An interjection is a part of speech that shows the emotion or feeling of the author. These words or phrases can stand alone or be placed before or after a sentence. Many times an interjection is followed by a punctuation mark, often an exclamation point.
List of English Interjections and their Meaning
- Ah!, bravo!, ahh!, hmph!, okay!, aha!, oh wow!, gosh, !, alas!: Acceptance, agreement, displeasure, relief, trust.
- Aah!, aww!, ouch!, uh oh!, gee!z, ooh, ouf!, oof!, son of a bitch!: Fear, pain, grief, dismay, pleading, annoyance, anger.
- Oop!s: Apology
- Shh!, shiiip!: Silence
- Whew!, wow!, ugh!, aw!: Amazement, surprise, confidence
- Yay!, yaay!, mmmm!, eh hm!, yeah!, yo!: Congratulatory, agreement
- Een!, eh!: Insistence
- Yippee!, hurray!: Celebration, victory, exitement
- Uh!, um!: Pause, skeptical, agreement
- Hm!, e!r, em!, emm!, um!: Confusion, thinking, doubt, disagreement
- Ah!, mmmhe!, well!: Pleasure, realization, resignation, surprise
- Eh!, uh huh!: Repetition, enquiry, surprise, inviting, agreement
- Oh dear!, dear me!: Grief, pity
- Hello!, hullo!, hi!, hey!: Greeting, surprise, calling attention, joy
- Damn!, daggone!, fuck!, hell no!, shit!, bullshi!t: Unsatisfaction, anger, disgruntleness
- Bah!, boo!, humph!, hunch!, thah!, dear me!, ah!: Contempt, sorrow
- Goodness!, gracious!, hurrah!, hurray!, hubbahubba!, wahoo!, ach!, goody!, yippee!, boy!, crazy wow!, whiz!: Approval, enthusiasm, joy, delight, pleasure
- Aargh!, bah!, pah!, phew!,pish!, ish!, shot!, ugh!, eeeek!, oh no!: Disgust, fear
- Lord!, merde!, hell no!, lordy!, shit!: Irritation
- Whaw!, whoof!, hmph!: Relief
- Ah!, alack!, boy!, dear me!, the devil!, goodness!, gosh!, gracious!, ha, heigh!, hey!, ho!, hello!, hoo-ha!, huh!, humph!, indeed!, mercy!, oho!, well!: General surprise format
- Ooh!, ouch!, aah!, eh!, hmph!, ah ha!, oops!, aih!: Pain, disagreement, displeasure, disgust
- Mm!, wow!, whew!, yes!, sure!, sure!, bingo!, aww!: Acceptance, agreement, victory
Interjections in Speech and Writing
Interjections are widely used in everyday speech to express emotions, reactions, or emphasis. They often emerge spontaneously in response to a specific situation or event, playing a significant role in conveying a speaker’s feelings or thoughts. Examples of common interjections include “wow,” “uh-oh,” “ouch,” and “hey.”
In spoken language, interjections add color and emotion to conversations, making them more dynamic and engaging. They also serve as a tool for speakers to indicate their current emotional state or to generate a response from listeners. For example, someone might exclaim “Yikes!” when startled, signaling to others that they are alarmed or surprised.
However, when it comes to writing, particularly in formal and academic contexts, interjections are generally discouraged. Their colloquial and emotional nature may detract from the clarity and professionalism of a written piece. In such cases, it is often better to find alternative ways of expressing emotion, such as through precise word choice and sentence structure.
That being said, interjections can still be found in various forms of informal writing, such as:
- Personal messages and emails
- Social media posts and comments
- Creative writing, including fiction and poetry
- Dialogues in plays and scripts
In these informal contexts, interjections serve a similar purpose as in speech, adding authenticity and emotion to the text. The choice of interjections and their intensity should be adjusted based on a writer’s target audience and the desired tone of the piece.
When using interjections in written or spoken language, it is essential to consider the context of the utterance. Some interjections may be appropriate in one situation but could be considered offensive or inappropriate in another. For instance, “damn” might be acceptable among friends, but frowned upon in a professional setting.
In summary, interjections play a prominent role in informal speech and writing, providing a means of expressing emotion and soliciting reactions from others. Although their prevalence and appropriateness vary based on context, they remain an integral part of human communication.
Interjections in English | Images