What is a Declarative Sentence?

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Declarative sentences make statements.

The 12th Man Crew is the loudest crowd in the National Football League.

Visit Seattle on a sunny day and you’ll want to move here.

Coffee is an essential part of every morning.

The three sentences above are declarative sentences. They are sentences that make statements. They present facts.

Do the facts have to be true for the sentence to be declarative? No. (Though they are in this case. Clearly.)

For the sentence to be declarative it simply has to describe something. 

Why are we talking about declarative sentences? Because of the four most common types of sentences – declarative, imperative, exclamatory, and interrogative – the declarative is the one you’ll use most frequently.

The declarative sentence is essential. You use it for everything from client thank you notes and colleague requests to bid letters and press releases. These sentences set the scene. They give background.

In short – they are the foundation for asking a question or making a request.

 

Can a declarative sentence convey an emotion?

Yes. The tone of a sentence is created through word choice and sentence structure. This tone can convey an emotion. However, excitement is typically associated with an exclamatory sentence and is ended with an explanation point.

 

How long should a declarative sentence be?

It depends. Short sentences are more reader friendly. However, a long sentence can help you hook your reader. Stringing together several facts can give your point more validity, create a pleasing cadence, and develop a scene.

 

Writing Exercise

Write five sentences about the room in which you are currently sitting. Each sentence should be no longer than 15 words. The five sentences should describe:

  1. A piece of furniture you see
  2. Something you smell
  3. A texture that is within reach
  4. The number of people in the room
  5. What’s on your feet

Examples:

  1. There’s a wooden chair to my left.
  2. When Garrett opens the pizza box I can smell pepperoni.
  3. The wicker placemats on the kitchen table are brown.
  4. Garrett and I are watching the Seahawks game.
  5. I am wearing green and blue socks.

I could have said, “At the large table where I am sitting, there is a wooden chair to my left that’s pushed in.” This sentence is a bit wordy. I could have said, “There is a chair.” This sentence is clear, but a little dry.

By telling you the chair is wooden and that it’s to my left, I’m able to give you a little bit of the scene without overwhelming you.

 

Want me to take a look at your declarative sentences? Share them with me on my Facebook page.