What Is an Interjection? | The Definitive Guide


 What is an Interjection?

An interjection is a phrase or word used to show a feeling or request something. While interjections are a part of speech, they are not syntactically associated with different parts of a sentence. In English grammar, interjections are common in everyday speech and casual composition. For example, some interjections are well acceptable in formal conversation, but the best way is to stay away from the interjections in formal or academic writing.


  • Wow! Our team won the match.
  • Uh-oh. I forgot to shut the door.

How are interjections used in sentences?

Interjections add meaning to a sentence or context by communicating a feeling, making an interest, or emphasizing a thought. Interjections can be either a phrase or a single word, so you can use interjections individually or as a part of a sentence.


  • Oh Really? You did this.
  • Shoot, I have broken a nail.

Normally interjections are a grammatically independent part of speech, so they can frequently be banned from a sentence without impacting its importance.


  • Ouch! It hurts!
  • Oh boy, I am tired.

Types of Interjection

  1. Primary Interjections
  2. Secondary Interjections
  3. Emotive Interjections
  4. Volitive Interjections
  5. Cognitive Interjections
  6. Greetings and Parting Words/Phrases

Primary Interjection

A primary interjection is a word or sound that must be utilized as an interjection. Primary interjections do not have alternative meanings and cannot work as another part of speech (i.e., noun, verb, or adjective). Primary interjections are normally sound without an unmistakable historical underpinning. For example, while sometimes they have standard spellings, a single interjection may be written in various ways like um-hum or mm-hmm.


  • Ugh! That is actually wrong.
  • Yippee! We won the game.
  • Um-hum. I think it is working.

Secondary Interjection

A secondary interjection is a word that is normally used as one more part of speech (for example a noun, verb, or adjective) that can also be used as an interjection.


  • Awesome! Can you do this trick again?
  • Goodness! That was close enough.
  • Shoot! My flight has been canceled.

Emotive Interjection

An emotive interjection is used to express an emotion or to show a response to something. For example, the emotional interjection ew is used to hate someone. Revile words, also called expletives, are normally used (in informal contexts) as emotive interjections to express frustration or anger.


  • Yum! This banana is delicious.
  • Ew. I am not eating that.
  • Yay! Today I am very happy.

Volitive Interjection

A volitive interjection is used to give an order or make a request. For example, the volitive interjection shh or shush is utilized to arrange for someone to hush up.


  • Ahem! Attention here.
  • Shh! I cannot focus when you are singing.
  • Psst. Pass me an eraser.

Cognitive Interjection

A cognitive interjection is used to offer a viewpoint or demonstrate a manner of thinking. For example, the cognitive interjection um is used to show confusion or show that the speaker is thinking.


  • Wow! You did it again Brother.
  • Eureka! I have solved the puzzle.
  • Um, can you explain it one more time?

Greeting and Parting Words/Phrases

Greetings and parting words/phrases are the type of interjections that are used to express some good wishes to someone at the end of the conversation.


  • Hello! Friend.
  • Bye!
  • Hey!
  • See you soon!

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