- 1 What is a declarative sentence?
- 2 Uses of Declarative sentences
- 3 Positive (Affirmative statement) and Negative statements
What is a declarative sentence?
The declarative sentence is one of the four sentence functions being used in English language. These are simply statements that give information. This is the most common sentence type .We can say that it is omnipresent.
A declarative sentence is also called a statement because it makes statements about the present, past and future of a case. A declarative sentence has one more name too, namely, Assertive sentence.
- I am reading a book. (Simple sentence)
- When I went to my friend’s house, I found him sleeping. (Complex sentence)
- Mary wanted to play tennis, but her friend wanted to play chess. (Compound sentence)
- The little girl was crying because she lost her pen; but she laughed when she got it back. (Compound-complex sentence)
A simple declarative sentence consists of a subject and a predicate. The pattern of such sentence is one of the following seven patterns according to the situation:
Form/clause patterns in statements.
The English language has seven basic clause/ sentence patterns.
- Jack/went. (SV)*
- Jack/ likes /mangoes. (SVO)
- Jack/ is /smart. (SVC)
- Jack /gave /Jill/ a mango. (SVOO)
- Jack /made/ Jill/ happy. (SVOC)
- Jack/ went/ up. (SVA)
- Jack/ put/ the pail/ down. (SVOA)
*S — subject V — verb O — object C — complement A — adverbial
A declarative can be formed in any tense as long as it is a statement.
- I go to gym every day.
- I am going to the gym now.
- I have worked in the gym in the town.
- I have been going to the gym since 2018.
- I went to the gym yesterday.
- I was going to the gym when your brother met me yesterday.
- I had completed the work out when I went to the canteen.
- I had been going to another gym for six months when you asked me to join this gym.
- I will go to the gym in the town tomorrow.
- I will be going to the gym in the town at this time tomorrow.
- I will have completed my work in the gym in the town by this time tomorrow.
- I will have been going to the gym for 2years by March 2020.
Uses of Declarative sentences
The basic use of a declarative sentence is to give information. In addition to this, this type of sentence has several other uses. It can be used for expressing approval, thanking, asking for information and even for giving order.
- You have done the work correctly. ( Expressing approval)
- I thank you for the help done by you. ( Expressing gratitude)
- It was bad luck that your son failed in the examination. ( Expressing sympathy)
- I want to know about the methods you are going to adopt to get the new project completed in time. (asking for information)
- I want you to try harder to get the work done in time. (Giving order)
Though giving order is the duty of an imperative sentence, an order can be given through declarative sentence as illustrated above. (See the highlighted sentence above).We can distinguish such assertive sentence from an imperative sentence by looking at the subject. In the above sentence, the subject is “I”. In the imperative sentence the subject is always an understood “you”. If the order is to be given in Imperative sentence, it will be as given below.
“Try harder and get the work done in time.”
Similarly, in place of the interrogative sentence, “What are your plans?” we can use the statement, “I want to know about your plans.”
Performative verbs such as accept, admit, advise, agree, apologise, blame, confess, congratulate, declare, demand, deny, disagree, forbid, forgive, guarantee, insist, object, order, predict, promise, propose, protest, recommend, refuse, request, suggest, thank, and warn are used in Declarative sentences to show the action it performs. 2Present simple tense are used for this purpose.
- Promising: It was my fault. I promise you that it will not be repeated again.
- Apologizing: I am sorry I disturbed you. I apologize.
- Predicting: I predict that this time Mary will get first prize.
- Requesting: I request you to spend some more time with me.
Performative verbs are fairly emphatic. In order to make the statements, in which the performative verbs are used, less direct and more polite, we can take the help of model verbs or similar expressions such as, must admit, would advise, would agree, must apologise, must confess, must disagree, can guarantee, have to inform you, must insist, must object, can promise, must protest, would suggest, and must warn.
- Suggesting: I’d suggest that you’d better consult a doctor as soon as possible.
- Informing: I have to inform you that your son has failed in the examination.
- Warning: I must warn you that things are getting much worse.
- Confessing: I must confess that I don’t have much faith in your ideas.
- Objecting: I must object to this plan.
Positive (Affirmative statement) and Negative statements
Both positive statement and negative statements are declarative sentences.
Positive statement is also called affirmative sentences or affirmative statement. An affirmative statement is any sentence or declaration that affirms something to be true.
- A boy walks.
- Jack went up the hill.
- Children are flying kite .
All the above sentences are affirmative sentences.
Negative statements too are Declarative sentences that impart information. They correct a mistaken idea by expressing something is not so.
We are able to form negative sentences with the help of negative words, such as not, none , no, no one, nobody, nothing, neither, nowhere, never, etc and auxiliary verbs.
Auxiliary verbs or helping verbs are verbs that are used to form negative sentences, tenses, moods and voices of other verbs. Most commonly used auxiliary verbs are:
- To be (conjugated forms: am, is, are, was, were)
- To have
- To do
Forming negative sentences using “not” and auxiliary verbs
In the most basic form of negative sentence, we use” not”, after the auxiliary verb. “Not” is often contracted to “n’t “. The negative sentences, using such contraction, are used while talking informally. Here are the contracted forms of the above verbs, when combined with “not”.
To be: isn’t, aren’t, wasn’t, weren’t. “Am” is not contracted.
To have: hasn’t, haven’t, hadn’t.
To do: doesn’t, don’t, didn’t
Examples of negative sentences using “not” and auxiliary verbs:
- I have not read “War And Peace.”(Short form: I haven’t read “War And Peace”.)
- He is not going there as planned. (Short form: He isn’t going there as planned.)
- I did not go by car. . (Short form: I didn’t go by car.)
Negative sentences using negative words other than “not”
Though “not” is the generally used negative word to form negative sentences, as already mentioned before, there are several other words which can be used for the same purpose. Some examples are given below.
- The old man had nowhere to go.(nowhere)
- I have never met such a kind gentleman. ( never )
- There is no change in his attitude towards her. ( no )
- I saw no one in the hall. ( no one )
- There was nothing in the box. ( nothing )
- It is none of my business. ( none )
Emphatic negative sentences
1. Negative sentences can be made emphatic by stressing “not”. In case the contracted form is used, we should stress auxiliary.
- I did not try to please my boss.
- I didn’t try to please my boss.
2. Another method we can use to emphasis negative sentences is by using the phrases like at all, by any means, the least, far from, or words like absolutely, awfully, indeed, ever, etc.
- There was no space at all there to park my car. (The phrase, “at all” is used for emphasizing.)
- This is not a good location for constructing a hospital by any means. (The phrase, “by any means” is used for emphasizing.)
- I have done absolutely nothing to earn his wrath. (The word, “absolutely” is used for emphasizing.)
3. By using adverbials with negative meaning (such as, at no time, under no circumstances, no way, never in my life, etc)
- Under no circumstances will I agree to your proposal.
- Never in my life have I seen such temper tantrums.
- At no time did he take the law in his hands.
It may be noted that the phrases (written in bold) are placed in the front position and there is inversion of subject and the auxiliary verb.