Mastering Interjections with Cool Interjection Examples

What is an interjection? If you are familiar with the English language, or just languages in general, you may have heard about interjections. Interjections are parts of speech that may be written or spoken and can have multiple uses — depending on the context, situations, and the intent of the users involved. But what exactly are interjections and how do you use them? This article will explore the definition of interjections, when to use them, and how they compare to exclamations, emoticons, emojis, and onomatopoeia.

What Is An Interjection?

Interjection Definition

An interjection is a word or short expression that normally lacks a grammatical connection to larger patterns of speech. It is expressed as an utterance that stands by itself, one that can be emotional, directive, or exclamatory in nature.

An interjection is an exclamatory word or phrase used to express a weak, mild, or strong feeling or emotion. It is a part of speech in English grammar.

Interjections are normally defined by their short duration (usually single or double-word phrases) and reactive, or spontaneous, use. Examples include exclamatory phrases (“Oh!”, or “Ooh!”), swear words (“Damn!”, or “Dang!”), hesitation markers (“um”, or “er”), and responsive particles (“Yes!”, or “Ok”).

Additional interjections can include greetings (“Hey!” or “Hi there”), expressions of dismay (“Oh no!”, or “Aw, man”), and imperative/directive phrases (“Look!”, or “Do it!”).

Interjections can overlap with what are considered discourse markers (words that can manage the flow of discourse, i.e. “you know”, “well”, “I mean”, “then”), linguistic fillers (words to indicate a pause in thinking without completion of speech, i.e. “uh”, “um”) and profanities.

Types of Interjections

Interjections are typically divided into three categories: emotivevolitive, and cognitive.

  • Emotive – express the feelings of a speaker, like anger, fear, surprise, and disgust (“Rats!”, or “Oh!”, or “Huh?”, or “Blech!”, respectively),
  • Cognitive – express the understanding of information by the speaker, or internal reaction to information (“Ohh”, “I see”, “Aha!”, and “Wow”), and
  • Volitive – are used as imperative or directive speech, meant to instruct or command others to do something (“Look!”, “Listen”, “Shh!”, “Look out!”).

Primary and Secondary Interjections

Interjections are a part of speech that express sudden feelings, communicate desires, or fill silence. They add emotional value to statements and can be divided into two main types: primary interjections and secondary interjections.

Primary Interjections

Primary interjections are words that exclusively function as interjections and serve no other purpose in a sentence. They are used to express strong emotions or reactions. Below are some examples of primary interjections:

  • Ah: Ah, that feels good!
  • Eek: Eek! There’s a mouse in the house.
  • Ouch: Ouch! That hurt.
  • Wow: Wow, that’s amazing!
  • Yikes: Yikes, that was scary.

Secondary Interjections

Secondary interjections, on the other hand, are words that can serve multiple purposes in a sentence, such as function as a noun, verb, or adjective. These words can also convey strong emotions or reactions when used as interjections. Here are some examples of secondary interjections:

  • Goodness: Goodness! That was a close one.
  • Shoot: Shoot! My flight has been canceled.
  • Awesome: Awesome! Do that trick again.
  • Oh my God: Oh my God, have you ever seen something like that?
  • Holy cow: Holy cow! That truck almost got us.

Both primary and secondary interjections convey emotions or reactions in response to certain situations, and while the primary interjections solely serve as interjections, secondary interjections can function in various capacities within a sentence.

Interjection Examples and Emotions

Interjection Examples for Joy

Interjections are often used to express happiness and excitement. These interjections can range from a simple “Wow” to an exuberant “Hurray.” Some examples of interjections for joy include:

  • Yay!
  • Woohoo!
  • Hurray!

Interjection Examples for Surprise

When encountering something unexpected, people often use interjections to express their surprise. These interjections can vary in intensity, depending on the degree of shock or amazement. Examples of interjections for surprise are:

  • Oh!
  • Aha!
  • Eureka!

Interjection Examples for Pain

Sudden pain or discomfort often evoke interjections as a way to express the physical sensation. Common interjections for pain include:

  • Ouch!
  • Ow!
  • Aargh!

Interjection Examples for Agreement

Interjections can also be used to show agreement or solidarity with another person’s statement or idea. These interjections convey a sense of understanding or approval. Examples of interjections for agreement are:

  • Uh-huh!
  • Amen!
  • Hear, hear!

Interjection Examples for Confusion

People often use interjections when they don’t understand something or feel bewildered or puzzled. These interjections can express a desire for clarity or more information. Some examples of interjections for confusion include:

  • Huh?
  • Eh?
  • What?

Interjection Examples for Emphasis

Finally, interjections can be used to emphasize a point or stress the importance of a statement. These interjections are used to highlight a specific aspect of the conversation or convey urgency. Examples of interjections for emphasis are:

  • Indeed!
  • Absolutely!
  • No way!

In this section, we have covered various types of interjections and their associated emotions, such as joy, surprise, pain, agreement, confusion, and emphasis. These interjections help to convey emotions effectively, adding depth and nuance to the conversation.

Interjection Examples in Sentences

Interjections are used to express strong emotions or reactions within a sentence. They are often found at the beginning or end of a sentence, but can also be used in the middle to add emphasis or convey surprise, delight, anger, or other feelings. These words or phrases have no grammatical relation to the rest of the sentence, and their primary purpose is to convey emotion.

Common Interjections List

Here is a list of common interjections and their respective meanings:

  • Ahh: expressing realization or relief
  • Alas: expressing disappointment or pity
  • Bless you: showing gratitude or wishing good health
  • Congrats: offering congratulations
  • Dang: expressing annoyance or frustration
  • Eek: showing fear or shock
  • Good grief: displaying exasperation or disbelief
  • Hooray: expressing joy or victory
  • Oh: demonstrating surprise or realization
  • Ouch: indicating pain or discomfort
  • Wow: showing admiration or amazement
  • Yeah: signifying agreement or excitement
  • Yuck: expressing disgust or disapproval

Examples of Interjections in Sentences

When used within sentences, interjections convey specific emotions or feelings. Here are a few examples:

  1. Oh, I didn’t see you there!
  2. Hooray, our team won the championship!
  3. Ouch, that really hurt!
  4. Eek, there’s a spider on the wall!
  5. Wow, this view is breathtaking!
  6. Yuck, I can’t stand the taste of this food.
  7. Ahh, now I understand what you mean.

Placement of Interjections

Interjections are versatile and can be placed at the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence. Here is a breakdown of their placement and impact on the sentence:

  • Beginning – Interjections at the beginning of a sentence set the tone for the entire phrase, making the emotion clear from the very start.Example: Phew, we made it just in time.
  • Middle – Interjections placed in the middle of a sentence often interrupt the thought or statement, emphasizing a strong emotion or reaction.Example: The cake is, ugh, too sweet.
  • End – Interjections at the end of a sentence can emphasize the feeling or emotion being conveyed, acting as a punctuation mark of sorts.Example: I can’t believe we finished the project, finally!

Interjections add an emotional or expressive element to sentences, allowing readers or listeners to more clearly understand the writer’s or speaker’s feelings or reactions. By using interjections effectively, one can create a more engaging and emotionally charged narrative.

More Examples of Interjections in Sentences

  • Oops! I did it again!”
  • Ooh, what a lovely dress!”
  • Yahoo, we did it!”
  • Shh, I can’t hear what he’s saying.”
  • We’ve done it! Hurrah!”
  • Bravo, Rena! You’re right.”
  • Well, so Steve got the job?”
  • Oh, how wonderful!”
  • Meh, there’s nothing great about it.”
  • A seven-layer wedding cake? Ooh-la-la!”

List of Interjections

Interjections are short utterances that express emotions, reactions, or feelings. They are often used in conversations to convey surprise, agreement, frustration, and many other emotions. This section provides a list of common interjections used in English, categorized by their purpose or meaning.

Expressing Surprise, Amazement, or Joy

  • Wow: Expresses amazement or admiration
  • Oh: Used to express a realization or understanding
  • Yay/Yippee/Hurray: Indicates happiness or celebration

Expressing Disagreement or Frustration

  • Ugh: Shows disgust or annoyance
  • No/Oh no: Expresses disagreement, rejection, or disappointment
  • Shoot: Suggests mild frustration or disappointment

Indicating Pain or Discomfort

  • Ouch/ow: Expresses physical pain or discomfort
  • Brr: Signals feeling cold
  • Ew: Indicates disgust or distaste

Seeking Attention or Acknowledging Presence

  • Hey/Yo: Attracts someone’s attention or greets a person
  • Ahem: Clears the throat to get someone’s attention or to signal discomfort

Expressing Confusion or Doubt

  • Huh: Signals confusion or seeking clarification
  • Eh: Represents uncertainty, doubt, or requesting repetition
  • Um/uh: Filler used when thinking or hesitating

Expressing Agreement or Affirmation

  • Ok/okay: Indicates agreement or acceptance
  • Yes/yeah: Affirms a statement or shows agreement
  • Absolutely: Stresses strong agreement or support

Expressing Relief or Relaxation

  • Phew: Shows relief or relaxation after a strenuous situation
  • Oh well: Indicates acceptance of a mild disappointment or resignation

Various Reactions

  • Oops/whoops: Used when making a mistake or recognizing an error
  • Shh: Asks for silence or to lower the volume
  • Nice/awesome/cool: Praises a situation, thing, or action

These interjections are just a selection of the vast range of expressions in the English language. They can add nuance and depth to conversations, providing a rich and engaging means for speakers to share their emotions, thoughts, and reactions. In addition to the above-mentioned interjections, many others exist, including more colloquial expressions and slang.

Interjection Examples in Speech and Writing

Using an interjection is a great way to bring life to a conversation. The interjection can be anything from a greeting to a curse or an exclamation. They can be used as independent sentences in response to a comment or situation and are great for making you sound like a native English speaker.

Interjection Examples in Speech

Interjections are commonly accepted in speech, despite differing social situations. The distinction, however, is the type of social settings and the expected interjections for different types of social situations.

Formal conversations (and settings) call for less interjection use overall. There is an emphasis on listening, discussion, and the completion of thought in full phrases. Socially suitable interjections (“Oh”, “My word!”, “Yes”, and “Quite”, for example) are considered acceptable in formal settings.

Casual conversations tend to allow more interjection use. More emotive interjections (“Darn!”, “Eww”, “Yes!”), volitive interjections (“Do it!”, “Watch out!”), and more casual cognitive interjections (“Got it!”, “Whoa…”) are accepted in casual speech, as are profane and discourse-marking interjections.

Interjection Examples in Texting

In texting, interjections can be used with varying degrees of frequency — depending on relationship types and context.

Interjections would be more common in texts among friends, romantic partners, or casual acquaintances, but this can also depend on the type of relationship between those texting.

A short “Ok”, for example, might be appropriate in texting for one situation (say, during the day-of correspondence in planning a party) but may seem rude if given during a heart-to-heart discussion.

A degree of familiarity may be needed before interjections are more frequently used in texts. Among friends, interjections in texts may follow the conventions of discussions with these friends in-person.

If there is work correspondence or texting to superiors, limited, more formal interjection use is recommended — though this may vary, as well.

Interjection Examples in Writing

In writing, interjections can be used as speech patterns in fictional prose (‘”Wow!”, she exclaimed.’), as quoted speech in non-fiction news articles (‘”Got it!”, the union workers shouted’), in poetry, personal essays, biographies, or in advertising (“Save!”, “Look!”).

Interjections are generally not acceptable in non-fiction, informational, technical, academic, or scientific writing.

Interjection Examples in E-mail

Casual e-mail correspondence — a back-and-forth among work colleagues or friends, for example — may be more conducive to interjection use than e-mails between employees and superiors.

Advertising and marketing e-mails may use volitive interjections to attract customers.

Punctuation and Spelling of Interjections

Interjections are used to express a strong or sudden emotion, and their punctuation and spelling play a significant role in conveying these feelings. In this section, we will discuss the appropriate use of exclamation points and commas with interjections.

Exclamation Points

Exclamation points are often used with interjections to emphasize the intensity of an emotional response. These punctuation marks show that the speaker has a heightened level of excitement, surprise, or even frustration. Some examples include:

  • Wow! That was an amazing performance.
  • Oh no! I forgot my wallet at home.
  • Yikes! That was a close call.

When using an exclamation point, the interjection is typically followed by a space and a capitalized letter, indicating the start of a new sentence.

Commas

Commas are another way to punctuate interjections, generally used for softer or more subdued emotions. This punctuation method helps to maintain the flow of a sentence while still signaling a brief emotional response or comment. Examples include:

  • Well, it seems like we made it on time.
  • Oh, I didn’t realize you were waiting for me.

In these cases, the interjection is followed by a comma and a lowercase letter, as it is part of the same sentence.

To summarize, the appropriate punctuation for interjections depends on the intensity of the emotion being conveyed. Strong emotions are typically punctuated with exclamation points, while more subtle reactions are marked with commas. The correct use of punctuation and spelling assists in clearly conveying the intended emotion in written communication.

Interjections vs. Exclamations

Interjections may include types of exclamations (“Oh!”, “My word!”) but not all interjections are exclamations (“Oh?”, “I see…”).

Exclamations are longer, more meaningful phrases (“What a wonderful day it is!”, or “This is incredible!”) whereas interjections tend to be one or two-word phrases with simpler expressive meanings (“Oooh!”, “Argh!”, or “Oh, no…”).

If you use interjections in texts or e-mails, exclamation point (“!”) use is strongly discouraged. This is because expressive meaning is often implied with the interjection itself.

This can, however, vary depending on casual business use (“Thanks!”) or strong emphasis among casual friends (“Darn!”).

In writing (fiction or non-fiction articles) for an audience, the exclamation point is necessary to show interjection as a part of speech.

Interjections vs. Emoticons vs. Emoji

Emoticons (“emotion icons”) are representations of facial expressions using characters (usually typed) to convey emotions. These can include the smiley face 🙂 or the frowning face :-(, among others.

Emojis (Japanese for “picture characters”) are small digital illustrations that can express facial expressions as well as objects, plants, and animals. Unlike emoticons, they are not comprised of typeface characters, but actual stylized illustrations.

In casual text slang messages among friends, emoticons and emojis are relatively common. They are, however, strongly discouraged for use in professional or formal emails and texts.

In this sense, interjections may actually be more common in formal/business e-mails or texts (such as in “Thanks!” or “Yes”) but limited use of interjections in these situations is still recommended.

Interjections vs. Onomatopeia

Onomatopeia is the construction of words that phonetically imitate existing sounds, such as animal sounds (“Moo”, “Meow”, “Woof”) or other sounds (“Bang”, “Boom”, “Zoom”).

Interjections differ from onomatopoeia in that they are often singular words that have a determined meaning but do not imitate sounds. Interjections are exclamatory or can evoke emotion, while onomatopoeia is not meant to evoke meaning — only words that replicate an existing sound effect.

In casual conversation and storytelling, onomatopoeia, like interjections, can be frequently used. This is not the case in more formal/professional conversations, where onomatopoeia use is strongly discouraged, and interjection use is limited to certain interactions.

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FAQs on Interjections

Interjections are an interesting aspect of language that express a wide range of emotions or reactions. In this section, we will cover some frequently asked questions about interjections.

What are interjections?

Interjections are words or phrases used to convey a sudden burst of emotion or feeling. They can be used on their own or as part of a sentence, and they are mainly found in spoken language. Interjections are often exclamatory and may add color and emotion to a conversation while not providing any grammatical function within a sentence, so they can often be excluded without impacting the sentence’s meaning.

What are some common examples of interjections?

There are many interjections that can be used to express various emotions. Here are some examples:

  • Aaah
  • Aha
  • Boo
  • Brr
  • Eew
  • Er
  • God
  • Hmm
  • Huh
  • Hurray
  • Meh
  • Ooh
  • Ouch
  • Phew
  • Ugh
  • Wow
  • Yay
  • Yikes
  • Yuck
  • Yum

Are there different types of interjections?

Interjections can be divided into two categories: primary and secondary. Primary interjections are words that only serve as interjections, while secondary interjections can be nouns, adjectives, or other parts of speech that occasionally function as interjections. For example, “yes” and “no” are secondary interjections because they can also be used as adjectives.

In which situations are interjections appropriate?

Interjections are typically used in casual, informal settings, such as in conversations or written dialogues. They may be less suitable for formal writing, but this depends on the context and the specific interjection being used. Some interjections, such as “oh” or “hmm,” can be used more widely, while others, like “boo” or “yuck,” may be considered too colloquial for formal writing.

What is the correct placement of an interjection in a sentence?

Interjections can appear anywhere in a sentence, depending on the emotion they are conveying and the emphasis the speaker wants to place on them. They can occur at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a sentence, and they can even stand alone as a sentence by themselves. For example:

  • Wow! That was amazing.
  • I can’t believe this, ugh, is happening.
  • What a beautiful day, huh?

15 thoughts on “Mastering Interjections with Cool Interjection Examples”

    • The article you should use before “exclamatory” or “exclamation” depends on the sound at the beginning of the word that follows it. If the following word begins with a vowel sound, you should use “an”. If the following word begins with a consonant sound, you should use “a”.

      For example:

      “What an exclamatory statement!” (the word “exclamatory” begins with a vowel sound)
      “That’s a powerful exclamation!” (the word “exclamation” begins with a consonant sound)

      Reply
    • No, “yet” is not an interjection. It is an adverb that is often used to indicate that something has not happened or been done up to a particular point in time. For example, “I haven’t finished my homework yet,” or “Are you ready to leave yet?”

      Reply

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