Tag Archives: declarative sentences

English 362: More from Chapter 4: Ellipsis

In addition to the sentence types we are learning about, Chapter 4 introduces the term ellipsis.

Ellipsis: refers to the omission of a word or words that can be supplied.

Although ellipsis rarely occurs in simple declarative sentences, they are much more likely to appear in more complex sentences.

Example 1–

  • The ninja latched his grappling hook onto the window sill, hauled himself up, and entered the Hokage’s private office.

There are three verbs in this sentence (latched, hauled, and entered) assigned to only one subject (The ninja). Intuitively, we know that the all the verbs are predicating “the ninja”, and it is not necessary to include “the ninja” before each verb. That omission is an example of an ellipsis.

Example 2–

  • Merry and Pippin stole, unwrapped, and launched the fireworks.

Here “Merry and Pippin” and “the fireworks”  undergo ellipsis. There is no need to say “Merry and Pippin stole the fireworks, Merry and Pippen unwrapped the fireworks, and Merry and Pippin launched the fireworks.”

Ellipsis in Imperatives

The understood subject or addressee of imperative sentences can also be seen as an instance of ellipsis.


  • Give me my precious!

instead of….

  • (You) give me my precious!

-The understood subject of “you” is the instance of ellipsis


English 362: Types of Sentences

Most of the sentences you will be dealing with in English 362 are declarative sentences (and why the function on your diagrams for the whole sentence is simply “Declaration”). However, it is important to distinguish the other types of sentences too!

Declarative Statements

  • Clear subject and predicate
  • Make assertions about everyday affairs
  • Do not:
    • Ask questions
    • Give commands
    • Express desires
  • Example: It is windy today.



  • Has “understood subject,” so subject is not clearly visible
    • Example: Stop running!
  • The word “you” may be to show emphasis, more of an addressee than a subject
    • Example: You stop running!
  • Often will have an exclamation point
  • Prohibitions:
    • Negative of imperative
    • Example: Don’t burn that!



  • Asks a question
  • Two types
    • Closed Interrogatives: a question that can be answered with yes or no
      • Has inversion, where the subject swaps place with a part of the predicate, often an auxiliary verb
      • Example: Can you write that? vs. You can write that
    • Open Interrogatives: a question that cannot be answered with yes or no
      • Centers around words like who, what, where, when, why, and how at the beginning of the sentence
      • Example: Where are you going?


Sentence Fragments

  • Is missing a part of sentence structure
  • Is not an imperative or other type of sentence
  • Example: About eight.


Exclamative and Precative Sentences

  • Exclamative
    • Dramatic expression of surprise or desire
    • Example: What luck!
  • Precative
    • Similar to exclamative, but has ceremonial, proverbial, or ritual contexts
    • Example: Lord help me!


  • Begin with “Let’s” or “Let us”
  • Example: Let’s go!