Grammar. 12.05.2016
Grammar Teacher

Wow! Yippee! Hooray! Or how to make your speech brighter with help of interjections

Автор: Grammar Teacher
  • What Is An Interjection?

While speaking, there are many times when we need words to express our emotions other than just nouns and verbs. Can you imagine how boring language would be, if we spoke using only simple sentences like ‘You have a nice bag.’ ‘It hurts.’ ‘We’ve won.’ We would all sound like cavemen. This is why languages incorporate many other types of words that have many other types of functions. One of these groups of words is interjections.


An interjection is a word that expresses an emotion or sentiment. This emotion or sentiment usually refers to the speaker. Interjections are also commonly known as exclamations. They are words that you exclaim when you are surprised, happy, hurt, etc.

Interjections are thus like emoticons. One writer might write the sentence like this:

  • The burrito is vegan.  :-)

Or like this:

  • The burrito is vegan.

But another writer might use an interjection to express that same burst of happiness:

  • The burrito is vegan. Yum!

The interjection yum lets us see the emotional response to the information in the sentence. If the writer was really hoping for spicy ground beef in the burrito, notice how a different interjection communicates the disappointment:

  • The burrito is vegan.  :-(
  • The burrito is vegan.
  • The burrito is vegan. Yuck!

What are the Different Kinds of Interjections?

Below are the different kinds of interjections:

Adjectives that are used as interjections.

Examples:

  • Nice! You got a Monster Kill in your first game!
  • Sweet! I got a PS4 for my birthday!
  • Good! Now we can move on to the next lesson.

The words in bold the sample sentences above are just some of the adjectives that can be used as interjections.

Nouns or noun phrases that are used as interjections.
Examples:

  • Congratulations, you won the match.
  • Hello! How are you?
  • Holy cow! I forgot my keys!

The parts in bold of the sentences above are just some of the nouns that can be used as interjections.

Short clauses that are used as interjections.
Example:

  • Shawie is our chemistry teacher. Oh, the horror!

The short clause that is in bold in the example above functions as an interjection.

Some interjections are sounds.
Examples:

  • Ugh! I’m never doing that again!
  • Whew! That was really close!
  • Uh-oh! Dude, I think we’re in serious trouble.

Some words are primarily interjections. Below is a list.

Use of Interjections
Beginning of Sentences

When people think of interjections, they commonly think of them being used at the beginning of the sentence. Many also associate interjections with a punctuation mark designed to convey emotion: the exclamation point.

This is often true. Interjections can and do appear in the beginning of sentences. For example:

  • Yikes, I didn’t realize that there was a test on grammar today!”
  • Oh no, I can’t believe that it is snowing here again!”

In both of these sentences the interjection - “yikes” and “oh no” appear at the beginning of the sentence. In addition, in both of the sentences, the emotion is a strong emotion and the sentence itself ends with an exclamation point.

 

Middle or End of Sentences
Interjections do not always have to be at the beginning of a sentence. They can appear in the middle, at the end, or anyplace else where the author wants to interject a bit of feeling and emotion.

For example, in the sentence “So, it’s snowing again, huh?” the interjection is found at the end. Here, the interjection is designed to express confusion (or perhaps dismay) at the continued snow falling. In this sentence, the emotion wasn’t an emotion that necessitated an exclamation point-instead, the interjection ‘huh’ turned the sentence into a question.

The sentence “In my opinion, my gosh, this is just the smartest thing you have ever said” the interjection is found in the middle. It designed to express or convey the author’s emphasis on his opinion that the statement was smart. Again, no exclamation point is required.

 

Stand-alone Sentence
An interjection can also be used by itself as a stand-alone sentence. For example, look at the two sentences: Oh gosh! I can’t believe how late it is.” The interjection “oh gosh” is a stand - alone sentence. This is grammatically correct, although “Oh Gosh” does not contain a subject and action that is normally required for a complete thought to be expressed. The interjection - or the emotion felt--is the entire point of the sentence.

 

Know how to punctuate interjections

Punctuation for an interjection will depend on the emotion and body language you hope to capture.

Strong emotions, such as anger, excitement, or surprise, need an exclamation point [!] to communicate the intensity.

  • Ugh! I cannot believe we are eating leftover vegan burritos for a third night.
  • Yowza! That's an astrophysicist dancing in the hallway!

An interjection meant to illustrate confusion, uncertainty, or disbelief will require a question mark [?] to help capture the open mouth, shrug, blank look, or rolled eyes.

  • Huh? You want me—the person with a D average—to help with your calculus homework?
  • Oh, really? You killed a rattlesnake with a salad fork?

A comma [,] or period [.] will indicate weaker emotions, like indifference, doubt, or disdain. These two marks of punctuation dial down the volume on the sentence.

  • Meh, I don't really care that Pluto is no longer a planet.
  • Pssst. Do you have the answer for number 7?
  • Here comes Prof. Phillips. Uh-oh, did he catch sight of your cheat sheet?
  • It looks like George is skipping class even though our group presentation is due today. Typical.

To sum up, although interjections may seem trivial, the reality is that this part of speech is very important because it can sometimes be difficult to express emotions in written language. Emoticons may not be appropriate or possible under certain circumstances, so using interjections proves to be a more viable option. Just remember all the substantial information provided in this article, especially when it comes to using the proper punctuation marks to convey intensity, and you will surely be able to use this part of speech effectively in your own written text.

 

Now that you’ve read this article about interjections, practice identifying them in these ten sentences:
1. Yowza! That is a fine looking car.
2. Hurray! It is a snow day and school is cancelled.
3. It is so exciting, my goodness, I just can’t believe it.
4. Joe was late to school and yikes, the teacher was mad.
5. Oh! I can’t believe how nice you look.
6. Well, gee, that sure is a kind thing to say.
7. Boo! I scared you.
8. Woops, I dropped the milk and it spilled.
9. Yay, it is finally Friday and the work week is over.
10. Oh well, all good things must come to an end.

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