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Improve Your Writing Skills, Starting With a Sentence

written by: Meetu • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 1/5/2012

A sentence is a collection of words put together to convey a meaning. Just by changing the position of the words the same set can be used to convey a different meaning. There are four kinds of sentences – Assertion, Interrogative, Imperative and Exclamation.

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    A word is a collection of letters, having a meaning. When these words are put together to convey a meaning it is known as a sentence. A sentence is a group of words that makes complete sense. Placing of words in a sentence is very important. Just by changing the position of the words and the punctuation marks in a sentence, a completely different meaning can be deciphered.

    Example: This is a cat. (It is a simple sentence conveying that this specific creature is a cat.)

    Is this a cat? (This question asks whether this creature is a cat.)

    The same set of words when put differently conveys an altogether different meaning. The first sentence does not convey anything less or more- it simply states a fact. The second sentence is a question.

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    Four Kinds of Sentences

    Statements or Assertions: These are simple sentences. They simply state a fact. They use a full stop to mark their end. Example: Hari has a gold chain.

    Interrogative: Sentences used to ask questions are known as interrogative sentences. They end with a question mark. Example: Does Hari have a gold chain?

    Imperative: Sentences conveying commands and requests are known as imperative sentences. Like assertions, they end with a full stop. Example: Show me your gold chain.

    Exclamations: Sentences used to convey strong feelings are known as exclamatory sentences. These sentences use the exclamation mark just after the exclamatory words and a full stop at the end of the sentence. Example: Oh! What a beautiful chain.

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    Sentence Parts

    A sentence can be broken in two parts: subject and predicate.

    Subject: A subject is the noun or thing the sentence is about. It is often the first word of a sentence. A sentence can have an implicit or tacit subject too.

    Example: Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. (The subject is Humpty Dumpty. It is an apparent subject)

    Come in. (The subject is an implicit subject. The sentence can also be read as You come in.)

    Predicate: Whatever is spoken or written about the subject is known as the predicate.

    Example: Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. (…sat on a wall is the predicate.)

    Come in. (come in is the predicate)

    For Classroom activities students can be asked to

    • Unjumble words to form meaningful sentences;
    • Form as many sentences as possible using a group of allotted words and punctuation marks.
    • Identify the subject and the predicate from given sentences.


  • High School English Grammar and Composition – Wren & Martin