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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


60 Comments on "The Shortest Sentence In the World"

Chelsea says
June 4, 2015 @ 19:59

Stop. Because the “you” is also implied.

Chase says
July 30, 2015 @ 00:16

Technically “I’m” would work as the shortest sentence if contractions are allowed. It’s the same as “I am” and there is no implied “you” in the sentence.
(In Spanish, “es” is the shortest sentence, meaning “it is”, since Spanish does not use pronouns as heavily as English does.)

Devang says
August 4, 2015 @ 07:31

I too agree with “I am.” But my teachers scolded me for that and even deducted my marks. I think that they might not be knowing but they should have thought about it.

sweety says
September 2, 2015 @ 06:07

Go is a sentence or not.

sathisse says
September 3, 2015 @ 18:18

One common understanding of the requirements of an English sentence are: 1) starts with a capital letter and ends with a punctuation mark, 2) has subject and predicate, 3) contains a complete thought.

With that in mind the shortest two English sentences that satisfy the rules are likely “Go.” and “Be.”, with the latter being a bit existential.

John Doe says
September 19, 2015 @ 15:25

Ava, no.

Senor Avocado says
October 29, 2015 @ 19:23

Actually, the shortest sentence is “O.” “O” is a word that means about the same thing as “oh”, but when you say it, it is just a quick “o”, not an ohhhhh.

Senor Avocado says
October 29, 2015 @ 19:24


salman khan says
November 21, 2015 @ 08:11

i maybe ‘go.

Veronica says
November 25, 2015 @ 14:40

Go! Correct answer. “You”, the noun (subject singular or plural) is understood because of the interjection of the commanding verb “go”, hence, (you) go (get it), whatever…just “go”…School House Rock Rocks! So does an education.

fivebee says
December 8, 2015 @ 09:10


Sumanth says
December 30, 2015 @ 11:34

………………….. is the shortest sentence in English language that also has the longest implied meaning.

Milan Patel says
January 12, 2016 @ 00:11


DNaundorff says
February 11, 2016 @ 19:40

So is also one

DNaundorff says
February 11, 2016 @ 19:43

So is also one also hi

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