Interrogative Sentences: Definition, Characteristics, Types and Example Sentences

Interrogative sentences are – A sentence is the smallest unit of spoken or written language that expresses a complete thought. In spoken form, sentences are pronounced in a loud ascending and descending pitch, interrupted by pauses, and ending with a final intonation followed by silence which prevents the mixing or assimilation of sounds or other phonological processes.

In written form, Latin sentences begin with a capital letter and end with a period (.), a question mark (?), or an exclamation point (!); At the same time, it also includes various punctuation marks such as commas (, ), colons (:), hyphens (-), and spaces. Periods, question marks, and exclamation points correspond to ending sentiments, while other punctuation marks correspond to pauses. Spaces after periods, question marks, and exclamation points represent silence.

Sinaumed’s friends , If you watch talk shows on television or anywhere else, you will definitely find a scene where the host will gather information from the source by asking several questions.

Without realizing it, the moderator will definitely use interrogative sentences when communicating with speakers or resource persons. This application is based on how the question sentence works to understand it.

In Indonesian there are several types of sentences. When viewed based on the syntactic category, sentences are grouped into four types, namely declarative sentences, imperative sentences, exclamative sentences, and imperative sentences.

From the KBBI V perspective, interrogative sentences are defined as the types of sentences used to express or contain questions. Interrogative sentences are certainly not foreign words in everyday life. Of course this expression is often used by the community, both in written and oral form.

Sinaumed’s friends , on this occasion, we will review what an interrogative sentence is, starting from its definition, characteristics, types and examples. Let’s see the review!

What are Interrogative Sentences?

Interrogative sentences are interrogative sentences whose components consist of 5W + 1H elements (what, when, who, why, where, and how). Generally, interrogative sentences function as asking for answers about something, from a listener (opposite) or reader.

According to the Big Indonesian Dictionary, interrogative sentences mean showing or containing questions. So it can be interpreted that what is meant by interrogative sentences is a type of sentence that states a question, another name for interrogative sentences is interrogative sentences. The purpose of this sentence is to ask for information about something.

Interrogative sentences have different intonation patterns from declarative sentences. According to Ramlan (2005, 28), the intonation pattern of news sentences ends in a low tone, while the intonation pattern of interrogative sentences ends in an ascending tone.

According to Awaludin in his e-book development of Indonesian language syntax textbooks, interrogative sentences are sentences that are presented to elicit responses in the form of answers. The end of a question sentence is a question mark (?).

According to Yunus (2009:133) According to its meaning, interrogative sentences or interrogative sentences are usually used to ask something or someone. If we want to know the answer to something, we ask for it and the sentences used are interrogative sentences.

According to Markhamah (2011: 73), interrogative sentences or interrogative sentences are sentences whose contents ask something or someone to the listener or reader. These sentences are often called interrogative sentences.

Quotations from the book Pragmatics (2005:78) R. Kunjana Rahardi, interrogative sentences are sentences that are formed or uttered with the aim of asking something to the interlocutor. In other words, when the speaker wants to know the answer to something, a situation, the speaker uses interrogative sentences to the interlocutor.

In addition, R. Kunjana Rahardi also stated on page 79 of the same book that answers “yes”, “no”, “already”, “not yet” and “no” are also called general questions. While those that require answers in the form of information are called sub-questions.

Lindawati in a journal entitled Indonesian Interrogative Sentences : A Study of Forms and Functions (2016) states that interrogative sentences can be identified not only from their sentence structure, but also from the speaker’s attitude when asking questions.

Maryanto (2014: 43) In the book Self-Expression Indonesian and Academic Class X SMA/MAK (2014:43) Interrogative sentences mentioned in Maryanto’s work can be further divided into two types, namely interrogative sentences that require “yes” or “no”. , and interrogative sentences that require answers in the form of information.

Interrogative sentences can be said to be sentences whose contents expect a reaction or answer. The reactions or answers varied and could be in the form of acknowledgments, justifications, explanations or opinions from the audience. These sentences are usually marked with question words like ” what”, “who”, “when”, “how” and “how much”.

Characteristics of Interrogative Sentences

  • Interrogative sentences always end with a question mark (?)
  • Interrogative sentences always contain question words or (5W+1H), like what, who, when, where, why, and how
  • In spoken language, interrogative sentences have a rising intonation pattern
  • Interrogative sentences can be used to ask for a “yes” or “no” answer or ask for information about something from the other person or reader
  • The particle kah- which is added to the questioner’s particle means to emphasize the question. For example: Have you taken a shower?
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Types of Interrogative Sentences

According to Chaer (1988:397) there are several types of interrogative sentences, namely:

1. Interrogative Sentences Asking for Recognition: yes – no , or yes – no.

Interrogative sentences asking for a yes-no or yes-no answer can form:

1. Provide question intonation in the clause; In intonation written language, this question tone is replaced or denoted by a question mark.


  • Palestine attacked again by Israel?
  • They cooperate with officials?

Sentence answers to questions like that can be in short form, but can also be in full form. For example, the answer to the question sentence above.

  • Yes or yes, Israel is attacking Palestine again
  • No, they will not cooperate with officials or not.
  1. Place the question word what or whether before the sentence.


  • Did Israel attack Beirut again?
  • Do they work with people?

The answer is the same as above.

Give a question particle to the part or element of the sentence you want to ask. In this case, the interrogative sentence gets the particle kah, which indicates the particle kah is usually placed at the beginning of the sentence.

  • Do they work with officials?
  • Is the bathroom dark?

The answer sentence is also constructed in the same way as the answer sentence of the question sentence above.

2. Interrogative Sentences Asking for Information Regarding One of the Sentence Elements.

Question sentences that require an answer in the form of information about a sentence element are formed from the question words who, what, where, how much and when. Usually accompanied by a question particle. This interrogative sentence is placed in the part of the sentence in question. Usually, the sentence order is changed by placing the question word at the beginning of the sentence.

  1. To ask about someone or several people, the question word is used and is usually placed at the beginning of the sentence. If the question about who is at the beginning of the sentence, it can be given or attached to the particle – kah; but if it is at the end of a sentence, it cannot be completed with the -kah particle.


  • Who’s that guy sitting over there?


– Mr. Mayor or – The person sitting there is Mr. Mayor

  • To whom did you give the letter? Answer:

– For the teacher. or – I give the letter to the teacher

  1. To ask something that is not a person or personification, use the question word what is usually placed at the beginning of a sentence. If the question word is at the beginning of the sentence, it can be given or attached to the -kah particle; but if it is at the end of a sentence, it cannot be completed with the -kah particle.


  • What’s in the cupboard?

Answers: – Books or – The contents of this cupboard are books

  • What is this cake made of?

Answer: Flour and sugar or – Cassava mixed with sweet potato and coconut

  1. Asking where the object is, what question words are used.

When a question word is at the beginning of a sentence, whether or not it can be a particle (but usually isn’t); If at the end of a sentence, can’t it be given a particle?


  • Where’s the book?


– It’s in my pocket… or – I put it back in the library

  • Which child are you?


– That’s the one in the red shirt or – Oh, it’s not here anymore.

  1. If you want to ask about the amount or amount, then you have to use the question word which is usually found at the beginning of the sentence. If you want to get the question particle, you must put the particle after the auxiliary number or object name.


  • How much does it cost?

Rp. 3000.00 or – Not expensive, only IDR 3000.00

  • How tall is the national monument?


– Ten sheets or – I need ten sheets

  1. To ask when, you have to use the question word when or when, which is usually placed at the beginning of the sentence. In this case it can also be accompanied by a particle kah; but if the question word is at the end of the sentence, the particle doesn’t need to be used.


  • When will your brother come?

Answer:- this afternoon. or – my brother I will come in the afternoon

  • When did East Timor join our country?

Answer: – 1976 or – East Timor was annexed by our country in 1976.

If you want to ask when an event started, you should use the question word since when; and to ask for a time limit for holding an event, you must use the question word until when.

3. Interrogative Sentences Asking Reasons

Interrogative sentences asking for answers in the form of reasons are usually formed with the question word why or why is placed at the beginning of the sentence and can also be equipped with question particles. If the question word why or why is at the end of the sentence, the question particle cannot be used.

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Why are you often late?
– because my house is far away. or – because it is difficult to find a vehicle

(43) Why is the child only crying?

– he lives with his mother. or – stomach hurts.

4. Interrogative Sentences Asking for Other People’s Opinions or Thoughts.

Interrogative sentences ask for opinions or thoughts of others. Interrogative sentences that ask for events or opinions are usually formed with question words as in sentences and can also be equipped with interrogative particles. But when the question word appears at the end of a sentence, the question particle should not be used.


  • How do you lift a rock this big? J

– with a pulley machine or pulled together – amai

  • He once tricked us, if now he’s tricking us again, how about that?


– We will report to the authorities or – we must no longer trust him

Functions of Interrogative Sentences

Like other sentences, interrogative sentences (question sentences) have functions and uses in Indonesian. So what are these functions, as follows:

  • First, interrogative sentences are used to ask questions (Ramlan, 2005).
  • Second, interrogative sentences are also used to ask for answers in the form of clarification, information or confirmation.
  • Third, interrogative sentences serve a specific purpose that is not meant to ask for an answer. This goal is called a hidden question. In addition, interrogative sentences in rhetorical interrogative sentences function to ask questions without answers.

4 Differences between Imperative, Declarative and Interrogative Sentences

The difference from imperative, declarative and interrogative sentences, namely:

1. Imperative Sentences

Imperative sentences or imperative sentences are sentences whose function is to instruct others to follow the orders we tell them. Apart from declarative sentences, interrogative sentences and exclamations, these sentences are also classified into types of sentences because of their function. The characteristics associated with this sentence are:

  • There are examples of using an exclamation point (!) at the end of a sentence.
  • It is often preceded by the words no or please.
  • Sometimes it contains the particle -lah or -kan in a word. The goal is to control other people.
  • Sometimes the intonation goes up and sometimes it goes down.
  • What I need is a response from the other person subject to the statement, when the response follows the intent conveyed to the other by the command statement.

2. Declarative Sentences

Declarative sentences or declarative sentences are sentences whose function is to express something to someone without waiting for an answer from the other. Like imperative clauses, declarative clauses have several characteristics, these characteristics include:

  • Use a period (.) at the end of a sentence.
  • Sentence intonation is usually flat or neutral.
  • It serves to convey something to others, be it news or important information.
  • No response or reaction is required from the person to whom this statement is made.

3. Interrogative Sentences

Interrogative sentences or interrogative sentences are sentences whose function is to ask something from another person, be it news or information. In contrast to declarative sentences that do not expect a response from other people, declarative sentences actually require responses from other people who are subject to the sentence. However, there are also types of interrogative sentences that do not require an answer from the other person, namely rhetorical sentences.

From the discussion above, we can conclude that the difference between imperative, declarative, and interrogative sentences is:

Sentence Functions

Imperative sentences are used to regulate other people, while declarative sentences provide information or news to other people. Interrogative sentences are sentences whose function is to ask someone else to do something. The use of punctuation in it Imperative sentences use an exclamation point (!) at the end of the sentence, while declarative sentences use a period (.) at the end of the sentence. On the other hand, interrogative sentences use a question mark (?) at the end of the sentence.

Use of Special Words or Particles in It

The words don’t/please are often used in imperative sentences. Otherwise, the particle -lah/-kan is often added to prepositions. At the same time, interrogative words are often used in interrogative sentences. Otherwise, the particle -kah is often added to the preposition in this sentence. On the other hand, a declarative sentence does not use a specific word or particle in it.

Feedback from Others on the Sentence

Imperative sentences really need a response from others in the form of following orders. Meanwhile, interrogative sentences really need a response from another person who is the subject of the sentence, in the form of an answer or explanation. On the other hand, declarative sentences do not require any reaction from the other person who is the subject of the sentence, whether it’s someone else’s answer or action.


Sinaumed’s friends, this is an article about the meaning, characteristics, types and examples of interrogative sentences. With this article, it is hoped that you will be able to find out about interrogative sentences.