Clause types


In German, there are five clause types:


declarative clauses Patrick besucht uns morgen.
interrogative clauses Besucht uns Patrick morgen?
imperative clauses Besuch uns morgen!
optative clauses Wenn uns Patrick doch morgen besuchen würde!
exclamative clauses Ah, Patrick besucht uns morgen!


Clauses can be classified in terms of form and meaning. Form deals with syntax, grammar and intonation. Semantics deal with the intention of the speaker to convey a certain meaning. For example, if someone wants to express affirmation, a declarative clause is formed; if someone wants to express an order, an imperative clause is formed.



However, one must point out that, in terms of communication, meaning can be expressed with more than one types of clauses. For example, a question can be expressed not only with an interrogative clause but also with a declarative clause.


  clause type Examples
asking a question interrogative clause Wohnst du immer noch in Berlin?
declarative clause Du wohnst immer noch in Berlin?