What is a Declarative Sentence? Definition, Examples, & More

Communicating in English requires the natural exchange of information. The standard method of making a statement or expressing your opinion is to form a declarative sentence. This type of sentence is one of the most common ways of sharing thoughts, opinions, or facts in English writing and speech.

So, what is a declarative sentence? How can you construct one? How do declarative sentences differ from other types of sentences? Finally, what are some declarative sentence examples that you can use in everyday conversations?

We will answer all of these questions and more, but first, let’s look at the definition of a declarative sentence:

Declarative Sentence Definition

A declarative sentence is a form of sentence that makes a statement, states facts, offers opinions, or provides explanations. Oftentimes, when people refer to a “statement,” they are talking about a declarative sentence (though not in every case). For this reason, a declarative sentence cannot be expressed as a question.

4 Types of Sentences in English

There are four basic sentence types in English:

  • Declarative Sentence – A sentence that makes a statement, offers an opinion, declares a fact, or provides an explanation.
    • We need cheese to make sandwiches.
  • Imperative Sentence – A sentence that issues a directive (demand, request, advice, invitation, or instruction).
    • Go to the kitchen and bring me the mustard.
  • Interrogative Sentence – A sentence that asks a question.
    • Do you remember where we put the lettuce?
  • Exclamatory Sentence – A sentence that makes a statement with emotional emphasis (it always ends with an exclamation point).
    • You forgot to buy bread!

Declarative Sentence Examples

As stated above, there are various reasons to use a declarative sentence in English:

  • Make a statement
  • State a fact
  • Offer an opinion
  • Provide an explanation 

It’s important to note that a declarative sentence can be composed of multiple statements, facts, opinions, or explanations. You can also accomplish some or all of these goals by using just one sentence. For example:

Statement Statement
Fact Opinion Explanation
I met a man named Frank, but I didn’t like him; he was kind of rude.

As you can see, you can express a lot of different details with a declarative sentence! Now let’s look at some specific examples based on the intent of each statement:

Make a Statement

A statement is simply an expression of something (an action, event, observation, etc). Here are a few examples:

  • I witnessed a robbery last week.
  • She is eating an orange.
  • The movie theater was completely empty.
  • He wants to compete in the Olympics.

State a Fact

Facts and (truthful) statements are basically the same thing. However, you can usually distinguish between sentences that make truthful statements or observations (like the examples above) and sentences that state objective facts. For example:

  • The Earth rotates around the Sun.
  • February is the second month of the year.
  • Canada shares a border with the United States
  • Humans need food and water to survive.

Offer an Opinion

Declarative sentences make it easy to express your opinions in a direct way. For example:

  • I don’t think people should use smartphones before they sleep.
  • In my opinion, hot dogs are way better than hamburgers.
  • To me, Paris is the most beautiful city in the world.
  • I think you should start saving your money now.

You may be confused about the difference between declarative sentences that offer an opinion and imperative sentences that offer advice. The difference is that imperative sentences specifically tell a person what you (the speaker) think they (the listener) should or should not do. Imperative sentences always start with a verb, whereas declarative opinions often start with terms like “I think” or “in my opinion.” Here are a few examples of imperative sentences that offer advice:

  • Don’t walk home alone at night.
  • Remember to pick up your brother after soccer practice.
  • Do your homework first so that you can go have fun later.
  • Turn the router off and on again to restore the connection.

As you can see, imperative sentences offer advice, but in a way that still issues a type of command. Alternatively, declarative sentences don’t issue commands; they simply express personal opinions.

Provide an Explanation

Finally, you may need to explain why something occurred or why it will occur in the future. For example:

  • We need to hurry if we want to get to the movie theater on time.
  • The radio doesn’t work because it fell on the floor.
  • Plants use sunlight to create food through a process called photosynthesis.
  • The driver veered off the road because he was sleepy.

How to Make a Declarative Sentence

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to form declarative sentences. In fact, you can make them with virtually any kind of sentence structure in English. Here are a few more examples:

Simple Sentence

  • I have arrived.
  • She stepped over the cat.
  • The road is blocked.
  • I like to rest on the weekend.

Compound Sentence

  • The girl was scared of the clown, so she ran away.
  • I don’t like fish, but I do like scallops.
  • The employees wanted to leave, but the boss wouldn’t let them go.
  • Everybody wanted to eat the cake; it looked so delicious.

Complex Sentence

  • When temperatures rise, ice melts.
  • The boy ran while the dogs chased him.
  • I was the only student who failed the test.
  • By the time I got there, everyone had already left.

Compound-Complex Sentence

  • Since there was nowhere to park, I just pulled my car onto the curb, but I hope that no one saw me.
  • Even though the professor was mean, the students brought him a present because it was his birthday.
  • I will go to the party later, but first, I’m going to get some of this work done.
  • They felt great when they won the game, but sadly, the victory was short-lived.

Declarative Sentence Exercises

Now that you know what they look like, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test! In the following examples, you will need to identify which answers are declarative sentences. Once you’re finished, we’ll let you know which ones you got right!

  1. Which of the following is a declarative sentence?
  • A. What time is it?
  • B. Go to your room!
  • C. I think you should leave.
  1. Which of the following is a declarative sentence?
  • A. Bring me a glass of water, please.
  • B. The stove is really hot.
  • C. Ask the attendant where to find the jewelry store.
  1. Which of the following is a declarative sentence?
  • A. Did you buy tomatoes at the supermarket?
  • B. I like to wash my car every weekend.
  • C. Wow!

So, how did you do? We hope you knocked it out of the park! Before we tell you the correct answers, it’s important to remember that all declarative sentences are statements, but not all statements are declarative sentences. For example, if you make a statement with emotion (exclamatory statement) or a statement that issues a command (imperative statement), these are not declarative sentences. Nonetheless, they are still statements. 

Now let’s check out the right answers:

*ANSWERS:

  • C
  • B
  • B

Conclusion

If you’re trying to form a sentence with a declarative statement, it’s not too difficult. In fact, the sentence you’re reading right now is a declarative sentence. Now that you know what they are and how they function, you can easily use declarative sentences in your own English writing and speech!

We hope you found this guide useful! If you’d like to hear a native English speaker using declarative sentences in everyday conversations, be sure to subscribe to the Magoosh Youtube channel or join our Facebook Group today!

Matthew Jones

Matthew Jones

Matthew Jones is a freelance writer with a B.A. in Film and Philosophy from the University of Georgia. It was during his time in school that he published his first written work. After serving as a casting director in the Atlanta film industry for two years, Matthew acquired TEFL certification and began teaching English abroad. In 2017, Matthew started writing for dozens of different brands across various industries. During this time, Matthew also built an online following through his film blog. If you’d like to learn more about Matthew, you can connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or his personal website!
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