What Is Sentence? Definition & Types

In this article, we are going to learn what is sentence, and its definition & types. When you speak or write anything we use a word or a number of words. The word or the words together make a sentence. A sentence always gives a complete meaning and a sentence may have one word or more than two words.

Look at the following –

  • Come
  • Go
  • I go to college every day
  • Manipur is a big village
  • Anil has two sisters

Here are five sentences. The first two are made up of one word each. The last three are made up of more than one word each. each one of these is a sentence because it gives a complete meaning.

Look at the following –

  • College every day go to
  • Village Big is a Manipur
  • Sisters two has Anil

None of these groups of words gives a complete meaning because in each the words have not been arranged in the proper order. as such they are not sentences.

A sentence is a word or a group of words arranged in a particular order. The orderly arrangement of words gives meaning to the sentences.

Look at the following sentence written in English and Odia – He goes home. Home goes he. Gose he home. ସେ କାଲି ଯିବେ | କାଲି ଯିବେ ସେ|

These examples show that in Odia, we can arrange the words in a sentence any way we like and yet express a complete meaning. However, the word order in the English sentence is rigid and unchangeable. When there is any disturbance in this Word order the sentence becomes meaningless or gives a different meaning.

A sentence is a group of properly arranged words. We cannot change the wood order in an English sentence and yet express the same meaning.

Look at the following sentences

  • India is our motherland.
  • We are all Indians.
  • He did not go to school last week.
  • Who is your class teacher?
  • Is that your workbook?
  • Stand up.
  • Come here.

A. See each sentence has a capital letter at the beginning. Each ends with a full stop (.), question mark (?), or exclamation mark (!). The words in each sentence have been written in a particular order, and each sentence has a subject and predicate. So each is a simple sentence.

B. Also see that the first two sentences are positive or affirmative statements. They are called Affirmative, Assertive, or Declarative sentences.

The third and fourth sentences in the list above are negative statements. They are known as Negative sentences because they deny something. The fifth and sixth sentences ask questions or ask for some information. They are called Question sentences or Interrogative sentences. They end with a question mark (?).

The seventh and eighth sentences contain commands or requests. They are called imperative sentences. In all imperative sentences, the subject is ‘you which is not mentioned. sentence No.9 and sentence No.10 in the list above express feelings of surprise, pain, or disgust.

They are known as Exclamatory sentences, They are generally sudden, short cries. They are mostly uttered without the subject and the predicate. Hence in the last two sentences, the subject and the predicate have been kept in brackets. Now we can say that a sentence is a group of words, usually with a subject and a predicate, which expresses a statement, question, request/command, or a sudden feeling and which has a complete sense.

Subject and predicate

  • Stars twinkle.
  • Birds sing.
  • Water flows.
  • Wind blows.
  • Dogs bark.

Each of the sentences above is made up of two words. The first word is known as the subject because something is said about it. It is a noun. A noun, a noun group, or its substitute(pronoun) is always the subject of a sentence. The second word in each sentence above is known as the predicate because it is what is said about the subject. It is a verb.

Every sentence speaks something about something else. What is spoken about is the subject and what is spoken is the predicate. Subject and predicate are essential parts of a sentence. Now, read the following sentences which are enlargements of the sentences written above.

  1. These little stars twinkle at night.
  2. Many beautiful birds sing in our garden.
  3. The water of the hill streams flows very fast.
  4. Cold wind blows from the north.
  5. That pet dogs bark at strangers.
We can write the Sentence of both groups in the table as shown below:
Table 1
These little starstwinkle at night
Many beautiful birdsSing in our garden
The water of the hill streamsFlows very fast
Cold windBlows from the month
Those pet dogBrak at stranger
Table 2

Each sentence of both groups appears in two columns, the subject column, and the predicate column. In the sentences of Table 1, all words in the subject column are nouns. All words in the predicate column are verbs. Both subject and predicate are single words.

In the subject column of Table 2, all words written in italics are nouns and other words in the subject column are modifiers of the nouns. In the predicate column in Table 2, all words written in italics are verbs, and other words in this column are modifiers of the verbs. One can also see that both the subject and predicate in Table 2 are word groups, not single words.

In the subject column, each word- group has a noun that is written in italics. This noun is the headword of the group. So the group is called a noun group, or a noun phrase. In the same way, one can see that in the predicate column in Table 2, each word group has a verb that is written in italics. This verb is the headword of the group. So the word group is called a verb group or a verb phrase.

Remember –

  • The subject and the predicate are the two main parts aa) of a sentence.
  • If the subject in a sentence is only one word, this must be a noun or its substitute, a pronoun, (see Table 1). If the subject in a sentence is a word group it must have a noun which is the headword of the subject group. This headword comes at the end of the subject group. (see Table 2).
  • If the predicate in a sentence is a word group, it must have a verb which is the head word of the predicate group. This headword comes at the beginning of the group (see Table 2)

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