A word or short phrase used to show strong emotion is called an interjection, one of the eight parts of speech. It can express excitement, happiness, joy, rage, surprise, pain, or relief. Examples are italicized below.
- Ah! Now I remember.
- Oh dear, I have forgotten your name.
- Oh, excuse me. I didn't mean to interrupt.
- Ouch! I burned my finger on the hot iron.
- Boo! Did I scare you?
- Yippee! Today is Saturday, my day to relax.
- Hey! Where are you going?
- Yikes! The ice is slippery.
- Aha, I found the missing puzzle piece.
An interjection is not a sentence and has no relationship with the words around it. For this reason, it is usually set apart from the rest of the sentence by some sort of punctuation, often an exclamation point. However, if the emotion is not very intense, a comma is used.
- INTENSE: Wow! Did you see that shooting star?
- NOT INTENSE: Okay, I understand now.
- INTENSE: Yuck! There's mold growing on that bread.
- NOT INTENSE: Shh, the librarian allows no talking.
- INTENSE: Bravo! You passed the test.
- NOT INTENSE: Oh yes, I recall Harry Truman.
Below is a list of common ones. Notice that the list includes sounds.
We must not overuse these words. They lose their effectiveness when used too frequently.
Write each interjection that you find in the following sentences.
- You performed very well. Bravo!
- The ball hit me, bam, on the head.
- Whew, we arrived in time.
- Aha, now I understand.
- I forgot the keys. Oops!
- Oh my, what shall I do now?
- Wow, that is a spectacular sunset!
- Good grief, what will happen next?
- Oh my
- Good grief