What is an Interjection? - Definition & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Word Families: Definition & Examples

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 Exploring Interjections
  • 1:19 Punctuating Interjections
  • 2:22 Choosing an Interjection
  • 3:54 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Frances Smith
Interjections are emotional expressions used in writing. This lesson discusses the rules regulating the use of interjections and lists some of the common ones English speakers use to convey feelings.

Exploring Interjections: Definitions and Examples

When children say 'Yuk!' they mean they don't want to taste, touch, see, feel, or smell something again. It is a word that means bad, ugly, nasty, or even horrible, and it is an example of an interjection.

Some people say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and so are interjections, because they convey strong emotions without being connected to a main idea. They are words that do not need a subject or verb to relay meaning. They can also exaggerate feelings. 'Yuk' is an example of an interjection used when the speaker is exaggerating their dislike or when the speaker is grossed out or disgusted.

Interjections are described as:

  • Words or sounds used to express strong emotion in writing or speech
  • Grammatical parts of speech, but not part of the sentence's subject and predicate
  • Potentially part of the sentence's structure

These sentence diagrams show the relationship of interjections to a basic sentence with a subject and verb.

Sentence Diagram

Notice the position of the interjection in the first diagram, then notice the interjection 'Holy cow!' illustrated in the second diagram—it is placed above the main idea. It's part of the sentence's structure, but not a grammatical part of the sentence.

Punctuating Interjections

Interjections may still affect the mood or tone of a sentence depending on how they are punctuated. When an interjection is independent of the main clause, it is written with an exclamation point after it. Most of the time, this type of interjection is written at the beginning of the sentence. For example:

  • Yikes! I wasn't expecting you.
  • Geez! It's too cold.
  • Hmm! I didn't think of that.
  • Oops! I spilled the milk.

'Yikes,' 'Geez,' 'Hmm' and 'Oops' are interjections that relay the author's tone or express how the author feels. The sentences written after them are statements that show facts or opinions. When an interjection is written into the structure of a sentence to express mood or feeling for the whole sentence, it is typically punctuated with a comma.

  • Phillip, wait, I haven't finished yet!
  • At last, the food is served.

In the first example, 'wait' makes a pause in the sentence, cautioning Phillip. While in the second example, 'at last,' conveys a feeling of satisfaction that the food is finally served.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account