English Grammar 101: Interjections

By Maeve Maddox

Interjection comes from from a Latin word that means “throw between.” It’s a word or phrase that is thrown into a sentence to express an emotion:

Goodness, how you’ve grown!
Darn, I forgot my lunch!
Alas, will he never return?

All the impolite expressions that we call expletives are interjections.

Strictly speaking, an interjection is not a part of speech. It serves no grammatical function but is rather “a noisy utterance like the cry of an animal” (F.J. Rahtz). Interjections express feeling or emotion, not thought and have been called “the miserable refuge of the speechless.”

If you’ve ever stood lunch duty on a high school campus, you know just how vapid conversation can be when larded with meaningless interjections.

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5 Responses to “English Grammar 101: Interjections”

  • Michael Cortes

    As I read this post, my mind cannot help but wander back to saturday morning cartoons in my childhood. Schoolhouse Rock had a segment on interjections and it sticks in my mind and a fun and catchy tune. I always marvel at how those tunes would stick in my mind with the accompanying educations knowledge.

  • Ulla Hennig

    Thanks for this post and for the blog! Goodness, how much can I learn from that – me being not a native speaker! English teachers in Germany should use your blog in their lessons.

  • Maeve

    Michael,
    When I taught French I used music a lot. It’s a great teaching tool.

  • Maeve

    Ulla,
    Vielen Dank für die freundlichen Worte!

    Please suggest it to a teacher you know.

  • victoria gan

    I am gonna to ask . We could subscribe daily writing tips , how about grammar tips ?

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