Everybody loves a little positivity, right? Well, in grammar, positive sentence examples are stating what is and not what is not. They’re statements that are believed to be factual. They don’t necessarily have to be accurate or true. They’re merely statements from a speaker or writer that are believed to be legitimate.
For example, “This city has 12 coffee shops.” These statements stand in stark contrast to negative sentence examples. There, the speaker might say something like, “No, there aren’t 12 coffee shops; there are 14.” Let’s take a closer look at positive sentence, or affirmative sentence, constructs.
List of Positive Sentences
Here we have a selection of sentences that are making declarative statements. That is, they’re simply relaying information believed to be true.
- Marie is a published author.
- In three years, everyone will be happy.
- Nora Roberts is the most prolific romance writer the world has ever known.
- She has written more than 225 books.
- If you walk into Knoxville, you’ll find a shop named Rala.
- There are more than 850 miles of hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains.
- Harrison Ford is 6’1”.
- According to Reader’s Digest, in the original script of Return of The Jedi, Han Solo died.
- Kate travels to Doolin, Ireland every year for a writers’ conference.
- Fort Stevens was decommissioned by the United States military in 1947.
- Today, it is filled with ghosts.
- She loves to write short stories in the local coffee shop.
- Yesterday, he traded in his Android for an iPhone.
- If you take a cruise to Alaska aboard Holland America, you’ll stop in Victoria, British Columbia.
- Butchart Gardens contains over 900 varieties of plants.
What About Negative Sentences?
If positive sentences state something believed to be true, then negative sentences state something believed to be false. One of the ways to create them is to add the word “not” after the helping verb. For example, “Harrison Ford is not 6’1”. Here, we see the helping verb “is,” a form of the verb, “to be.”
What about sentences that don’t contain helping verbs? In the examples above, “He traded in his Android for an iPhone,” does not contain a helping verb.” When this happens, “not” will be your friend, as well as a form of the word “do” or “will” (including “do,” “did,” and “does”). Let’s turn this Android scenario into a negative sentence.
“He did not trade in his Android for an iPhone.”
Here, “not” follows the main verb (or action verb) “trade.”
Making Positive Sentences Negative
Again, positive and negative sentences are not necessarily factual. They’re simply statements from the speaker or writer that they believe to be accurate. Perhaps they’re right; perhaps they’re wrong. The point is positive, or affirmative, sentences are expressed in a matter-of-fact tone and negative sentences are saying something is not true.
Let’s look at a few examples:
- That dish does not contain veal.
- This nail will not secure that painting to the wall.
- Doolin is not located in County Galway, Ireland.
What would happen if we turned these negative sentences into positive sentences? Here goes:
- That dish contains beef.
- This screw will secure that painting to the wall.
- Doolin is located in County Clare, Ireland.
What happens when we replace a negative sentence for a positive sentence? Well, in most cases, our writing becomes clearer. It tends to cut straight to the point. Instead of saying this is wrong, or that is not correct, we can simply say what is so.
Positive sentences do a better job of stating how things are. In the first negative statement example above, we "know" that the dish does not contain veal. Does that mean it has chicken? Or pork? Or is it vegetarian? We don't know. There are near infinite possibilities. But, when we look at its positive statement counterpart, we know that it is beef.
Positivity Is Clarity
Positivity is more than rainbows and butterflies. It’s also a matter of clarity. When we write positive sentences, we say what is, rather than what isn’t. This makes positivity a close relative to the active voice. The active voice adds impact to your writing. Have you ever examined the differences between the active voice and the passive voice?
The active voice expresses clear, cohesive statements where the subject is the one carrying out the action of the verb. In the passive voice, the subject typically comes after the verb, creating a bit of a muddled scenario. Take on clarity and positivity as you learn more about how to change passive voice to active voice.