What is an interjection? definition, its types and examples

Alis Mihaela

Interjections, the vibrant and spontaneous expressions that pepper our language, play a crucial role in conveying emotions and reactions in our daily interactions. Before delving into the various types and their usage, let’s begin by defining what exactly an interjection is.

What is an Interjection?

An interjection is a word or phrase that serves as an immediate and unfiltered expression of strong emotions, reactions, or exclamations. These linguistic elements stand apart from the grammatical structure of a sentence, often appearing as standalone utterances or followed by an exclamation mark. Interjections bridge the gap between our internal emotional state and our external communication, adding authenticity and color to our spoken and written expressions.

What are the Types of Interjection?

There are different types of interjections. Some of them are discussed below:

Primary Interjection

Primary interjections, straightforward expressions of emotions, naturally find their way into sentences to convey immediate reactions.

Example: Ah, this coffee is exactly what I needed in the morning.

Secondary Interjection

Accompanied by additional words, secondary interjections intensify or provide context to emotions within a sentence.

Example: Oh dear, I didn’t realize the meeting was today.

Cognitive Interjection:

Expressing mental processes, cognitive interjections subtly reflect the speaker’s thoughtfulness.

Example: Hmm, I’m not sure if that’s the right way to solve the problem.

Emotive Interjection

Capturing deep feelings, emotive interjections seamlessly integrate into sentences to convey heightened emotional responses.

Example: Alas, the weekend is over, and Monday has arrived.

Mild Interjection

Offering a softer emotional touch, mild interjections integrate into sentences without overpowering the overall tone.

Example: Well, perhaps we could consider a different approach.

Strong Interjection

With intense emotions, strong interjections punctuate sentences, leaving a lasting impression on the listener.

Example: Good grief, I can’t believe the traffic today!

What is the role of interjections in language?

Interjections serve as immediate and unfiltered expressions of emotions, reactions, or exclamations, bridging the gap between internal feelings and external communication. Primary, secondary, cognitive, emotive, mild, and strong interjections enhance language, adding authenticity and color to our expressions.

Using Different Interjections in Sentences:

Understanding when to use various interjections enhances our ability to communicate effectively, injecting emotion and authenticity into our sentences.

  • Casual Conversations:
    • Primary: Ah, that movie was so entertaining!
    • Strong: Good heavens, did you see that car accident?
  • Expressing Opinions:
    • Mild: Well, I think we should give it a try.
    • Cognitive: Hmm, I’m not entirely convinced by his argument.
  • Storytelling:
    • Secondary: Oh no, she forgot her keys, and the door is locked.
    • Emotive: Alas, the hero couldn’t save the day.
  • Public Speaking:
    • Strong: Good grief, we must address this issue urgently.
    • Primary: Ah, the opportunities that lie ahead are exciting.

Examples of Different Interjections in Sentences:

TypeExample Sentence
Primary InterjectionAh, the weather is perfect for a picnic.
Secondary InterjectionOh dear, I forgot to submit the report on time.
Cognitive InterjectionHmm, I’m contemplating which route to take.
Emotive InterjectionAlas, the news of the cancellation disappointed everyone.
Mild InterjectionWell, maybe we should reconsider our decision.
Strong InterjectionGood grief, that was a close call!

FAQs about Interjections:

Q1: What is the purpose of interjections in language?

Interjections serve to express immediate and strong emotions or reactions, adding authenticity and color to our communication.

Q2: Are interjections grammatically connected to sentences?

No, interjections typically stand alone or are loosely connected to a sentence. They often appear as standalone expressions or are followed by an exclamation mark.

Q3: Can interjections be used in formal writing?

While formal writing generally avoids excessive use of interjections, strategically placing them can add emphasis or convey a specific tone.

Q4: How do I choose the right interjection for a situation?

Consider the intensity of your emotion and the context of the situation. Primary interjections convey immediate reactions, while secondary interjections provide more nuanced expressions.


In conclusion, incorporating interjections into our sentences adds a layer of authenticity and emotion to our communication. Recognizing the types of interjections and knowing when to use them allows us to express ourselves more vividly, making our conversations and stories more engaging and relatable. So, next time you speak, pay attention to those subtle interjections that color your expressions and contribute to the richness of language.