Please let me ask you native or very well-trained Eglish speakers if there’s some patterns, rules, or formulas in regards of an imperative sentence’s structure.

For example, I was reading this article from Towson University on sentence patterns — I came to that site via that one search engine — which lists ten patterns for creating English sentences. Though, none of those sentences are an imperative sentence. After unsuccesfully trying to find ressources on this matter, please let me ask this community for your help.

Probably the most simple pattern for an imperative sentence à la “Eat!” would be: an action verb (here: intransitive I think) followed by an exclamation mark.

Next could maybe be “Eat vegetables!”: transitive action verb followed by noun (plural) and exclamation mark.

But there’s also e.g. “Eat healthy!”: intransitive action verb followed by an adverb and exclamation mark.

This already gives us three possible patterns (speaking of only one or two words per imperative sentence):

1) intransitive action-verb + exclamation mark

2) transitive action-verb + noun (singular or plural in some cases) + exclamation mark

3) intransitive action-verb + adverb

Do you know any ressources where I can find way more patterns for creating grammatically correct imperative sentences?

  • 2
    I don't have a recommendation for resources, but I can offer this advice: you should almost never use exclamation marks and you definitely do not need to use exclamation marks to denote imperative sentences. I have noticed a lot of English language learning materials using exclamation marks to punctuate imperative sentences, but I think they do this simply to differentiate imperative sentences from declarative ones, i.e. to make the difference more obvious to learners. To a native speaker, an exclamation mark suggests an angry or excited tone, like you're yelling at me to EAT MORE VEGETABLES!
    – Juhasz
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 14:17
  • Well, healthy is not an adverb in that sentence. Just because it is paired with a verb is beside the point, because if it were an adverb it would be healthily. It's an adjective functioning as a noun due to the actual noun being modified having been dropped.
    – Robusto
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 15:08
  • @Robusto Healthy is being used as a flat adverb, just as we have drive slow on road signs rather than drive slowly. Eat healthy (with the word used as an adverb) has fallen into common usage despite complaints. See "Why do we say 'eat healthy' instead of 'eat healthily'?". Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 20:45
  • @JasonBassford: The question is open to multiple interpretations, but I think the least likely is your flat-adverb theory.
    – Robusto
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 21:22
  • @Robusto Flat (or bare) adverbs are far from just a theory. They're a well-known grammatical structure that used to be far more prevalent in the past than they are today. Your insistence that adverbs must end in ly is simply wrong. I've already pointed to one ELU post on "eat healthy" specifically Here's an article from another site. Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 21:59


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