Identify different types of Sentences – Structural and Functional.

Classification of the sentence

A sentence can be classified in two ways. The first is according to the structure while the second is according to function.


Structural classification of the sentence

There are four basic structures of the sentence. They are,

  • Simple sentence
  • Compound sentence
  • Complex sentence
  • Compound-Complex sentence or multiple sentence

Simple Sentence

A simple sentence contains a single independent clause. It expresses just one main idea. It contains a subject and a predicate, examples:

  • I do not like dogs.
  • Ayo is my best friend.
  • She is my friend.

Compound Sentence

A compound sentence contains two independent clauses that are joined by a coordinating conjunction (e.g., but, or, so, yet, etc.), examples:

  • I do not like dogs and my sister does not like cats.
  • You can write on paper, or you can use your computer.
  • The lecture is very interesting, yet the students complained about the time.

Complex Sentence

This contains an independent clause with one or more dependent clauses, that is, one main idea and two or more supporting ideas joined with subordinating conjunctions (e.g., that, because, while, although, if, etc.), examples:

  • She did her homework while her father cooked dinner.
  • You can write on paper, although a computer is better if you want to correct mistakes.
  • I do not like dogs that bark at me when I pass them.

Compound-Complex or Multiple sentence

This sentence contains two or more independent clauses and one dependent clause, examples:

  • I do not like dogs and my sister does not like cats because they make her sneeze.
  • You can write on paper but using a computer is better as you can easily correct your mistakes.

Functional classification of the sentence

The sentence is also classified according to its function. There are four basic types of the sentence which corresponds with the basic functions. They are discussed below.


Declarative sentence

The declarative sentence makes statements of facts and asserts universal truth, examples:

  • Applicants will be answered in due time.
  • Abuja is the center of Nigeria.
  • The man is the head of the family.

Imperative sentence

The imperative issues command, gives directives and makes mild requests, examples:

  • Shut the door.
  • Move into the school.
  • Leave the house.

Interrogative sentence

The interrogative asks questions. It ends with the question mark, examples:

  • Who wrote my name?
  • Can I have your book?
  • Do you like your job?

Exclamatory sentence

The exclamatory sentence shows strong feelings or emotions, surprise, and excitement. It ends with the exclamation mark, examples:

  • Oh my God!
  • I cannot believe this!
  • What a nice man!