Good sentences make good writers. Sentences are the key elements of English grammar. The clearer the sentences we form, the better we become in speech and writing.
Sentences are simply two or more words joined together expressing our thoughts. However, it doesn’t just end there. That may be the basic form of a sentence, but different types of sentences have different functions.
Just like we have different thoughts to express, there are variant sentences to help us do so. Today, we will focus on one such type of sentence used when one gives a command to someone or something. They are known as imperative sentences. So let us get right into the discussion and have a clear understanding.
What are Imperative sentences?
Imperative sentences are basically the type of sentences used when one tries to command someone else. They issue instructions, requests, or advise others on what to do and what not to do. Since they try to give a command, they are also known as directives. They are like sentences that provide directions on how to proceed or what actions need to be taken.
In simple terms, imperative sentences are sentences that give an order. One tries to order or direct the other person or any audience that they may refer to. These sentences usually lack a subject because imperative sentences directly address them. Therefore, in most cases, the subject is off the line.
Let us look at some examples;
- Pass the book.
- Please, shut the door.
- Clean the table.
- Play with your friends.
- Be good to your teachers.
- Complete your homework.
- Wear the red dress tomorrow.
These are some examples. And as we can see, all the sentences give commands or directions to their respective audience.
Usage of an imperative sentence
Imperative sentences give commands or demand something. Therefore, they always end with a period (.) marks. But sometimes, they can also end with exclamation (!) marks. But do not confuse them with exclamatory sentences or declarative sentences.
In an imperative sentence, there needs to be a verb. And here, the verb is usually used in the beginning. With the verb at the beginning, they command the audience what to do or what action to take. It also helps to identify an imperative sentence easily.
Another important point is that the subject is not usually present in an imperative sentence. It is because an imperative sentence directly refers to the subject. So the subject of the sentence is “you”, which is usually off the line.
- “Turn on the lights.” Subject you not present.
- “Turn off the lights, Harry.” The subject is present. Not common.
Now, imperative sentences can be of two types. One is affirmative imperative sentence and the other negative imperative sentence.
Affirmative imperative sentences are those that provide commands on what to do. They are more in a positive sense.
Read the newspaper.
Negative imperative sentences are those that tell the audience about what not to do. It is conveyed negatively.
Don’t play with the animals.
Imperative sentences are also used with helping words sometimes. And in such cases, they do not start with the verb. For example;
Please, eat your lunch.
So, we learned imperative sentences are those that demand and command. It is important to know them properly and use them when required.