The dictionary defines interjection as an exclamation inserted into an utterance without grammatical connection to it or any of a class of words used in this way (Ex.: ouch! well!) ... looking at a list of interjections may further explain this definition. An interjection is essentially almost any word in English that you can insert into a sentence to convey emotions.
List of Interjections
The list of interjections used in English is extremely long, just as the list of adjectives or adverbs would be. Almost any word or phrase can be used as an interjection, if it is inserted into a sentence to convey emotion. For example, if you hurt yourself, you might say “Darn! That hurt.” Darn would be the interjection. You could, however, also say “Ouch! That hurt.” Or “Dang! That hurt.” Or “Gee! That hurt!” or… well, as you can see, this could go on and on.
Interjections do not always have to come at the beginning of a sentence either. For example, if you said “So, you don’t like spinach too much, huh?” “Huh" would be the interjection on the end of that sentence, designed to convey the emotion or confusion (or perhaps sarcasm or dismay at the dislike of spinach).
Interjections can even be found right in the middle of a sentence. For example, “When I think about the number of interjections in English, good gracious, I don’t think I could ever list them all.” In this case, “good gracious” is the interjection, designed to convey your amazement at the number of interjections, or your dismay at the prospect of listing them all.
Use of Interjections
Interjections do not serve a formal grammatical role in a sentence, other than to convey your feelings. Interjections are rarely used in academic or formal writing, but are common in fiction or artistic writing. They are usually, but not always, offset by an exclamation point (which is also used to show emotion).
List of Common English Interjections
If you want to jazz up your formal writing with some interjections, here is a list to get you started.
- As if
- Bah humbug
- Bless you
- Gee Whiz
- Goodness Gracious
- My gosh
Now that you’ve looked at a list of interjections, practice identifying them in these ten sentences:
- Yowza! That is a fine looking car.
- Hurray! It is a snow day and school is cancelled.
- It is so exciting, my goodness, I just can’t believe it.
- Joe was late to school and yikes, the teacher was mad.
- Oh! I can’t believe how nice you look.
- Well, gee, that sure is a kind thing to say.
- Boo! I scared you.
- Woops, I dropped the milk and it spilled.
- Yay, it is finally Friday and the work week is over.
- Oh well, all good things must come to an end.
Answers to Identifying Interjections:
- Yowza! That is a fine looking car: Yowza is the interjection here. It is expressing the emotion of being quite impressed with the car.
- Hurray! It is a snow day and school is cancelled Hurray is the emotion here. Clearly, it is expressing happiness.
- It is so exciting, my goodness, I just can’t believe it. My goodness is the interjection here, expressing excitement.
- Joe was late to school and yikes, the teacher was mad. Yikes is the emotion being expressed here.
- Oh! I can’t believe how nice you look. Oh, the interjection, acts as a classic interjection at the beginning of a sentence. It is offset by its exclamation point.
- Well, gee, that sure is a kind thing to say. Here, we have two interjections: well and gee.
- Boo! I scared you. Boo is the rather obvious (and scary) interjection in this sentence.
- Woops, I dropped the milk and it spilled. Woops is the interjection used to express the error.
- Yay, it is finally Friday and the work week is over. Yay is another interjection that expresses the emotion of happiness, just as hurray did in sentence #2.
- Oh well, all good things must come to an end. Oh well is the emotion here, an interjection with a tinge of resignation.