DECLARATIVE AND INTERROGATIVE SENTENCES

EXAMPLES OF DECLARATIVE AND INTERROGATIVE SENTENCES

A sentenceOpens in new window can be classified according to its purpose.

A DECLARATIVE SENTENCE is a sentence that makes a statement. As its name implies, it provides information by declaring something. All statements in English end with a period.

For example:
  • The Statue of Liberty is located in New York.

An INTERROGATIVE SENTENCE is a sentence that asks a question. All questions in English end with a question mark.

For example:
  • Where is the Statue of Liberty located?

In English, INTERROGATIVE SENTENCES can be classified into three types:

  1. yes-or-no questions,
  2. wh- questions, and
  3. tag questions.

YES-OR-NO QUESTIONS

A yes-or-no questionOpens in new window is used when you expect an answer with either a “yes” or “no.”

Question: Did you eat pizza last night?
Answer: Yes, I did.
No, I didn’t.

In English a declarative sentence can be changed to a yes-no question in one of two ways:

DECLARATIVEYES-OR-NO QUESTION
Liam is home.Is Liam home?
NOTE: Liam → subject. Is → verb
DECLARATIVEYES-OR-NO QUESTION
They hike together. Do they hike together?
Liam likes soccer. Does Liam like soccer?
Xochitl went to India.Did Xochitl go to India?

WH-QUESTIONS

The second group of questions are questions formed with an interrogative word (who, whom, whose, what, which, when, where, why, how). Wh-questions are treated hereOpens in new window in more depth.

TAG QUESTIONS

A declarative sentence can be changed to a question by adding a short phrase, sometimes called a Tag, at the end of the statement. As with yes-or-no questions, you expect a “yes” or “no” answer.

Question:You ate pizza last night, didn’t you?
Answer: Yes, I did.
No, I didn’t.

In English a different tag is used depending on whether the declarative sentence is affirmative or negative.

  • Liam plays soccer, doesn’t he?
  • Maxwell and Angelina are Americans, aren’t they?

In these sentences, plays and are affirmative. doesn’t he? and aren’t they? are negative.

  • This isn’t an Indian song, is it?
  • Angelina didn’t go to New York, did she?

Here, the words isn’t and didn’t go are negative. And the words is it? and did she? are affirmative.