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The Shortest Sentence In the World

What is the shortest sentence in the English language?

Jelly donuts (ice cream is better)

The typical answer to this is “I am,” but some argue that it’s not a complete sentence. However, if someone asked a man named Rupert if he was Rupert, he could reply, “I am” and it would make a complete sentence in my book.

But that’s not the whole answer. There is an even shorter sentence using an imperative with an implied subject (how’s that for an English terminology-filled sentence?) With “Go,” the “you” is implied. For example, if your wife wanted you to go with her to pick up some donuts and you were busy, she might say, “I really want to get some donuts, I’m starving!” and you might reply, “Go!” The implication being you never wanted to get donuts in the first place because you like ice cream more anyway and if you’re busy you’re probably doing something worthwhile and important and can’t be disturbed for such trivial matters as acquiring sweet pastries with holes in them, no matter how much of a waste of time your wife says your pursuits are. In short, “Go” is the shortest sentence in the English language that also has the longest implied meaning. Do you want to get get some ice cream? Go!

Ava pointed out in the comments that No is another viable alternative.

Posted in Brain Teasers


61 Comments on "The Shortest Sentence In the World"

Kayla says
September 13, 2017 @ 22:32

Yes is one of the shortest sentence

Jack says
March 20, 2018 @ 11:12

It can be argued that “I do” is BOTH the shortest and could be the LONGEST sentence in the English language as well !

Tucker says
February 14, 2019 @ 14:22

Go. It’s technically by definition a full sentence

Josiah says
May 7, 2019 @ 11:55

For a sentence you need to have a subject, verb, and complete thought, go would be a verb, but not a subject or complete thought, you should go would be a complete sentence, but go is not

Grace says
May 7, 2019 @ 20:14

“go” is the shortest sentence because go is the verb and it’s talking to us, the subject.

J says
May 28, 2019 @ 15:20

“Hi” is, also!

Harry says
June 17, 2019 @ 10:44

what about “no”

Becky says
September 3, 2019 @ 18:38

Go is the shortest sentence in the world guarenteed.

Becky says
September 3, 2019 @ 18:39

go has is a verb and it is understood you so it is a sentence and it is very short

Anwarul Islam says
September 17, 2019 @ 12:44

If you are standing at the door asking for permission like “May I come in ?”
The answer might be “yes, come in.”
OR simply yes.
OR “NO, You can’t.”
OR simply NO.
Yes and NO in these regard express the full meaning that is necessary to be a sentence.
NO IS the smallest sentence.

Jackie Chan says
October 31, 2019 @ 17:08

I- sksksksksk

Muhammad Xamurani says
December 8, 2019 @ 14:16

(Go!) is the shortest sentence of grammar.

Nick says
January 17, 2020 @ 20:38

I would argue that since “you” is the implied subject that “I am” is grammatically the shortest complete sentence.

Andrea says
March 7, 2020 @ 16:15

“I am.”

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