A sentence is a unit of speech whose grammatical structure conforms to the laws of the language and which serves as the chief means of conveying a thought. A sentence is not only a means of communicating something about reality but also a means of showing the speaker’s attitude to it. The classification of simple sentences is based on two principles:
(A) according to the purpose of the utterance:
1.A declarative sentence states a fact in the affirmative or negative form. In a declarative sentence the subject precedes the predicate. It is generally pronounced with a falling intonation. (I’m going to make him an offer he cant refuse)
2.An interrogative sentence asks a question. It is formed by means of inversion, i. e. by placing the predicate (or part of it) before the subject.
There are four kinds of questions:
(a) General questions requiring the answer yes or no and spoken with a rising intonation. They are formed by placing part of the predicate, i. e. the auxiliary or modal verb before the subject of the sentence.
(Do you like art?)
(b) Special questions beginning with an interrogative word and spoken with a falling intonation. The order of words is the same as in general questions, but the interrogative word precedes the auxiliary verb.
(Where do you live?)
(c) Alternative questions, indicating choice and spoken with a rising intonation in the first part and a falling intonation in the second part.
(Do you live in town or in the country?)
(d) Disjunctive questions requiring the answer yes or no and consisting, of an affirmative statement followed by a negative question, or a negative statement followed by an affirmative question. The first part is spoken with a falling intonation and the second part with a rising intonation.
(You speak English, don’t you?)
3.An imperative sentence serves to induce a person to do something, so it expresses a command, a request, an invitation, etc.Commands are characterized by a falling tone.
(Come to the blackboard!)
4.An exclamatory sentence expresses some kind of emotion or feeling. It often begins with the words what and how, it is always in the declarative form, i. e. no inversion takes place. It is generally spoken with a falling intonation.
(What a lovely day it is!)
According to their structure simple sentences are divided into two-member and one-member sentences.
A two-member sentence has two members — a subject and a predicate. If one of them is missing it can be easily understood from the context. (Fleur had established immediate contact with an architect.)
A two member sentence may be complete or incomplete. It is complete when it has a subject and a predicate.
(Young Jolyon could not help smiling)
It is incomplete when one of the principal parts or both of them are missing, but can be easily understood from the context. Such sentences are called elliptical and are mostly used in colloquial speech and especially in dialogue.
(Best not to see her again. Best to forget all about her)
A one-member sentence is a sentence having only one member which is neither the subject nor the predicate. This does not mean, however, that the other member is missing, for the one member makes the sense complete. One-member sentences are generally used in descriptions and in emotional speech. If the main part of a one-member sentence is expressed by a noun, the sentence is called nominal. The noun may be modified by attributes.
(Dusk — of a summer night.)
Simple sentences, both two-member and one-member, can be unextended and extended. A sentence consisting only of the primary or principal parts is called an unextended sentence.
An extended sentence is a sentence consisting of the subject, the predicate and one or more secondary parts (objects, attributes, or adverbial modifiers).
(She is a student.
The two native women stole furtive glances at Sarie.)