The key difference between imperative and interrogative sentences is that the imperative sentences indicate a command or a request while the interrogative sentences ask a question.
There are four main types of sentences such as declarative, imperative, interrogative and exclamatory. These categories are based on the functions carried out by sentences. Hence, declarative sentences state a fact or opinion; imperative sentences give commands or make requests; interrogative sentences ask questions; exclamatory sentences indicate exclamation.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are Imperative Sentences
3. What are Interrogative Sentences
4. Side by Side Comparison – Imperative vs Interrogative Sentences in Tabular Form
What are Imperative Sentences?
Imperative sentences are sentences that give commands and orders or make requests. In other words, they help us to tell someone to do something. Therefore, an imperative sentence can be a forceful command, friendly advice or a basic instruction. For example,
Leave me alone!
Please open this door.
Turn left from the junction.
Stop looking at me!
Let’s invite Adam to the party!
Cut the vegetables into fine pieces.
Don’t trust anyone.
Imperative sentences can end in either exclamation marks or full stops, as evident from the above example sentences. In fact, their punctuation depends on the forcefulness of the command or request. Thus, imperative sentences that end with exclamation marks generally indicate forceful demands.
Figure 01: Imperative Sentences
The main feature of imperative sentences is their lack of a grammatical subject. However, the command or request of each of these sentences is supposed to be at you, the second person pronoun.
What are Interrogative Sentences?
Interrogative sentences are the sentences that indicate a question. When someone uses an interrogative sentence, he or she expects an answer. Interrogative sentences usually start with a question word (how, why, what, when, etc.) or an inverted subject-verb structure (e.g. do you want….). Moreover, they generally end with a question mark.
Whose book are you marking?
Would you like to have a cup of coffee?
Did you visit your grandmother last month?
When did you return home?
How are you doing?
Didn’t you miss me a lot?
Whom did you talk to?
As evident from the above example, some interrogative sentences start with interrogatives or -WH words. These can act as determiners, adverbs, or pronouns.
What is the Difference Between Imperative and Interrogative Sentences?
Imperative sentences are sentences that give commands and orders or make requests whereas interrogative sentences are the sentences that ask a question. Thus, the key difference between imperative and interrogative sentences is their function. Moreover, there is a difference between imperative and interrogative sentences based on how they end. The imperative sentences can end in either full stop or exclamatory mark, depending on the forcefulness of the sentence whereas the interrogative sentences always end in question marks. Furthermore, imperative sentences always have the same subject, i.e., you, whereas interrogative sentences can have various subjects. Hence, this is also an important difference between imperative and interrogative sentences.
Summary – Imperative vs Interrogative Sentences
Imperative sentences and interrogative sentences are two of the four main types of sentences in English. The key difference between imperative and interrogative sentences is that the imperative sentences indicate a command or a request while the interrogative sentences ask a question.
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