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Communication is an exchange of sentences. A sentence is a unit of speech the grammatical structure of which is built according to the laws of the language and which serves as the main way of conveying a thought. A sentence contains a subject and a predicate, followed, if necessary, by other words which make up the meaning.

Sentences can be classified in the following way:

I. according to the purpose of communication

II. according to the syntactic structure


According to the purpose of communication utterance sentences are subdivided into:

1. declarative (statements)

2. interrogative (questions)

3. imperative (commands)

4. exclamatory (exclamations)

1. The declarative sentence states a fact in the affirmative or negative form and is characterized by the direct word order:

(Adverbial Modifier) + (Attribute) + Subject + Predicate + (Attribute) + Object

+ (Adverbial Modifier)


9 The shops close/don’t close at 7 tonight.

2. The interrogative sentence asks a question and is characterized by the indirect word order and/or the use of function words. Their communicative function consists in asking for information:

9 Are you second year students?

9 Where are you going?

Types of Questions

1) In general (yes/no) questionsthe speaker is interested to know whether some event or phenomenon asked about exists or does not exist; accordingly the answer may be positive or negative, thus containing or implying “yes” or “no”.

9 Do the shops close at ِ7 tonight?

9 Can you speak French?

9 Was she taken to the Zoo?

2) Special questionsopen with a question word, the function of which is to get more detailed and exact information about some event or phenomenon known to the speaker and listener. The question words are as follows: what, which, who, whom, whose, where, why, how.

9 Where do you live?

9 Who lives in this room?

9 Whose pen is on the table?

3) Alternative questionsimply a choice between two or more possible answers. Like “yes/no” questions, they open with a verb operator, but the suggestion of choice expressed by the disjunctive conjunction or makes the “yes/no” answer impossible.

9 Do the shops close or open at 7 tonight?

9 Would you prefer tea or coffee?

4) Disjunctive (tail/tag)questions are short “yes/no” questions added to a statement. Such questions require the answer “yes” or “no” and consist of an affirmative statement followed by a negative tail, or a negative statement followed by an affirmative tail.

9 The shops close at 7 tonight, don’t they?

9 The shops don’t close at 7, do they?

3. The imperative sentence expresses a command which shows the desire of the speaker to make someone, generally the listener, perform an action. Besides commands proper, imperative sentences may express a prohibition, request, invitation, warning, persuasion, etc, depending on the situation, context, wording or intonation:

9 Shut the door.

9 Don’t shut the door.

4. The exclamatory sentence (the exclamation) expresses feelings and emotions and often begins with the pronoun what or the adverb how. What refers to a noun, how to an adjective or an adverb. Exclamatory sentences always have direct word order. An exclamation has a falling tone in speaking and an exclamation mark in writing:

9 What a slow train it is! 9 How wonderful!

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