AN INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH GRAMMAR & LANGUAGE
(i) The teacher said that we must love our country. There may, however be sentences which are Inter-
(ii) His grandpa said that one must do one’s duty. rogative only in form but are Exclamatory in Character.
Note that, when ‘must’ is used in the sense of Present Such sentences can be converted into Assertive ones.
or Future, then according to the meaning of the sentence, For example,
‘must’ changes into has to / had to/ will have to / would Interrogative : Did I not help you?
have to, etc. Assertive :I did help you.
Example: Interrogative into Asertive
Direct Narration: Jolly said, “I must go to office at once.” Interrogative : Can a leopard change his spots?
Indirect Narration: Jolly said that she had to go to Assertive : A leopard cannot change his spots.
office at once.
Interrogative : Who will not help a man in distress?
Direct Narration: Naren said, “I must discuss the
Assertive : Everybody will help a man in distress,
project with my senior tomorrow.”
Interrogative : Can any man, by taking throught, add a
Indirect Narration: Naren said that he would have to
cubit to his stature?
discuss the project with his senior the next day.
Assertive : No man can, by taking thought, add a
cubit to his stature.
TRANSFORMATION OF SENTENCES Interrogative : Is that the way a gentleman should be-
The English language is so vivid that the same meaning
may often be expressed in many ways. This gives rise to Assertive : That is not the way a gentleman should
the various forms a sentence may take in expressing the behave.
same idea. Interrogative : Shall I ever forget those happy days?
For example, Assertive : I shall never forget those happy days.
(i) Nature say, ‘God is good’ Interrogative : Who would have trusted Socrates or
Coleridge to post a letter?
(ii) Nature exclaims, ‘How good is God!’
Assertive : Everybody would have trusted Socrates
(iii) Nature proclaims the goodness of God. or Coleridge to post a letter.
(iv) The goodness of God is proclaimed by nature. Assertive into Interrogative
(v) Nature never ceases to proclaim the goodness of Assertive : Now here in the world will you find a
God. mountain peak higher than Everest.
(vi) That God is good is proclaimed by nature Interrogative : Where in the world will you find a moun-
(vii) We find the goodness of God in nature tain peak higher than Everest?
(viii) The goodness of God is quite large on the face of Assertive : Nobody else could have done it.
nature Interrogative : Who else could have done it?
(ix) Nature teaches us that God is good Assertive : He saw someone in the house?
(x) Nature teaches us the goodness of God Interrogative : Did he see anyone in the house?
Thus, to transform or convert a sentence is to rewrite Assertive : Surely you will join us.
it to change its form without any change of meaning. Interrogative : Am I not sure that you will join us?
Sentences may be of various forms. Assertive : There is nothing wrong with me.
(a) Statement or Assertive (affirmative or negative); Interrogative : Is there anything wrong with me?
Question or Interrogative; Desires or Imperative Assertive : There is nothing better than a pious life.
and Optative and Exclamatory santences Interrogative : Is there anything better than a ious life.
(b) Active and Passive Assertive : I am not the man to submit.
(e) Simple, C omplex, Double and Multiple Interrogative : Am I the man to submit?
(Compound) Exclamations and Statements
(d) Direct and Indirect (Narration) An Exclamatory Sentence can be converted into an
Statement: Questions: Exclamations Assertive sentence, but all Assertive sentences cannot be
Interchange of form is not possibe in all cases. An turned into Exclamatory sentences.
Assertive sentence or Statement (e.g. Sin leads to ruin) Exclamatory : Was any man ever immortal!
cannot be turned into an Imperative or optative one. Assertive : No man was ever immortal.
A Statement or Assertive sentence can be changed Exclamatory : What a piece of work is man!
into a Question or an Interrogative sentence. Assertive : Man is a wonderful piece of work.
Assertive : Everybody knows that the earth is round. Exclamatory : What an unhappy life he leads!
Interrogative : Who does not know that the earth is Assertive : He leads a most unhappy life.
round? Exclamatory : Oh! how desirous I am to meet you once
But an Interrogative sentence which merely asks for more!
information cannot be changed into an Assertive one : why Assertive : I am very desirous to meet you once
did you go there? more.