INTERJECTIONS – DEFINITION AND CONCEPT

We have all learned different parts of speech like nouns, verbsadjectives etc. These are the common ones of the lot. Interjections are relatively lesser known. The term may sound unfamiliar to some but it is something that each one of us uses on a daily basis. Interjections are words which help a person to communicate their feelings in a better manner using a few words. A few examples of interjections are ‘Oh my god!’, ‘Alas!’, ‘Ugh!

These interjections can be stand alone or they can be used in a sentence. A few examples of these are as follows:

 

  1. Oh, my God! Are you okay?”\
  2. Alas! She missed her flight due to the traffic”
  3. “Ugh! That is disgusting!”

 

Interjections are mainly used in informal language or during some kind of dialogue writing. We see them as a fun part of English which, even though will not make a difference to the grammatical section of the sentence, definitely adds more feeling to it.

In the examples mentioned above we see that all the interjections are in the beginning of the sentence. Although it may be the most popular way to use it so, it need not be so. Let us look at a few other examples below

 

  1. Isn’t it obvious, duh?
  2. We are in a library. Shh!
  3. This, ahem, is awkward.

 

In the above examples, we can also see that changing the placement of the interjections helps us to understand the context of the sentence better. Let’s try that again with a few more examples with the same word.

 

  1. Yeah, let’s do this!
  2. We should begin, yeah?
  3. After dinner, yeah, we could go for a walk.

 

In the first sentence, ‘yeah’ symbolizes a more enthusiastic approach. In the second sentence, it is more of a question/opinion kind of a sentence. And in the third one, it poses a condition to ‘going for a walk’ with ‘after dinner’’.

 

Now that we’ve covered this topic, go ahead and figure out the interjections in the following sentences:

 

  1. Gosh! That was amazing!
  2. Ouch! That hurts.
  3. It is, ah, a little difficult for me to travel that much.

 

The answers are:

 

  1. Gosh!
  2. Ouch!
  3. Ah

 

Got it right? Let’s try a few more.

  1. And poof! It disappeared.
  2. So you got your sister’s old phone. Big deal?
  3. C’mon! It has been months since we haven’t met!
  4. You signed up for a yoga class? Finally!
  5. Chin up! We are going to a party!

 

Answers:

 

  1. Poof!
  2. Big deal?
  3. C’mon
  4. Finally!
  5. Chin up!

 

There are two types of interjections.

  1. Strong interjection;
  2. Mild Interjection

 

Strong Interjections

are those which grab a person’s attention immediately. They are usually for showing strong emotions. They have an element of surprise, horror, shock, or those feelings that are along the same lines. These, more often than not, come in the beginning of a sentence. Also, they always have an exclamation mark.

 

Let’s look at a few examples:

 

  1. Oh no! Please don’t tell me we have to go all the way there to get you a pair of socks.
  2. Wow! That dress is gorgeous.
  3. Stop! You are hurting me.

 

Mild interjections

are those which show some kind of emotion but they are not very strong or abrupt. Usually it is either a way to make the sentence a little fancy or to add just the right amount of weightage to communicate exactly how the speaker is feeling. They are usually followed or preceded by a comma. Here are a few examples below:

 

  1. Aw, that dog is adorable.
  2. Shit, that was scary
  3. What do you think, eh?

 

Now, try to identify the interjection in the following sentences

 

  1. Ah, I never knew you could play so well
  2. Please, do the needful
  3. Yes, it was a great day.
  4. You like you job, right?
  5. This, uh, went terribly

 

The answers to the above sentences are:

  1. Ah
  2. Please
  3. Yes
  4. Right
  5. Uh

 

Here are a few more sentences including both kinds of sentences. Try to identify not only the interjection but also its kind.

 

  1. Hi, what a surprise!
  2. What! You got married?
  3. “Holy cow!” she exclaimed when she saw the beautiful house.
  4. Cool, I like that idea.
  5. What do you think you are doing in my lawn, huh?
  6. Eww! How could you even eat that?
  7. Umm, maybe we should just cancel the plan.
  8. You are doing your best, geez, stop worrying so much.
  9. Woah! That was one hell of a rollercoaster ride.
  10. He was, uh, almost going to give up.
  11. No, I don’t think it is a good idea.
  12. Oops! I forgot my wallet.

 

Answers:

 

  1. Hi – mild
  2. What – strong
  3. Holy cow – strong
  4. Cool – mild
  5. Huh – mild
  6. Eww – strong
  7. Umm – mild
  8. Geez – mild
  9. Woah – strong
  10. Uh – mild
  11. No – mild
  12. Oops – strong

There are hundreds of interjections in the English vocabulary. Try incorporating a few, if you don’t already, to make your English sound interesting, fun and not monotonous. I’m sure once you get the hang of it, you’ll enjoy it.