Essential Interjection Examples: Don’t Write Another Word Until You Read This
Have you ever thought about the word eww and tried to define it? Moreover, have you pondered how it came to be shorthand for “I find that unappealing,” right along with its cousin, yuck?
If you haven’t, well, you will now. If you have, you’ll be pleased to know that the words you’ve been pondering are all examples of interjections, and you are not alone in your musings.
These words have no grammatical relationship with surrounding words and phrases and, instead, provide adjunct structure in their function as interjectors. Interjectors express the emotions and sentiments of a speaker and may stand alone as a complete sentence or integrate within an existing statement, set apart by punctuation. For an in-depth description of their classification and use, click this link to get more info.
Rarely seen in academic or formal writing, these expressions find their most common home in informal writing and fiction. For fiction writers, they are the secret weapon of writing realistic dialogue that shows a character’s emotions and beliefs without stating them outright.
Consider the sentence:
- Here comes Mary.
Outside of context, we can determine that the speaker has noticed and announced that someone named Mary is approaching, but little more. Notice the difference when the example consists of an interjection in addition to the original statement:
- Ugh. Here comes Mary.
We may not know precisely why Mary’s approach elicits this response, but we know that the speaker isn’t happy to see her approaching. Ugh serves to express the speaker’s feelings (Mary’s approach brings the speaker displeasure) in a way that is common in spoken English.
The status of an interjector as either primary or secondary separates them in the interjection examples in the next section. Before you begin your next creative writing project, explore these examples and their explanations. The examples can help you learn how to include them in your writing, which can both improve the depth of your characters and create convincing dialogue.
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Primary Interjection Examples
You’ll notice a common theme in the primary interjection examples below: these words only serve as interjectors and do not belong to other parts of speech. The defining factor of a primary interjector is that it can only function as an interjector, and isn’t transferable across different functions or roles. These expressions, such as yuck, brrr, and ouch, don’t exist as other parts of speech, and don’t necessarily follow the rules for forming sentences.
In English syntax, we typically use an SVO (subject, verb, object) structure to form sentences. For example:
- We (subject) love (verb) dogs (object).
Observe the structural change when the example consists of an interjection in addition to the original statement:
- Yay! We (subject) love (verb) dogs (object).
The word yay does not fit within the SVO structure and stands alone as a complete thought. The following sentence is correct without it, but its inclusion offers insight into the feelings of the speaker. In this way, while these words bear no grammatical relationship to their neighboring words, they may offer meaning that the complete sentence omits.
Observe the additional information that yuck provides in the second sentence below. The first sentence is grammatically correct but fails to convey the speaker’s feelings. The interjector yuck adds information that wasn’t available in the original statement:
- That restaurant only serves burgers.
- Yuck! That restaurant only serves burgers.
Check out this explanative link for even more examples.
If you’re writing an academic paper in MLA format, you are unlikely to use any of these words unless they are part of a quotation. Try out our paper checker for help detecting unintentional plagiarism.
Examples of Primary Interjections
Examples of Secondary Interjections
Secondary interjectors are words borrowed from other parts of speech. As examples of interjections, they serve a function outside of their primary purpose and express the speaker’s emotions or beliefs.
Adjectives, for example, are used to modify a noun or noun phrase. They can be borrowed, however, to serve this secondary function. Nice, sweet, and cool are just a few of the adjectives borrowed in this manner:
- I’m an interjector now? Nice!
- Sweet! I get to be my own sentence!
- I just took on a whole new meaning, and it has nothing to do with temperature. Cool!
Nouns and noun phrases, which typically name a person, place, thing, or idea, can also be employed to give voice to sudden emotions. Heavens, hot dog, and bummer, for example, can all communicate the emotional state of a speaker:
- Heavens! What manner of nonsense is this?
- We’re doing the interjector thing that all the adjectives were bragging about? Hot dog!
- Nobody even knew I was a noun, to begin with. Bummer.
You can be as inventive as you’d like with these. Combine an adjective and a noun phrase at random, and you can use it to express emotion:
- Great grits and gravy! What’s happened here?
Try a proper noun with a verb resting in the middle:
- Bob Bungee Jumping Barker ! They’ve gone mad with power!
Robin, of Batman fame, created an entire library of interjectors following a single pattern:
- Holy + any word.
No matter how obscure his utterances, each one was an example of an interjection. Here, in no particular order, are ten for your consideration:
- Holy Interplanetary Yardstick!
- Holy Knit One, Pearl Two!
- Holy Mashed Potatoes!
- Holy Priceless Collection of Etruscan Snoods!
- Holy Astringent Plum-like Fruit!
- Holy Armadillo!
- Holy Bill of Rights!
- Holy Contributing to the Delinquency of Minors!
- Holy Grammar!
- Holy Hardest Metal in the World!
The most remarkable thing about the vast library of Robin’s exclamations may be that they all said the same thing: I am surprised by this new thing or situation! They may not, however, be flexible enough to transfer to another fictional character. Here are 48 interjectors that are:
Secondary Interjection Examples
|Cheers||Bull||Oh boy||Oh brother|
|Whatever||What||Word||You don’t say|