Sarah and Mandy was sitting on the bench in the park, looking at all the different people doing their own activities. The next moment, a little boy fell, “Wow” he said in excitement. “That was fun! I want to do it again”, he ran to his mom to tell her.
In the above paragraph there are examples of interjection as well as exclamation. Distinguishing between the two can be difficult at times.
What is an interjection?
An interjection is a word that is used with an exclamation mark. However, this is not always the case. It can be a sentence on its own or be part of a sentence. Usually grammar rules do not apply to interjections because they are so short.
Examples of interjections
ah / ahh – to show your surprise, anger, pain, happiness, agreement – Ah! I am so happy to see you!
aargh – to show that you are angry, disappointed, annoyed – Aargh, that was really not a good movie.
Abracadabra – the magic word, it helps to make it successful (or so the magicians say).
Adios/Ciao – meaning goodbye, even if you do not speak Spanish or Italian.
Aha – to show that you understand or realize something – Aha! I knew you were hiding something.
Ahem – a sound that you make, almost like clearing your throat, to attract someone’s attention.
Ahoy – A greeting used by sailors, or just to attract someone’s attention
Aloha – Hallo and goodbye in Hawaii, but are used commonly around the world.
Aw shucks/Shucks – this is usually used in a jokingly fashion, to show that you are shy or embarrassed.
Bam/Bang – this is to indicate that something happens quickly. It can also indicate a gunshot/explosion sound or hitting something – When you step on the accelerator, bam, you are doing 60mph.
Bingo – this is used to indicate when you have done something correct or have given the correct answer – “What is the capital city of Germany?” “Berlin” “Bingo!”
Bon Appetit – the universal interjection to say before starting a meal, meaning that you hope that they enjoy their food.
Boo hoo – this is used to show that someone is crying, but in a jokingly manner
Eureka – used to show that you are happy or excited for discovering the answer to a question or problem.
Ow/Ouch – this is used when you are expressing sudden pain.
Oi – used to attract someone attention – “Oi! What are you doing over there?”
Look out/Watch out – used to draw attention to imminent danger – Watch out! The car is coming![i]
There are various forms of interjections that can be used. You use them more often than not, you just don’t realize it.
What is an exclamation?
Those are words or sentences that are used to show strong emotion, such as joy or anger. These phrases or words that express exclamations are called exclamatives. If you were to write an exclamation sentence it is very important to use the exclamation mark at the end. This usually indicates the exclamation. If you were to read the sentence out loud, then you can adjust your voice tone accordingly.
Example sentences of exclamations
She won the lottery!
I just don’t know what happened!
Come here now!
You were meant to be here last week!
I’m so hungry!
What an amazing dog!
What a pretty little house!
How nice it is to see you!
How clever am I!
Have I got news for you! Your boss got fired yesterday.
Congratulations with your medal!
Good morning! How are you feeling today?
In the sentences you can see that it is possible to use exclamations for different meanings as well. Like expressing joy, sadness, congratulating someone or even in an interrogative way such as sharing important news or gossip. You must also see that there is an exclamation mark at the end of each sentence.
The difference between interjection and exclamation
As seen in all the example sentences, interjection is usually just one word. However, it is important to note that interjections are not always followed by an exclamation mark. It can by followed with a comma or exclamation marks or even a question mark. Interjections can also be sounds that a person makes, instead of using a word or phrase.
Exclamations are sentences or clauses and always end with an exclamation mark[ii].
Grammatical rules always apply to exclamations but not to interjections. Exclamations are not just used to express emotions but can be used to demand something or give an order.
Golden rule to remember: all interjections are exclamations, but not all exclamations are interjections[iii].