An interjection is a word or group of words that expresses emotion. They can show happiness, surprise, anger, impatience, and many other emotions. They can also be used to get attention. Interjections do not have a grammatical purpose in the sentence. They are considered parenthetical and are set off with commas.
Some common (and less common) interjections
oh, the horror
way to go
As you can see, many interjections use onomatopoeia. Others are fad words. All of them are words we use that don't have any real meaning in the sentence.
Interjections are generally used at the beginnings of sentences, but they may come anywhere in the sentence.
At the beginning:Gee, that's not very nice. At the end: You like that ice cream, huh? In the middle: I found that, yes, I had forgotten my toothbrush.
Interjections that express strong emotion are followed with an exclamation mark.
Oh no! I forgot to do my homework!
Mild interjections are set off from the sentence with a comma.
Rats, it's raining again.
Questioning interjections are followed by a question mark.
Huh? You want me to do what?
Occasionally an interjection might take a period, especially if it is at the end of the sentence.
Hey. What page are we on? (Note: Here hey is used to get attention before asking the question, so it isn't part of the question. It's not exclaimed, however, or the speaker might get in trouble.)
My sandwich is squished. Yuck.
Interjections reflect the way we speak in informal situations. They are generally avoided when writing in formal or academic situations.
Practice What You've Learned
Click on the interjections in the following sentences.
Click the space after each interjection as many times as needed to get the correct punctuation mark. One click for a comma, two for a period, three for an exclamation mark, and four for a question mark.