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Grammatical Form of English Interjections

Interjections in English are traditionally defined as words that “express pain, surprise, anger, pleasure, or some other emotion or sentiment.” Similar to prepositions, interjections show no inflectional variation.

Unlike the other grammatical forms of the English language, interjections are not constituents of the subject or the predicate. Interjections are also not grammatically-related to any other part of the sentence. Interjections perform the grammatical function of interjector.

Common English Interjections

  • Ack
  • Ahh
  • Aha
  • Ahem
  • Ahoy
  • Alas
  • Amen
  • Argh
  • Anyhoo
  • Anyhow
  • Aww
  • Bam
  • Bah humbug
  • Bingo
  • Blah
  • Bravo
  • Cheers
  • Crud
  • Darn
  • Dang
  • Doh
  • Drat
  • Duh
  • Eek
  • Eh
  • Er
  • Gee
  • Geepers
  • Gee Whiz
  • Golly
  • Goodnes
  • Goodness gracious
  • Gosh
  • Ha
  • Hallelujah
  • Hey
  • Hi
  • Hmm
  • Huh
  • Indeed
  • Jeez
  • My gosh
  • No
  • Now
  • Nah
  • Oops
  • Ouch
  • Phew
  • Please
  • Rats
  • Shoot
  • Shucks
  • Tut
  • Ugh
  • Um
  • Uh
  • Waa
  • What
  • Whoa
  • Whoops
  • Wow
  • Yay
  • Yeah
  • Yes
  • Yikes

Examples of English Interjections

Interjections are extremely common in spoken English but uncommon in formal academic prose except in direct quotations. Filled pauses such as uh, er, um are also considered interjections within English grammar. Within written English, interjections are treated as parenthetical elements and set off with commas. More emphatic interjections usually precede the rest of the sentence followed by an exclamation mark. For example:

  • No, I would not like another cookie.
  • Yes, he would love to visit next spring.
  • She, um, stole the pumpkin from, um, my front porch.
  • Yikes! What a terrible haircut!
  • Whoa! Are you serious?
  • Ouch! That had to hurt!

Interjections are words and phrases that express an emotion or sentiment on the part of the speaker. Although common in spoken English, interjections are infrequent or rare in written forms.

References

Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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