Grammar Lesson: Types of Sentences By Purpose

By — John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Updated on Dec 14, 2010

Sentences have different purposes. Some make statements. Some ask questions. Others give commands, and still others express strong feelings. Here are the four types of sentences by purpose:

  • A declarative sentence makes a statement or expresses an opinion. Use a period at the end of a declarative sentence.
      Andy Murray has a great will to win.
      The commentator laughed at his own mistake.
  • An interrogative sentence asks a question and ends with a question mark.
      Are you using the saw today, Mitch?
      May the other people come along with us?
  • An exclamatory sentence expresses strong feeling and ends with an exclamation mark.
      This is just the way to do it!
      That is great news!
  • An imperative sentence gives a command (strong emotion) or makes a request (mild emotion). Use an exclamation after the imperative sentence that contains a strong emotion, and a period after one that contains a mild emotion.
      Stop that foolish talk now!
      Please take the empty plate away now, Ira.

Activity 1

Write an example of each type of sentence on the appropriate line.

Declarative sentence

Interrogative sentence

Exclamatory sentence

Imperative sentence

Activity 2- Purposeful Sentences

Knowing a sentence's design by purpose is helpful. Each of these sentences is either a declarative (DEC), an interrogative (INT), an exclamatory (EXC), or an imperative (IMP) one. Write the appropriate three-letter combination next to its corresponding type of sentence. Each type of sentence appears five times.

  1. ____ Have you read this newspaper article?
  2. ____ We are late for the meeting.
  3. ____ Stop that right now!
  4. ____ Remember to watch your step as you leave the room.
  5. ____ Are the packages here yet?
  6. ____ Professor Franklin said that the situation would improve.
  7. ____ Leave those old plates in the closet.
  8. ____ That dessert was awesome!
  9. ____ Painting is a relaxing hobby.
  10. ____ These are the best seats in the stadium!
  11. ____ Are the barbers and the beauticians working late tonight?
  12. ____ I can hardly bear to hear more stressful news right now!
  13. ____ Is this sweater yours?
  14. ____ Tough decisions will be made during the next few weeks.
  15. ____ That speeding car just missed hitting the bicyclist!
  16. ____ Hand me the wrench please, Reggie.
  17. ____ She will probably start up the grill now.
  18. ____ These disgusting mice have to be around here!
  19. ____ Please carry my valise into the next room, Louis.
  20. ____ Will you remember to lock the doors behind you?


  • Types of Sentences by Purpose

(These are possible answers.)

  • I like chocolate ice cream. (declarative sentence)
  • Do you like vanilla ice cream? (interrogative sentence)
  • We won! (exclamatory sentence)
  • Clean the table after you have finished eating. (imperative sentence)
  • ''Purposeful'' Sentences
  • The declarative sentences are numbers 2, 6, 9, 14, and 17.
  • The interrogative sentences are numbers 1, 5, 11, 13, and 20.
  • The exclamatory sentences are numbers 8, 10, 12, 15, and 18.
  • The imperative sentences are numbers 3, 4, 7, 16, and 19.
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