How to Identify Sentences by Function

Practice exercises for the four functional types of sentences

sentence functions

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In terms of their function, sentences can be classified in four ways:

This exercise will give you practice in identifying these four functional types of sentences.

Practice Identifying Sentences by Function

Identify each of the following sentences as declarative, interrogative, imperative, or exclamatory. When you're done, compare your answers with those on page two.

  1. "How beautiful a street is in winter!" (Virginia Woolf)
  2. "Have the skillet hot and keep it well greased." (Ernest Hemingway)
  3. "We boarded our train with feelings of unbounded relief." (James Weldon Johnson)
  4. "Each cell measured about ten feet by ten and was quite bare within except for a plank bed and a pot of drinking water." (George Orwell)
  5. "Where were the blackbirds?" (Richard Jefferies)
  6. "Always obey your parents, when they are present." (Mark Twain)
  7. "The house was so big that there was always a room to hide in, and I had a red pony and a garden where I could wander." (W.B. Yeats)
  8. "Even now, the sight of an old, six-inch, worm-eaten cork brings fragrant memories!" (Samuel H. Scudder)
  9. "Why does a funeral always sharpen one's sense of humor and rouse one's spirits?" (George Bernard Shaw)
  10. "And whom should we see in the evening, but our two little boys, walking on each side of a fierce, yellow-faced, bearded man!" (William Makepeace Thackeray)
  11. "How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company?" (Zora Neale Hurston)
  12. "He was exceedingly poor, wearing only a ragged shirt and trousers." (James Huneker)
  13. "Quietly go in, sit down, look at your man until you have seen him enough, and then go." (H.G. Wells)
  14. "I looked tired, but my complexion was good." (Emma Goldman)
  15. "Not a man in London made a better boot!" (John Galsworthy)

Answers to the Exercise

  1. exclamatory sentence
  2. imperative sentence
  3. declarative sentence
  4. declarative sentence
  5. interrogative sentence
  6. imperative sentence
  7. declarative sentence
  8. exclamatory sentence
  9. interrogative sentence
  10. exclamatory sentence
  11. interrogative sentence
  12. declarative sentence
  13. imperative sentence
  14. declarative sentence
  15. exclamatory sentence
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Your Citation
Nordquist, Richard. "How to Identify Sentences by Function." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, Nordquist, Richard. (2021, February 16). How to Identify Sentences by Function. Retrieved from Nordquist, Richard. "How to Identify Sentences by Function." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 10, 2023).