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What are the functions of these statements?

I haven't understood fully what a function means, could someone please come up with the functions for the following,

  1. We are going for a walk. Why don't you come along too? Function: Invitation. (Example Sentence)

  2. He lost his job? What a shame!

  3. You could have fed the cat.

  4. I must stop eating junk food.

  5. Could you possibly do this on your way back?

  6. Let's go for a walk.

  7. How annoying!

  8. We're sorry about the delay in processing your request.

  9. Please wear your seatbelts.


Apr 6, 2019 10:15 PM
Comments · 6

Sathish, examples will only take you so far!  You have some examples, so the next stage is where you test yourself to see  how well you've understood them.  Here's a little exercise for you.

Match the sentences ( 1 - 6) with the functions (A - F) :

1     Would you like to come for dinner tomorrow night?

2    I'm sorry to hear that your mother is ill.

3    Could you open the window, please?

4    Excuse me, but the shower in my room isn't working.

5    I'm afraid I won't be able to come to your party.

6    Well done!  You made a wonderful speech.

A    Making a request

B    Showing sympathy

C    Inviting

D    Congratulating

E    Complaining

F    Apologising

April 7, 2019

<o:p> </o:p>My suggestions:


<o:p> 2. </o:p>He lost his job? What a shame! - Sympathy


<o:p> 3. </o:p>You could have fed the cat. - Criticism


<o:p> 4. </o:p>I must stop eating junk food. - Resolution / Decision


<o:p> 5. </o:p>Could you possibly do this on your way back? - Request (Polite/Formal)


<o:p> 6. </o:p>Let's go for a walk. - Request


<o:p> 7.  </o:p>How annoying! - Displeasure


<o:p> 8. </o:p>We're sorry about the delay in processing your request. - Apologies


<o:p> 9. </o:p>Please wear your seatbelts  seat belts - Instruction


April 6, 2019
Also, if you are asking what the meaning of the term "function" would be in that context I would say "purpose". So asking what the function of the sentence is is basically asking what the purpose of the sentence is.
April 7, 2019

Thanks Suki,

In the order of sentences


Showing Sympathy

Making a request




However, these sentences feel much easier than what I had posted. This is being difficult only with certain sentences, not all of them in general. Was hoping to deal with such sentences.

April 7, 2019
@Matthew Mbonu, Thank you.. would be helpful if you could write a few more example sentences and their functions.
April 7, 2019
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