What Are Interjections? (Grammar Lesson)
The Quick AnswerAn interjection is a word added to a sentence to convey an emotion or a sentiment such as surprise, disgust, joy, excitement, or enthusiasm. For example:
- No, go away. (No is the interjection.)
- Indeed, I intend to leave as soon as possible. (Indeed is the interjection.)
What Are Interjections?Interjections are words used to express strong feeling or sudden emotion. They are included in a sentence (usually at the start) to express a sentiment such as surprise, disgust, joy, excitement, or enthusiasm.
An interjection is not grammatically related to any other part of the sentence.
Examples of interjections (shaded):
- Hey! Get off that floor!
- Oh, that is a surprise.
- Good! Now we can move on.
- Jeepers, that was close.
Yes and NoIntroductory expressions such as yes, no, indeed, and well are also classed as interjections.
- Indeed, this is not the first time the stand has collapsed.
- Yes, I do intend to cover the bet.
- I'm sure I don't know half the people who come to my house. Indeed, for all I hear, I shouldn't like to. (Oscar Wilde)
- Well, it's 1 a.m. Better go home and spend some quality time with the kids. (Homer Simpson)
Phew!Some interjections are sounds.
- Phew! I am not trying that again.
- Humph! I knew that last week.
- Mmmm, my compliments to the chef.
- Ah! Don't say you agree with me. When people agree with me, I always feel that I must be wrong. (Oscar Wilde)
Punctuation with InterjectionsAn interjection can be followed by either a comma or an exclamation mark. A comma is used for a mild interjection, while an exclamation mark is used for a more abrupt display of surprise, emotion, or deep feeling.
- Hurry! The bus is about to leave!
- Jeepers! That is the largest beetle I have ever seen.
- No, I'm not going tomorrow night.
- Well, the larva moves more quickly than you would expect.
- Absolutely, a fifth of them do not count.
Read more about exclamatory sentences.