Definition of Explanatory Sentences, Functions and Their Proper Use

Definition of Explanatory Sentences –  When we write an essay, term paper, article, or even a thesis we definitely need to use the correct sentence usage rules because the writing we are making is a type of scientific writing that must conform to good and correct grammatical procedures. However, we often find that in some cases there are still people who do not understand the use of grammar in words and sentences that are messy and not in accordance with their usage.

In this case, the context of the explanatory sentence plays an important role in explaining the main idea of ​​a paragraph and of course the language used must also be scientific and not verbose in explaining the main ideas of our writing.

Therefore, here we will try to discuss the topic of the meaning of explanatory sentences and how to use them properly. Next, we will explain the following.

Definition of Explanatory Sentences

The definition of an explanatory sentence is one part of a paragraph. You can find examples of explanatory sentences in a variety of text types, such as articles, news, information, and reviews. In a paragraph, the explanatory sentence has a description of the main sentence. In addition, there are several characteristics of explanatory sentences that complement the main sentence of the section.

The definition of an explanatory sentence is a sentence that explains the main idea of ​​the main sentence. To make a good paragraph, the main sentence is used to describe the main idea or general idea. The main idea is then described or further elaborated with explanatory sentences.

With an explanatory sentence, it will be easier for the reader to understand the main idea of ​​a sentence described by the author in his writing.

In Indonesian, the meaning of an explanatory sentence is a description of a sentence that will explain or detail the contents of the main sentence of that section. Explanatory sentences are often more specific, as they must describe in detail the issue under consideration. Therefore, the main sentence has an important position and function in the paragraph. Explanatory sentences will be a way to explain the importance of the idea framed in the main sentence.

The position of the main sentence is uncertain. You can put the main sentence at the beginning of the paragraph, followed by an explanatory sentence. This position is called segment inference. The main sentence can also be placed at the end of the paragraph. The explanatory sentence will be placed at the beginning of the paragraph, then ends with the main sentence. This method is called inductive passage. However, key phrases and supporting phrases can be mixed. The structure is as follows: the beginning of the paragraph contains the main sentence, the middle contains the explanatory sentence, the end of the paragraph contains the main sentence. This form is called a mixed paragraph.

Explanatory Sentence Function

As is well known, the main function of an explanatory sentence is for the reader to understand the author’s meaning. But beyond that, explanatory sentences also have another function to explain more information, making the part more coherent and meaningful. In this way, the reader will have a better understanding of the entire content of the information that the writer is trying to provide.

Here we will try to display the function of the explanatory sentence in more detail:

1. To explain the main sentence

If in a piece of writing such as a scientific article, the writer tries to pour out the main idea in a nutshell, let’s take an example for example the writer tries to describe the meaning of what is literature? Well, this is where the function of the explanatory sentence comes in to explain in more detail what literature is.

If in the main sentence the author explains that literature is an art in speaking. So the explanatory sentence will explain it further by explaining that literature is not just an art in speaking but also a reflection on life that literature is a reflection of life itself about social symptoms, a person’s behavior, or explaining that literature itself has aesthetic value because life is itself has beauty and the role of literature is to reflect back the picture of the beautiful life through a writing.

2. Display supporting information

In a previous main sentence it was explained about the writer who wrote a definition of what is literature? And it is explained that literature is the art of speaking. Here the function of the next explanatory sentence is not only to explain in more detail but to provide additional information that supports the discussion about what is literature?

Well, the function of the next explanatory sentence will provide additional important information about literature, that literature is not only related to the study of language, but further literature can also discuss other things comprehensively because literature itself can include other scientific fields that can be elaborated with literature itself .

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For example, literature can combine its study with the study of psychology, philosophy, history, sociology, and even in a broader context concerning the existence of the astral world which the public considers a taboo matter but literature can combine the study of that with the study of magical realism literature.

3. So that the paragraph is more cohesive and full

If in the main sentence the writer only explains his ideas briefly and concisely in the explanatory sentence the writer will try to give a weight or explanation that is easier for the readers to understand.

For example, in the main sentence, the author writes a scientific article that tries to explain what literature is about? So the function of the explanatory sentence here will try to explain the definition of the literature with a coherent sentence that is easy for the reader to understand.

The function of the explanatory sentence here is also to strengthen the writer’s argument regarding his explanation of literature through references found by the writer to write the scientific article so that it is more weighty and useful for the reader.

Characteristics of Explanatory Sentences

Explanatory sentences in a paragraph can be identified as follows:

  • Descriptive sentences are specific.
  • The explanatory sentence is related to the previous one.
  • Usually contains linking words or conjunctions between sentences.
  • It cannot stand alone because its meaning will be blurred if it is separated from other sentences.
  • Explanatory sentences usually take the form of data, facts, examples, opinions, etc.

Examples of Explanatory Sentences

To better understand the meaning of explanatory sentences, here are examples of sentences, namely:

1. Identify uncoordinated explanatory sentences

  • The case of cctv camera vandalism during a riot by the police in Indonesia, was not explained in detail from which institution to protect the honor of certain institutions, due to weak law enforcement in Indonesia which causes the law to be blunt on the top but sharp on the bottom.
  • In fact, some very bad cases for the so-called criminals sometimes escape the law.
  • The police chief said, ideally, the problem of cctv vandalism by this person should be dealt with by law enforcement agencies as fairly as possible.
  • However, this is not possible because there is an attempt to cover it up by legal institutions that have authority and personnel.
  • Therefore, law enforcement in various fields must be done in a clean, transparent, and professional manner.


Paragraphs are basically a series of sentences combined into one topic. In a paragraph there are main ideas and secondary or explanatory ideas. The main idea forms the basis of a paragraph and is often stated in the main sentence.

While supporting ideas are ideas that are used to clarify the main idea and are often divided into several explanatory sentences. Between the main sentence and the explanatory sentence there must be a relationship and arrangement so that there is a unified arrangement so that the part has a unified theme and is not discordant.

Coherent sentences are sentences that do not support the main inspiration or deviate from the topic of conversation. The subject of the paragraph above is “Law enforcement for bad apparatus”, so that the inconsistent sentence is the fifth sentence, namely “Therefore law enforcement in various fields must be carried out in a clean, transparent and professional manner”.

If you pay attention, sentence five relates to law enforcement issues, but does not specifically address law enforcement issues in the field of law enforcement officers themselves. This expression is usually appropriate when the topic is about law enforcement in any field. Also, sentences tend to just be an opinion and do not conclude what was discussed in the previous sentence.

2. Explanatory sentences that match the topic

Subject: Castes in Bali


  1. Indonesia has various islands scattered throughout the territory of the unitary state of the republic of Indonesia.
  2. In the teachings of Hinduism in Bali, there is a system known as caste
  3. These castes are: Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras
  4. Of the four castes, according to the caste system, the highest is Brahmin
  5. Indonesia also has cultural diversity


Explanatory sentences are sentences that contain explanatory ideas, especially opinions that support or clarify an opinion. The main idea is usually contained in the topic. The topic used is the castes in Bali, so what is discussed is about the caste system adopted by local Balinese people who especially adhere to Hinduism.

Of the five explanatory sentences given, the ones that are most appropriate to the topic and help clarify the main idea are sentences (2), (3) and (4) because these three sentences explain the caste system that exists in Bali, especially those who adhere to Hinduism. . While sentences (1) and (5) are not related to the topic, so they are not perfect enough to be used as explanatory sentences. If used in a paragraph, the two sentences will not go hand in hand.

3. Identify descriptive sentences as explanations

Pay attention to the topic and use of the following explanatory sentences!

Subject: Mountain in Central Java

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  1. Mountains in Central Java are often climbed by nature connoisseurs because of its beautiful location.
  2. The mountains in Central Java are usually located close to local residents’ houses
  3. On Mount in Central Java, there are two accommodation zones and complete trail markings to make it easier for climbers.
  4. Mountains in Central Java are more frequently visited by local tourists.


Because the topic is Mountains in Central Java, the main idea is about Mountains in Central Java. Ideas can be related to the location, condition or atmosphere of a mountain in Central Java in general. The idea can then be clarified with explanatory ideas in the form of more specific or detailed explanatory sentences related to the main idea.

The four explanatory sentences written above are related to the chosen topic so they are very suitable for use as explanations. It’s just that you have to arrange these sentences so that they become descriptive sentences, namely sentences that describe something as clearly as possible so that the reader seems to have personally experienced the event you are describing.

Therefore, the order of sentences must be considered so that the information communicated becomes orderly and can be understood realistically. If you look at the flow and connection of one sentence to another, then the most appropriate order to describe the Mountain in Central Java is (2), (1), (3) and (4)

The description begins by explaining the location, facilities, then the atmosphere or conditions. Sentence (1) is a continuation of sentence (2), to clarify the location of the Mountain in Central Java. While the sentence () strengthens sentence (3), this actually explains that the mountain in Central Java is visited by climbers because they already have accommodation.

4. Misinterpreted explanatory sentences

Read the following text carefully!

  1. Jungle tourist attractions in Bogor provide lots of water play and outbound rides so that visitors can easily enjoy the holiday atmosphere with their family.
  2. Visitors both coming from within and outside the country can enjoy a wide selection of water rides such as waves, water slides, and various other options that are no less interesting.
  3. Along the tourist attractions, you can see visitors who come with their families enjoying the rides.
  4. At a cost of IDR 150,000/person, tourists can enjoy all the rides available at Jungle for a full day.
  5. The security guard helped explain the situation at the Jungle Tourist Spot


As has been analyzed in the previous lesson, an explanatory sentence is a sentence that contains an explanatory idea and has the function of clarifying, strengthening the main sentence, or expanding the topic of conversation. According to its function, the explanatory sentence must be in accordance with the topic and explain the main idea of ​​the sentence (1).

The above paragraph talks about the different types of amusement rides that are offered in Jungle tourist destinations. So the discussion is about rides, what types of rides are there, who can use them and what rides are offered. Explanatory ideas are found in sentences (2), (3) and (4). Meanwhile, sentence (5) is irrelevant to the main idea because it describes the situation at the Jungle tourist spot rather than explaining the rides.

5. Identification of Broken Sentences

Read the following carefully!

  1. As Indonesians, we must be proud of the existing culture and must be proud to be part of the culture itself.
  2. In dramas shown on television, certain cultural elements are not represented properly.
  3. We can find out about these various cultures through the tribes in Indonesia and through cultural books
  4. Wearing traditional clothes can also be an example that we love Indonesia.
  5. Also, to add a sense of love for the motherland and pride in local products.


Confusing sentences are sentences that are not in line with other sentences so that they seem abstract and deviate from the topic of conversation. All of the paragraphs above refer to the element of diversity by loving the nation’s culture through its traditional clothing. Of course, the word diversity refers to the many tribes and cultures spread throughout Indonesia.

Sentence (1) is the main sentence that contains the main idea of ​​the passage. Sentences (3), (4), and (5) are coherent and precise statements that explain the main idea. Even though sentence (2) talks about culture, the culture in question is different from the actual culture in Indonesia. So, the contradictory sentence in the paragraph above is sentence 2.



That’s a brief discussion of the meaning of explanatory sentences. The discussion this time does not only discuss the definition of explanatory sentences but also discusses the proper use of explanatory sentences, the function of explanatory sentences, and examples of explanatory sentences in paragraphs. Explanatory sentences really help us in the author’s intention in expressing his ideas contained in the main sentence which helps us more easily understand and understand properly the function and use of appropriate explanatory sentences.

Thus a review of the meaning of explanatory sentences. For Reader who want to learn all about the meaning of explanatory sentences and knowledge related to literature and other languages, you can visit to get related articles.