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Interjections

What are interjections? They are, words or short phrases used in exclamations’.

They are words that show emotion either being positive or negative. These words don’t carry a lot of linguistic importance and are not grammatically related to the sentence that they are in, but are still widely used in the English language. Popular interjections include: aw! wow! alas! ouch! ugh! phew! gee! hooray! Shoot! Etc. These interjections don’t need to carry the exclamation marks as shown, this is completely subjective to the person using them. Normally, they will take either an exclamation mark, comma or question mark.

Examples with an exclamation mark

  • Alas! You finally managed to get the girl of your dreams.
  • Phew! I’m so lucky, I could have fallen.
  • Boo! We don’t support you!

Examples with an interrogation mark/question mark

  • Huh? what do you mean exactly?
  • Eh? I have no idea.
  • Aah? Excuse me, did you bump into me?

Examples with a comma

  • Duh, I told you all along. You’ll believe anything I say.
  • Gee, I guess we didn’t see that coming.
  • Ouch, that really hurt.

Bear in mind that all interjections can be used with a comma, exclamation mark, question mark etc. It’s completely subjective to the person using it. These examples above are only examples.

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Essential English Grammar – A Friendly Approach

Lesson #45: Interjections

Interjections are short words or phrases that act independently. Interjections aren’t grammatically related to any other parts of speech, and they all have their own meaning or expression. Usually, an exclamation mark (!), question mark (?), full-stop (.) or a comma (,) are used with interjections. Such interjections are for example; phew! Ouch! Woah. Ah. Hmm. Gee. Ugh! Interjections are very common in English, and they are usually small words that express emotions, either negative or positive. Interjections are not important words (grammatically speaking), but they are very frequently used in English.

Context

  • Woah!1 Look! It’s a snake. I don’t like snakes at all. Can we call someone to remove it please?
  • Ah2, Look, I think it’s better that we just wait until it decides to go away. Here in Australia it’s normal for the occasional snake to crawl around in the city.
  • Ugh3, I’m not a fan4 of snakes at all. I don’t like the way they slither around.
  • Neither do I to be honest.
  • Huh?5
  • I said, neither do I to be honest. I’m also not a big fan of snakes or any types of insects.
  • Oh, OK.
  • Alas!6 The snake is finally moving! I was getting worried we’d7 be here for a while.
  • Phew!8 It’s about time. Let’s take precautions to make sure this doesn’t ever happen again.
  • Yes, absolutely.

Analysis

  1. Woah:  an interjection that expresses sudden emotion or fascination. Usually, it will take the exclamation mark (!).
  2. Ah: interjection that expresses various emotions or any sort.
  3. Ugh: interjection that expresses disgust or fear.
  4. To be a fan: one can say that he/she is a fan of something or someone even though they might not be, it’s a way of speech, an idiom.
  5. Huh: interjection that usually takes the question mark (?). It’s a more informal way of saying pardon or I don’t understand.
  6. Alas: interjection used to express grief or compassion.
  7. We’d: contracted form of we would. It could also be we had. You’ve got to take care with the context and make sure you understand which the correct contraction is.
  8. Phew: interjection that usually takes the exclamation mark (!) or comma (,) and is a way of expressing relief.

Section review

  • Interjections:
  • Ay, I’m really not feeling like going to work tomorrow.
  • Err, I hear you. Mondays are everyone’s worst day of the week.
  • I wish we had three-day weekends, gee whiz.
  • Well, ah, I think we have a three-day weekend coming up next week. It’s, um, a bank holiday I believe.
  • Hmm, that gives me an idea.
  • Huh?
  • An idea.
  • So, what’s your idea then?
  • Well, since we have a three-day weekend coming up, I’ll go for a drive around New York state. I’ve always wanted to do that. What about you, Jim, what will you do?
  • Umm, I haven’t really thought about it. Maybe I’ll take my wife and kids out to go bowling. They love it.
  • I’m sure you’ll have a good time. Anyhow, we’ll catch. Have a good one!
  • You too. Catch you later, George.

See also:

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