Classification of Sentence According to Purpose


Classification of Sentence According to Purpose

Classification of Sentence According to Purpose
Classification of Sentence According to Purpose

Classification of Sentence According to Purpose

We know that a group of words that makes complete sense is called a Sentence. Now mind the following sentences:

1. Priti is my cousin.

2. What does Rekha do?

3. Do it soon.

4. Hurrah! we have won the match.

5. May God bless us.

If we mind the meaning or purpose of the above sentences we find that the first sentence gives a statement or information, the second sentence makes a question, the third sentence refers to an order, the Fourth sentence expresses a sudden emotion and the fifth sentence expresses a wish. Thus, according to the purpose or meaning, English sentences are divided into five classes as:

I. Assertive Sentence.

II. Interrogative Sentence.

III. Imperative Sentence.

IV. Optative Sentence and

V. Exclamatory Sentence.

Now let us discuss all these kinds of sentences in detail: 

Classification of Sentence According to Purpose


Mind the expressions of the following sentences:

1. Gopi is an Indian girl.

2. Renan is not coming.

3. It may rain tonight.

4. It may not hot today.

4. God helps those who help themselves.

Each of the above sentences makes a statement either positive or negative. These are Assertive Sentences.

A Sentence that makes a statement either positive or negative is called an Assertive Sentence. 

An Assertive sentence is used to state a fact or to convey information. It is also called a Declarative Sentence or Statement. It may also express possibility, probability, or impossibility. It is the most frequently used form of sentence in any language.

The general Formation of an Assertive Sentence is:

Subject + Verb + Object (Complement)

An Assertive Sentence has the following characteristics:

1. It always takes a full stop (.) at the end, as:

Tom is my best friend.

Hitler was a dictator.

2. The subject word of an Assertive Sentence comes before the verb, as:

Kamal likes Russian vodka.

Hari plays well.

3. If an Assertive sentence begins with here, there or it then the Subject word is placed after the verb, as:

Here is your book.

It is our playground.

There are many cows in the field.

4. Sometimes the Subject word is placed after the verb if the emphasis is given on the Finite Verb, Adjective or Adverb, as:

Must you do your duty on time. (Finite verb ‘must’)

Ripe was the mango. (Adjective ‘ripe’)

Never was Tapan a bad boy. (Adverb ‘never’)

Thus when a Finite Verb, Adjective or Adverb is placed at the beginning of an Assertive Sentence and shows its dominance in the sentence then the sentence is called Emphatic Assertive Sentence and the dominant word is called Emphatic Word.

Classification of Sentence According to Purpose


Mind the expressions of the following sentences:

1. Why is Peter so late?

2. How are you?

3. Where do you live?

4. What is your name?

5. When the guest will come?

6. Is Charles a student?

7. Does she speak Greek?

Each of the above sentences asks a question. These are Interrogative Sentences.

A sentence that asks a question is called an Interrogative Sentence.

An Interrogative Sentence bears the following characteristics:

1. An Interrogative Sentence takes Interrogative Mark (?) at the end as in the above-mentioned sentences.

2. An Interrogative Sentence generally begins with interrogative Pronouns like: how, why, when, where, what etc. as in example nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

3. An Interrogative Sentence is also introduced with Auxiliary Verbs as in examples nos. 6 and 7.

Every Assertive Sentence can be transformed into an Interrogative Sentence and likewise, every Interrogative Sentence can be transformed into an Assertive Sentence.  The rules of transforming an Assertive Sentence into an Interrogative sentence and vice versa will be discussed in another chapter.

Classification of Sentence According to Purpose


Mind the following expressions.

1. Shut the door.

2. Take a left turn to reach the place.

3. Be kind to the poor.

4. Please bring me a glass of water.

5. Let us play now.

Each of the above sentences expresses an order (sentence no. 1), direction (sentence no. 2), advice (sentence no. 3) or request (sentence no. 4), propose (sentence no.6). These are Imperative Sentences.

An Imperative Sentence is a sentence with which an order, direction, command, request etc. are issued.

There are some features of Imperative Sentences such as:

1. An Imperative sentence takes a full stop at the end, as:

come here soon.

Stand up instantly.

2. Generally the subject of an Imperative Sentence remains silent, as:

(You) do the sum.

(You) post the letter.

Note: Though the subject of an Imperative sentence remains silent yet to express displeasure or to point out somebody from a group the subject word is explicitly used as in the following expressions:

You, be silent.

Henan, come to the blackboard and solve the puzzle.

3. An Imperative Sentence is written in the Present tense.

Don’t smoke cigarettes.

Drink coffee now.

4. Some Imperative sentences may be introduced with ‘Let’ verb, as:

Let us read a novel.

Let them go there.

Let us do whatever we like.

Note: If an Imperative sentence begins with the ‘Let’ verb then the subject word is placed after the ‘Let’ verb and the main verb is placed after the subject word.

5. Emphatic ‘do’ is used in Imperative Sentence to refer to more serious requests, as:

Do give him some more lemon juice.

Classification of Sentence According to Purpose 


Mind the following expressions:

May God bless us all.

May you be happy.

May your soul rest in peace.

God bless them all.

Long live the king.

The above sentences express wish, bless, or pray. These are Optative Sentences. An Optative Sentence takes full stop (.) at the end.

An Optative Sentence is a sentence with which the speaker’s wish, bliss, or prayer is expressed.

Note: Though an Optative Sentence generally begins with ‘May’ yet some Optative sentences may be formed without using ‘may’ as in sentences no.4 and 5.

Classification of Sentence According to Purpose


Mind the following sentences:

What beautiful scenery this is! (wonder)

What a fool he is! (pity)

Alas, our leader is dead! (sorrow)

How poor they are! (sympathy)

Each of the above sentences expresses wonder (in sentence no.1), pity (in sentence no.2), sorrow (in sentence no.3), and sympathy (in sentence no.4). These are Exclamatory sentences.

An Exclamatory Sentence is a sentence with which some sudden or strong feelings like wonder, pity, sympathy, or sorrow of the speaker is expressed.

Note (i): An exclamatory sentence is generally introduced with what and how. It may also be begun with alas, oh etc. 

Note (ii): An exclamatory sentence takes Exclamatory Mark(!) at the end. 

Classification of Sentence According to Purpose


1. How many classes are the English words divided into according to their meaning?  

2. Classify the following sentences according to their meanings:

May God help the poor children. 

Deepika is an Assamese girl. 

Who are you? 

Kanak is our classmate. 

Hurrah! we have become victorious. 

Sushmita dances well. 

Come here without delay. 

I am a student of Class X. 

May Oliver pass the examination. 

What a joy! 

Make hay while the Sun shines.

Kamal is our cousin. 

Can you tell me the story? 

We visited Ireland last year. 

They are playing badminton. 

Did you attend the seminar? 

Ram, have a glass of tea. 

It is getting dark soon. 

Henry Ford was a big industrialist. 

Have you ever seen the Red Fort? 

The Qutub Minar is in Old Delhi. 

How fool she is! 

Mother Teresa was a great humanitarian woman. 

Never deviate from the straight path.  

My child, do your duty regularly.

Harsha was a great businessman. 

Never be late in work. 

How noble my brother is!

3. Make five Assertive Sentences of your own.

4. Make five Optative sentences of your own.

5. Turn the following sentences into Interrogative sentences:

(i) Kalyani was a school teacher.

(ii) Purnima is my aunt.

(iii) He will come soon.

(iv) Albert and his friend are on the way to Dubai.

(v) They are swimming in the river.

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N.B.  The article ‘Classification of Sentence According to Purpose’ originally belongs to the book ‘School English Grammar Part- I‘ by Menonim Menonimus.

Books of Composition by M. Menonimus:

  1. Advertisement Writing
  2. Amplification Writing
  3. Note Making
  4. Paragraph Writing
  5. Notice Writing
  6. Passage Comprehension
  7. The Art of Poster Writing
  8. The Art of Letter Writing
  9. Report Writing
  10. Story Writing
  11. Substance Writing
  12. School Essays Part-I
  13. School Essays Part-II
  14. School English Grammar Part-I
  15. School English Grammar Part-II..

Books of S. Story by M. Menonimus:

  1. The Fugitive Father and Other Stories
  2. The Prostitute and Other Stories
  3. Neha’s Confession

Books of Biography by M. Menonimus:

  1. The World Writers-Brief Biographies
  2. Introduction to World Writers
  3. Introduction to World Personalities
  4. Love of Reputed Persons ..

Books on Linguistics by M. Menonimus:

  1. A Brief History of the English Language
  2. Essays on Linguistics
  3. My Imageries
  4. Felicitous Expression: Some Examples
  5. Learners’ English Dictionary

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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