Human Capacity in three Sentences
We all learn about the three types of sentence in grammar school. There is the declarative sentence, the interrogative sentence, and the imperative sentence. Really, there are only three kinds of things we can do with language. We can make statements, we can ask questions, and we can give commands. Everything you say, or write, must fall into one of these categories.
This is about more than just language, though. The three types of sentences reveal the primary capacities of the human in any situation.
If someone knocks on your door, you only have three options on how to proceed.
You can make a statement. This statement can be a simple “hello” or it can be a complex ritual greeting.
You can ask a question like, “who’s there?” or, “what’s up?” You can ask why someone is bothering you, or you can ask why it took so long for them to finally show up.
Finally, when someone knocks on your door, you can give a command. “Come in,” you might say if you are nice. “Get off my lawn!” is something you might say if you are not.
I was dishonest before. If someone knocks on your door, there is also a fourth option for how to proceed. You can just ignore the knocking, and not say anything. Does silence count as a type of sentence?
The three types of sentences reveal what humans are capable of, as long as we are doing something, but people also have the capacity to do
(First rule of nothing, don’t talk about nothing.)