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What is an Interjection? Definitions, Examples, and Comprehensive List

An interjection is a part of speech (POS), and parts of speech are incredibly important in writing. Each part of speech fulfills a purpose in a sentence, and not all parts of speech are created equal. Some parts of speech make our writing stronger while others make it weaker. So we must be careful using them.  

In this blog post, we will discuss the definition of an interjection, provide examples, and list them so that you can start using them in your own writing.

So, what exactly is an interjection? Let's find out!

Interjection Definition

An interjection is a word or phrase that shows strong emotion and is used to express feelings. We use them to express emotions such as happiness, surprise, anger, or sadness in a way that is more natural than by simbly describing our emotions.

Interjections do not have the same value or weight as other parts of speech (e.g., nouns, adjectives, and verbs) because they are simply there to evoke a feeling. In other words, their goal is to provoke a reaction in the reader.

We commonly use interjections in our speech, so it is natural that we also use them in our writing. In many cases, we want our writing to sound as close as possible to human speech to create a warm, natural feeling. This may not be appropriate for formal writing, but it certainly is for informal writing. 

There are different types of interjections, which are used for different purposes, including:

  • greeting
  • expressing joy
  • showing approval and praise
  • expressing surprise
  • demonstrating grief or pain
  • bidding farewell
  • expressing doubt or hesitation

Why Are Interjections Important to Understand?

Despite their low grammatical value, interjections are incredibly important because they color our writing. Without interjections, we would be left to describe every feeling we have logically, not emotionally. As a result, our writing would be a lot less interesting.

For example, take this short text, which includes no interjection.

This is super awkward. Why are we doing this? Now I remember why we are doing this. It’s because it's my little sister’s birthday. This going to be a fantastic one. Wait... I forgot to buy her a birthday present. Okay, maybe I have time to run to the mall. I have to go now!

Now, compare the text with the following version, which is filled with interjections:

Erm, this is super awkward. Why are we doing this? Oh, hey, now I remember why we are doing this. It’s because it's my little sister’s birthday. Wow! This going to be a fantastic one. Oh, wait... I forgot to buy her a birthday present. Ouch. Well, okay, maybe I have time to run to the mall. My God—I have to go now!

Which of the two versions is more human and more engaging?

Of course, the second version with the interjections is more engaging. It resembles more the way we humans speak, and because of that, the writing is more reliable. It also adds to the variety of the piece as interjections are very short words.

Interjections, in a sense, punctuate our writing with emotion. And they trigger the emotions in the best possible way—by creating an image in our mind, not by describing emotions rationally. As we know from best writing practices, using images to show emotions is better than using abstractions.

Interjections Examples

Here are some interjections examples based on the different categories:

Interjections for greetings

  • Hi
  • Hey
  • Hello

Interjections for joy

  • Yay
  • Yippee
  • Yahoo
  • Hurray

Interjections for approval and praise

  • Bravo
  • Congrats
  • Congratulations

Interjections for surprise

  • Wow
  • Gosh
  • Dang

Interjections for grief/pain

  • Ouch
  • Ah
  • Alas

Interjections for bidding farewell

  • Bye
  • Goodbye
  • Farewell

Interjections for expressing doubt/hesitation

  • Hmm
  • Uh
  • Er

Interjections List (30+)

Here is a complete list of over 30 interjections in the English language:

  • Yes
  • Oh
  • please
  • Yeah
  • Hey
  • Hello
  • Okay
  • Hi
  • uh
  • Ah
  • Wow
  • Goodbye
  • ya
  • Ok
  • Yep
  • Nope
  • Aw
  • Amen
  • Er
  • Ugh
  • Oops
  • Ouch
  • Howdy
  • ye
  • bam
  • Alas
  • Yah
  • quack
  • Shucks
  • Damnit
  • Oink