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Possible Duplicate:
Shortest complete sentence in English

I seem to remember (back in the day) being taught sentences must have an object and an action and that the shortest possible was something like "do it.".

Can someone please formalise this and explain whether simply "no." is valid?

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marked as duplicate by Matt E. Эллен, FumbleFingers, simchona, kiamlaluno, Mitch Mar 13 '12 at 21:26

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Related: Shortest complete sentence in English. – RegDwigнt Mar 11 '12 at 11:24
Also, have you checked the definition on Wikipedia? – RegDwigнt Mar 11 '12 at 11:30
up vote 7 down vote accepted


Single-word sentences are fine, because subjects and predicates can be implied.

If we were driving in a car, and you kept singing an annoying ad jingle over and over again, I might say, "Stop!"

"Stop!" is a one-word sentence. The subject (you) is implied. It's essentially a shortened version of, "Will you please stop singing that song!"

Contextually, it would be obvious that I was asking you to stop, not the car. It would be obvious that I was asking you to stop singing, not stop breathing. Hence, I don't need to add those words, just to make it a sentence. I simply yell, "Stop!" and you figure out the rest.

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