Section 6: OTHER Clauses

There are two "other" clauses that we need to discuss: interrogatives and imperatives.

As we stated earlier, this is not a syntax textbook, but we do need to point out that both interrogatives and imperatives are created through transformation, whereby declarative sentences, as the deep meaning, have become either a question or a command. While we will give you a very basic primer on interrogative and imperative transformations, we are really only interested in you recognizing interrogatives and imperatives as independent clauses.

Interrogatives are not the same as interrogative clauses, so don't confuse them. Interrogatives are questions. In this respect, there are two types of interrogative questions:

  1. yes/no questions
  2. wh- questions

The yes/no question transformation includes two steps:

  1. In a declarative sentence, if there is no auxiliary verb or BE, insert DO as an auxiliary verb.
  2. Move the first auxiliary verb or BE to the front of the sentence.
  1. Henry is waiting outside.
  2. Is Henry waiting outside?
  1. Cara has a new basketball.
  2. Does Cara have a new basketball?

The wh- question transformation includes four steps:

  1. If the unknown is not the subject and if there is no auxiliary verb or be, insert DO as an auxiliary verb.
  2. Move the first auxiliary verb or the main verb, if there is no auxiliary verb, to the front of the sentence.
  3. Substitute an appropriate interrogative word for the constituent representing unknown information.
  4. Move the interrogative word to the front of the sentence.
  1. Celia played a solo.
  2. played Celia a solo
  3. played who a solo
  4. Who played a solo?

Again, an interrogative is not the same thing as an interrogative clause. The KEY MARKER for an interrogative is the QUESTION MARK at the end of the clause.

Imperative sentences give commands and issue orders. The imperative transformation contains two steps:

  1. Delete the subject you from a declarative sentence that contains no auxiliary verbs.
  2. Delete TENSE from the AUX, leaving the base form of the verb.
  1. You walk faster.
  2. Walk faster!
  1. You give her your ice cream.
  2. Give her your ice cream!

While the key marker for the imperative is the exclamation point at the end of the clause, be careful not to confuse an inadvertent sentence fragment with the stylistic choice made to use an imperative. A sentence fragment is NOT an imperative.

Again, the key is not that you can analyze and describe these transformations, but that you recognize interrogatives and imperatives for what they are as independent clauses.