The Declarative Sentence Is the Most Common Type…And With Good Reason

Attitude is everythingPossibly the most common sentence type in the English language, the declarative sentence is used when you want to make a statement. Whether it’s a bold statement or a simple fact, the sole purpose of a declarative sentence is to give information.  It always ends with a simple period.  And if you’d like to see an example of a declarative sentence, you don’t need to look any further. Actually, every sentence in this paragraph is a declarative sentence.

You’ll find most of your writing contains the declarative sentence, too.  Practically all of your essays and reports can be made almost entirely of this sentence type.  If the purpose of your work is to give information with statements of facts, or to state an idea, or to argue a point, a declarative sentence will do the job. And let’s face it; that’s exactly what information seekers are looking for.  Just remember the declarative sentence isn’t designed to elicit a response with a command or question.  They simply relay information.

Tip – If you ever have writer’s block, you can jumpstart your writing by simply typing a declarative sentence at the top of your document.  For example, if your report is on marine life, you could get your thought processes going by typing:  “Plankton is the most abundant food source in the ocean.”  Then follow through with what, when, where, and how to flesh out your work.

How to Write a Declarative Sentence

Writing a simple declarative sentence is a matter of following a simple formula:

Subject + Predicate

A declarative sentence always has a subject and a predicate.  The subject can be simple with a noun phrase or it can be a compound subject.  Compound subjects are made of more than one simple subject combined with a conjunction such as and, or, and but.

Here is an example for you.

My coat is red.

Simple Subject – “My coat”

Predicate – “is red”

Katie and I rode our bikes to school.

The word Katie and the word I are two simple subjects joined by the conjunction and to make a compound subject.

A Few More Examples of the Declarative Sentence

  • I have an appointment at 2:00 today.
  • Tomorrow I leave for France.
  • I told him dinner will be served promptly at six.
  • It’s a nice day for a walk along the beach.
  • I think you should wear the blue shirt with the khaki pants.
  • We’re going to the movies later this evening.
  • After the snow storm, the air smelled fresh and clean.

The Compound Declarative Sentence

A compound declarative sentence helps vary sentence length within your writing, thereby making it more interesting to read.  You can write a compound sentence in a variety of ways.  Here are a few formulas to keep in mind.

1.  A comma and conjunction joins the sentences.

The band played for hours, and the audience went wild.

John had to catch the next flight to Boston, so he packed as quickly as he could.

2.  A semicolon joins the two sentences.

The band played for hours; the audience went wild.

John had to catch the next flight to Boston; he packed as quickly as he could.

3.  A semicolon plus a transition word.

Transition words are actually conjunctions that are adverbs. Not sure about transition words? No problem.  Examples of transition words are below:

  • However
  • In fact
  • Nonetheless
  • Besides
  • Instead
  • Moreover
  • Therefore
  • On the other hand
  • Nevertheless

And many more…

The house had a new roof and exterior paint; however the pipes were old.

Mary’s essay was phenomenal; in fact, it won the Young Author’s contest.

Jim worked hard everyday; therefore, he expected a raise at the end of the year.

As long as people want or need information, the declarative sentence will be there to serve the purpose.  When you think about it, it would extremely difficult to write anything at all without some type of declarative sentence.

Remember the declarative sentence comes in all forms: simple, compound and complex.  They can make a point quickly or they can include direct objects, prepositions, indirect objects, and objects of prepositions. Whatever the structure, the purpose remains the same – to deliver a statement or fact.

The point is don’t let the sentence length confuse you.  As long as it states something and doesn’t ask a question, make a command or an exclamation, it’s a declarative sentence.

You enhance your writing when you use a variety of sentence lengths and structures, which should always be your goal.  Writing and reading, especially, should never be a boring task! (That’s an exclamatory sentence.)

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