Sentence - Meaning, Definition, Types and Examples

A sentence is a combination of words put together to convey an idea, a fact, a question, a thought, a request or a command. Does that mean that you can assemble words in any order? Will it still be a sentence? No! Learn what a sentence is and how they are formed in this article. Furthermore, go through the components of a sentence, the types of sentences, and the given examples to understand how they are structured.

Table of Contents

What Is a Sentence? – Meaning and Definition

A sentence is an array of multiple words arranged in a particular order. It has to be complete in itself and should convey meaning. It can express a general idea, pose a question or argument, provide a suggestion, make an order or request, and so much more.

The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary defines a sentence as “a set of words expressing a statement, a question or an order, usually containing a subject and a verb”. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a sentence is defined as “a group of words, usually containing a verb, that expresses a thought in the form of a statement, question, instruction, or exclamation”.

Formation of Sentences in English

When constructing sentences, you have to follow a particular word order. They consist of words, phrases and clauses that have to be arranged sequentially in order to make sense. In most cases, the subject with or without the determiner comes first, followed by the verb.

Let us look at the parts and components of a sentence and understand further how sentences are formed.

Parts of a Sentence

The basic division of sentences is in terms of,

  • Subjects – A noun, noun phrase or pronoun that does the action mentioned in the sentence. It mostly occurs at the beginning of the sentence.
  • Predicates – The remaining part of the sentence. It begins with the verb.

Here are a few examples.

Example 1: Daisy teaches English.

Subject – Daisy

Predicate – Teaches English

Example 2: Anitha called me yesterday.

Subject – Anitha

Predicate – Called me yesterday

Example 3: The girl wearing the yellow dress is my new neighbour.

Subject – The girl wearing the yellow dress

Predicate – Is my new neighbour

Components of a Sentence

There are five components that can make up a sentence. They are,

  • Subject – The doer of the action
  • Verb – The action in the sentence
  • Object – The receiver of the action
  • Complement -A word/phrase that modifies the subject or object in the sentence
  • Adjunct – An adverb or an adverb clause that provides us with more information about the verb, complement or another adjunct in the sentence

While most sentences contain a subject and a verb, there are sentences that start with a verb.

Go through the article on sentence structure to learn the different ways in which sentences can be constructed.

Types of Sentences

Sentences can be classified into types based on two aspects – their function and their structure. They are categorised into four types based on their function and into three based on their structure. Assertive/declarative, interrogative, imperative and exclamatory sentences are the four types of sentences. The three types of sentences, according to the latter classification, are simple, complex and compound sentences.

Let us look at each of these in detail.

  • An assertive/declarative sentence is one that states a general fact, a habitual action, or a universal truth.  For example, ‘Today is Wednesday.’
  • An imperative sentence is used to give a command or make a request. Unlike the other three types of sentences, imperative sentences do not always require a subject; they can start with a verb. For example, ‘Turn off the lights and fans when you leave the class.’
  • An interrogative sentence asks a question. For example, ‘Where do you stay?’
  • An exclamatory sentence expresses sudden emotions or feelings. For example, ‘What a wonderful sight!’

Now, let us learn what simple, compound and complex sentences are. This categorisation is made based on the nature of clauses in the sentence.

  • Simple sentences contain just one independent clause. For instance, ‘The dog chased the little wounded bird.’
  • Compound sentences have two independent clauses joined together by a coordinating conjunction. For instance, ‘I like watching Marvel movies, but my friend likes watching DC movies.’
  • Complex sentences have an independent clause and a dependent clause connected by a subordinating conjunction.  For example, ‘Though we were tired, we played another game of football.’
  • Complex-compound sentences have two independent clauses and a dependent clause. For instance, ‘Although we knew it would rain, we did not carry an umbrella, so we got wet.’

Punctuation of Sentences

The punctuation of a sentence depends on the type of sentence. One rule that applies to all sentences is the capitalisation of the first letter of every new sentence. The end of sentences is marked by punctuation marks such as a full stop, a question mark or an exclamation mark. A full stop is used at the end of assertive sentences and imperative sentences. Interrogative sentences end with a question mark, and exclamatory sentences end with an exclamation mark.

While these are the basic punctuation rules, other punctuation marks like commas and semicolons are found between different clauses in compound and complex sentences. When you list something, you will have to separate them with commas. When you want to provide a list, introduce them with a short sentence and a colon to indicate the list.

Go through the article on punctuation and capital letters in English to learn more about punctuation sentences.

Examples of Sentences

  • What are you doing?
  • I am feeling sleepy.
  • This game is interesting.
  • Do not go that way.
  • That really hurt!
  • When is the next train to Hospet?
  • We could not witness the sunset because we reached late.
  • Though we had some discomfort, we enjoyed ourselves.
  • Children generally like playing outdoor games.
  • Scarlet and Nini are best friends.

You can go through simple English sentences for more examples.

Check Your Understanding of Sentences and Their Formation

Unjumble the following sentences to form meaningful sentences. Also, punctuate them appropriately.

1. student/a/heera/grade/fourth/is

2. way/we/which/take/lotus/to/should/the/mahal/reach

3. was/mom/she/us/although/my/keeping/cooked/all/well/of/not/for


5. morning/i/up/chirping/woke/this/of/listening/the/birds/to/the

6. be/and/8/wake/ready/early/before/up

7. novel/the/small/arundhati/things/won/prize/1997/god/in/of/a/roy/the/booker

8. your/when/moms/is/birthday

9. you/are/there/multiple/choose/for/options/from/to

10. play/do/games/you/indoor/any

Check out the answers given below to evaluate if you formed and punctuated the sentences correctly.

1. Heera is a fourth-grade student.

2. Which way should we take to reach the Lotus Mahal?

3. Although my mom was not keeping well, she cooked for all of us.

4. Is there a hospital nearby?

5. I woke up this morning listening to the chirping of the birds.

6. Wake up early and be ready before 8.

7. ‘The God of Small Things’, a novel by Arundhati Roy, won the Booker Prize in 1997.

8. When is your mom’s birthday?

9. There are multiple options for you to choose from.

10. Do you play any indoor games?

Frequently Asked Questions on Sentences in English


What is a sentence?

A sentence is an array of multiple words arranged in a particular order. It has to be complete in itself and should convey meaning. It can express a general idea, pose a question or argument, provide a suggestion, make an order or request, and so much more.


What are the types of sentences?

Assertive/declarative, interrogative, imperative and exclamatory sentences are the four types of sentences based on function. The three types of sentences, according to their structure, are simple, complex and compound sentences.


How are sentences punctuated?

Every new sentence should begin with a capital letter. A full stop, question mark or exclamation mark is used at the end of the sentence based on the type of sentence it is.


Give 5 examples of sentences.

  • Listin is my uncle.
  • Basheer has been working as a teacher for fifteen years.
  • Madhav was sick, so he did not go on the trip.
  • They have been waiting for Ayisha.
  • Sharvat was my student.