughter's name?

If you're ready for the homework, click here.