Exclamatory sentence definition: An exclamatory sentence is a statement that presents an exclamation.
What is an Exclamatory Sentence?
What does exclamatory mean? An exclamatory sentence, sometimes called an exclamation sentence, is a statement that presents an exclamation. An exclamatory sentence uses exclamation points for end punctuation and is meant to be read and said with a particular emphasis.
Exclamatory Sentence Example:
- Declarative Sentence: I want coffee.
- Exclamatory Sentence: I want coffee!
The diction in these two sentences is the same. However, the end punctuation differs.
The first sentence is a statement, one that is read and said in a “normal” tone. The second sentence is emphatic and read that way. The tone of these two sentences is completely different because of the end punctuation.
- “Eureka Mareka!” is the default exclamation, cheerleaders emptily sing its praises. –The Telegraph
- There are about 20 of them in the Dells, from wide and sprawling to small and cozy, which is how the area came to call itself “The water park capital of the world!” –Chicago Tribune
Don’t Overuse Exclamatory Sentences
When to use exclamatory sentences: Exclamatory sentences should be used sparingly. They are meant to be forceful and create a particular tone.
When exclamatory sentences are overused, the tone does not change. Furthermore, overused exclamatory sentences make the exclamation seem illegitimate because every other sentence is an exclamation.
Used inappropriately: I am exhausted! I had such a long day at work! I can’t wait to hit the hay!
Used appropriately: I am exhausted. I had such a long day at work. I can’t wait to hit the hay!
The second set of sentences is much easier to read. You can feel the tension building and you, as the audience, understand the importance of bedtime for the speaker.
The first set of sentences is too excitable; it is very hard to take the speaker seriously.
Interrogative Clauses as Exclamations
An interrogative clause can appear in exclamatory sentences. Because the sentence itself is exclamatory, the end punctuation should be an exclamation point.
- What a beautiful home you have!
- How lovely they are!
Even though these exclamatory sentences start with typical interrogative terms (what, how), they are not questions. They should be read and said with exclamation.
Subjects in Exclamatory Sentences
What are the subjects in exclamatory sentences? It can seem tricky to identify subjects in exclamatory sentences. However, there is a good general outline that should help you find the subject.
Identifying the Subject in Exclamatory Sentences:
- First, locate the verb.
- Second, ask “who?” or “what?” followed by the verb.
- Whatever answers who or what is the subject.
Examples of Exclamatory Sentences:
- I want coffee!
- Verb: want
- Who? or What?: I want
- Subject: I
- How lovely they are!
- Verb: are
- Who? or What?: they are
- Subject: they
Other Sentence Types
What is a declarative sentence? A declarative sentence is a statement that makes a declaration. It does not ask, demand, or exclaim. Facts are declarative sentences.
- The sky is blue.
- I went to school today.
What is an imperative sentence? An imperative sentence is a statement that makes a command or gives a direction.
- Don’t touch that.
- You will go to school today.
What is an interrogative sentence? An interrogative sentence is a statement that asks a question.
- Do you want to go to school today?
- How do you know that?
Summary: What are Exclamatory Sentences?
Define exclamatory sentence: the definition of an exclamatory sentence is a sentence that expresses strong feelings or emotions by making an exclamation. Exclamatory sentences are more forceful than declarative sentences but oftentimes use the same words.
Exclamatory Sentence Examples:
- You are two hours late!
- You are wrong!