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4 Sentence Functions - Types of Sentences

Updated: Apr 29, 2023

Hey guys! It's Dustin the tutor here and today I want to teach you about 4 Sentence Functions. You may see this called 4 Sentence Types or 4 Sentence Kinds, but I like the term Functions because it gets at the purpose of the sentence. It's not the grammar or the structure, it's the purpose--and that's what we are looking at today.

Declarative Sentences

The first type is a Declarative Sentence. These are statements of fact or opinion such as the example sentences below. These sentences end with a period.

Let's get some practice:

Interrogative Sentences

An Interrogative Sentence is a sentence that ends in a question mark. Sometimes, these sentences will have a different subject, verb, object order.

You'll notice that the first sentence: "Is that a storm brewing?" begins with the verb "Is". The second sentence "Where is my chocolate?" begins with the question word "Where" and then we have the verb after that.

Go ahead and practice writing an interrogative sentence:

Exclamatory Sentences

Another type of sentence function is the Exclamatory Sentence. These are sentences that end in an exclamation mark and express strong emotion.

Let's take a look at examples of exclamatory sentences below:

Go ahead and practice writing your own exclamatory sentence.

Imperative Sentence

The fourth sentence function is the Imperative Sentence. These are commands. They directly tell someone to do something.

Here are some examples of imperative sentences:

It's interesting to note that these sentences almost always begin with a verb. Maybe they have a little introduction before them but the main clause is going to start with a verb.

Go ahead and practice writing an imperative sentence.

Why learn sentence functions?

You might be wondering why we have to identify sentence functions. Well, sentence functions may change the order of subjects, verbs, and objects. Like imperative sentences and some interrogative sentences, they may begin with verbs. Declarative sentences typically begin with a subject. So this really helps us to identify sentence boundaries and to understand what type of sentence we're using.

Among other benefits, knowing these sentences sharpens our understanding of punctuation.

What were the four sentence functions? Go ahead and write those down.

Use this memory trick

The memory trick here is that we can use the word "BIRDIE" to remind us of the 4 sentence functions.

Let's get some more practice! Identify the sentence functions below:

Here are the answers:

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