In English grammar, an exclamatory sentence is a type of main clause that expresses strong feelings by making an exclamation. It is also called an exclamative or an exclamative clause.
Exclamatory sentences rarely appear in academic writing, except when they’re part of quoted material.
With the appropriate intonation, other sentence types (especially declarative sentences) can be used to form exclamations.
We can define them based on their function, and we can define them based on their form.
What are Exclamatory Sentences?
Exclamatory sentences are sentences that express strong emotions or surprise and end with an exclamation mark (!). Example: “What a beautiful day!”
Exclamatory in Function
The most common way of defining exclamatory sentences is by function (purpose). From this perspective, an exclamatory sentence usually ends with an exclamation point (!). It expresses strong emotion.
- I am angry!
- You did a great job!
- You won the prize!
- That is a huge whale!
- Wow! That was amazing!
- What a beautiful view!
Exclamatory in Form
To be an exclamatory sentence in form, sentences must begin with “what” or “how”, be non-interrogative, and contain a shift in the typical word order.
“What” in Exclamatory Sentence
Use what a before a singular noun.
- What a nice house you buy!
- What a gorgeous room!
- What a beautiful sunset!
- What a talented singer!
- What a delicious meal!
- What a magnificent building!
- What a cozy blanket!
- What a stunning performance!
- What a fascinating story!
- What a breathtaking view!
- What a wonderful person!
- What a comfortable chair!
- What a gorgeous flower!
- What a thrilling ride!
- What a magnificent work of art!
- What a fantastic adventure!
Before an abstract noun or a plural noun, use what without “a”.
- What beautiful weather!
- What courage!
- What beauty!
- What joy!
- What wonders!
- What treasures!
- What sights!
“How” in Exclamatory Sentences
Use how before a modifying adjective, an adverb or a verb.
- How interesting this film is!
- How well she sings!
- How beautiful is this sunset?
- How much fun was that party!
- How silly is that joke!
- How exciting is this news!
- How delicious is this food!
“So” and “Such” in Exclamatory Sentences
Form: So + adjective.
- The meal was so good!
- So beautiful! (referring to appearance)
- So kind of you! (referring to behavior)
- So big! (referring to size)
- So hot today! (referring to temperature)
- So funny! (referring to humor)
- So delicious! (referring to taste)
- So fast! (referring to speed)
- So lucky! (referring to good fortune)
Form: Such a/an + adjective + singular countable noun.
- She’s such a quiet girl.
- Such a good book! (referring to literature)
- Such a talented artist! (referring to creativity)
- Such a fantastic view! (referring to sight)
- Such a thoughtful gift! (referring to a present)
- Such a warm hug! (referring to physical affection)
Form: Such + adjective + uncountable/plural noun.
- They are such kind people!
- Such a warm welcome! (referring to hospitality)
- Such rich flavors! (referring to taste)
- Such beautiful scenery! (referring to appearance)
- Such vivid dreams! (referring to imagination)
- Such powerful emotions! (referring to feelings)