Get Riddles By Email! (it's free)

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


60 Comments on "The Shortest Sentence In the World"

aryaman says
January 9, 2014 @ 10:51


Palochka says
January 14, 2014 @ 17:34

It is “Go”, isn’t it?

Dan says
January 14, 2014 @ 21:04

That’s what the answer says :)

Ava says
April 17, 2014 @ 08:16

If “Go” works as a sentence , then “No” would also have to be a “one” word sentence.?

Dan says
April 17, 2014 @ 14:37

@Ava No.

Hah! I kid. Yes, you’re absolutely right. I updated the answer.

Renike says
June 14, 2014 @ 22:26


Lori says
July 22, 2014 @ 19:07

Jesus wept.

Imaaz Shaikh says
August 6, 2014 @ 23:39

It might be” GO”

Tony says
August 21, 2014 @ 02:00

Am coming.

Ciara the Wolfpup says
November 21, 2014 @ 14:40

What about “Hi!”

richard says
December 22, 2014 @ 18:13

I agree with ‘i am’.

Person says
February 14, 2015 @ 21:32

“Hi” and “No”

Hannah says
March 5, 2015 @ 03:25

The mere reason that it is a reply to a question does not make it a sentence. In fact, a lot of the replies we make on a daily basis are still fragments; they just make sense in context. Also, interjections do not count just because they have punctuation — it is still an interjection and not a sentence. A sentence consists of a subject and a verb. I would say that “Go.” makes the most sense, since you could argue for the “understood you” making it: “[You] go.” which still follows the subject then intransitive verb pattern. But, you know, if that is too crazy for people, “I am.” and “To be.” are both very short sentences that are obviously sentences.

Jack says
March 17, 2015 @ 17:43

“I exist.” —– is the shortest valid sentence.

It makes total sense, because “I” is the most concrete term in a dictionary & “existence” is the most abstract term in a dictionary…

Mahwish says
March 30, 2015 @ 14:29

“I am” is the shortest sentence!

Jazmaan says
June 1, 2015 @ 19:37

Alexander Dumas uses it frequently when a character denies an accusation.


Much of the verbiage is implied. It’s basically a short way of saying “Are you suggesting that I did that?”

1 2 3 4

Leave a comment

Name (required)

Email (will not be published) (required)