Interjection definition: An interjection is a part of speech that reveals the emotions of the speaker. An interjection is typically punctuated with an exclamation point.
What is an Interjection in Grammar?
An interjection is a word or phrase that expresses emotion. It interrupts, or interjects, the general flow of writing. An interjection is usually punctuated with an exclamation point.
Any word or words may be used as an interjection. However, some are more common than others.
Most interjections are just one word. Sometimes they are phrases as well.
Common Examples of Interjections:
- Good grief!
- Ah ha!
How to Punctuate Interjections
Mild interjections may be punctuated with commas. These include words such as: um, well, uh, er.
- I, um, don’t know what you mean.
Forceful interjections are punctuated with exclamation points or commas. These include words such as: duh, wow, shoot.
- Wow! That was impressive.
- Now, the classmate is sprinting out of the park, but the writer has caught her and wrestled her to the ground — wow, that’s a double nelson, impressive! — and is demanding her classmate’s email to keep her informed of all her public appearances. –The New York Times
Some interjections are punctuated with question marks. These include words such as: huh; oh, really; seriously
- Oh, really? I don’t agree.
- Oh, what could have been. Sugar’s best days were ahead, in Jersey, but he showed enough with the Knicks that he could electrify the Garden at a time when the power was mostly off. –New York Post
Remember, interjections interrupt the flow of speaking or writing and express an emotion. Their punctuation depends on tone and context.
When to Avoid Interjections
When are interjections appropriate? Interjections are most often used in informal (everyday) speech or writing. In literature, they are used in dialogue or narration to represent typical conversation.
By nature, interjections are informal. As a result, they should be avoided in formal language. This means that they should not appear in professional or scholarly speech or writing.
Different Kinds of Interjections
The following are different types of interjections. Many words can be used as interjections and this list is by no means exhaustive.
Generally, interjections are the speaker’s reaction to a situation.
Adjectives may be used as interjections. Adjectives are used as interjections when the speaker responds to a situation. Like all adjectives, the adjective as an interjection is the speaker’s reaction to describe a noun.
Nouns and noun phrases may be used as interjections. Nouns are used as interjections to react to a situation
- Holy cow!
Short clauses may be used as interjections.
- How awful!
- Way to go!
- Oh, the humanity!
- That’s terrible!
- You bet!
Sounds may be used as interjections.
List of Interjections and Interjection Examples
Here is a further list of injections along with their meanings and an example sentence. Similar to the list above, it is not exhaustive, but it does show some of the most popular ones not previously mentioned in the above text.
- Ah>Expressing pleasure, realization, or surprise.
- Ah, I forgot Billson was gone this weekend.
- Alas>Expression of grief, pity, or concern.
- Alas, my financial situation is not what it used to be,
- Dear>Used in expressions of surprise, dismay, or sympathy.
- Oh dear! That sounds awful.
- Eh>Used to ask for something to repeated or explained to elicit agreement.
- Eh? What was that? That doesn’t sound right.
- Er>Expressing hesitation.
- Er, I’m not sure you have that one right.
- Hello>Used as a greeting.
- Hello, Steve! How are you today?
Summary: What are Interjections?
Define interjection: the definition of interjection is a word or short phrase uttered as an exclamation with no literal meaning and having no grammatical connection with anything.
To sum up, an interjection:
- is a part of speech
- interrupts, or interjects, the flow of language
- is often punctuated with an exclamation point
- can be any word or phrase but some are more common than others