Four Types of Sentences and the Effect of Punctuation

Types of Sentences and Punctuation

When students learn to write, they begin by learning about the four types of sentences and the role punctuation plays in determining and creating those different sentence types.

What Are the Four Types of Sentences?

  • Declarative sentence
  • Imperative sentence
  • Interrogative sentence
  • Exclamatory sentence

And there are only three punctuation marks with which to end a sentence:

  • Period
  • Question mark
  • Exclamation point

Using different types of sentences and punctuation, students can vary the tone of their writing assignments and express a variety of thoughts and emotions.

What is a declarative sentence?

A declarative sentence simply makes a statement or expresses an opinion. In other words, it makes a declaration. This kind of sentence ends with a period.

Examples of this sentence type:

“I want to be a good writer.”  (makes a statement)

“My friend is a really good writer.” (expresses an opinion)

What is an imperative sentence?

An imperative sentence gives a command or makes a request. It usually ends with a period but can, under certain circumstances, end with  an exclamation point.

Examples of this sentence type:

“Please sit down.”

“I need you to sit down now!”

What is an interrogative sentence?

An interrogative sentence asks a question. This type of sentence often begins with who, what, where, when, why, how, or do, and it ends with a question mark.

Examples of this sentence type:

“When are you going to turn in your writing assignment?”

“Do you know what the weather will be tomorrow?”

What is an exclamatory sentence?

An exclamatory sentence is a sentence that expresses great emotion such as excitement, surprise, happiness and anger, and ends with an exclamation point.

Examples of this sentence type:

“It is too dangerous to climb that mountain!”

“I got an A on my book report!”

Learning about the different types of sentences and punctuation will help students become better writers by enabling them to convey various types of information and emotion in their writing.

Activities to Help Your Child Learn about the Types of Sentences

There are plenty of activities you can do with your child to help him learn about the different kinds of sentences. For example, sit down with your child and read his favorite books together. Have him identify statements, questions, commands, and exclamations. You can also read from magazines, web sites, song lyrics – any medium that is fun and interesting to your child.

This next activity is a good example of how punctuation impacts the message of a sentence. Have your child say or write an exclamation. Turn it into a statement by replacing the exclamation point with a period. Discuss with your child how the change in punctuation changes the tone and feeling of the sentence.

Another fun activity is to have a conversation with your child using only one type of sentence. Pick a topic that interests her and encourage her to be creative with her responses. This activity will illustrate the importance of different kinds of sentences in speech and writing.

Writing Classes about Sentence Types

If you think your child needs one-on-one writing instruction, Time4Writing offers individualized writing classes for elementary, middle, and high school students. Our online elementary school writing course teaches students to write and revise examples of the four types of sentences – statements, commands, questions, and exclamations.

We also offer an interactive middle school writing class and high school writing class in basic mechanics that helps students enhance their writing skills by understanding and using punctuation to create different types of sentences.

Time4Writing offers popular writing classes for gifted students, after school enrichment, remediation and as a summer school alternative. All of the Time4Writing online lessons are led by certified writing teachers who provide valuable feedback for every writing assignment.

These writing classes help students form and strengthen the foundation for strong writing skills in elementary school, middle school, high school, and beyond.

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