What is an interjection?
An interjection is a word that shows emotion.
It is not grammatically related to the rest of the sentence.
Interjections are usually one to two words that come at the beginning of a sentence.
They can show happiness (yippee), sadness (aww), anger (grr), surprise (holy cow), or any other emotion.
What does that mean, anyway? Well, it means that unlike all of the other parts of speech, the interjection does not interact with any other words in the sentence.
It does not modify anything, and it does not get modified by anything. It does not play the role of subject or verb.
It pretty much just sits in its lonely little interjection corner and expresses emotion. Geez, that sounds pretty sad... poor little guys.
Learn more about the parts of speech and basic grammar. I'll help!
Diagramming sentences is a visual way to show how the words in a sentence are related to each other, and that basic sentence diagram shows you how to diagram interjections.
With sentence diagrams, it's easy to see that interjections are not grammatically related to the rest of the sentence because they float on lines hovering above the rest of the sentence! They are not joined to any other part of the sentence.
That's a pretty good way of showing that they aren't related to any of the other words, isn't it?
Interjections are punctuated with an exclamation mark or a comma.
Use an exclamation mark if the emotion is very strong.
Wow! I won the lottery!
Use a comma if the emotion is not as strong.
Wow, I have a peanut butter sandwich for lunch.
Don't get fooled into thinking that all introductory words followed by an exclamation point or a comma are interjections. They're not!
Hmm... What is an interjection? Do you remember?
It is a word that shows emotion. So, if the word in question does not show emotion, it is probably not an interjection.
Let's take a look.
Maria! Come and see the lion!
Names like this one are not interjections. They are nouns because they name people. When you say someone's name when you talk to them, it is called direct address.
Names also don't fit our definition of an interjection because they do not show emotion. The tone of voice that you say them in may show emotion, but the name itself does not.
Stop! The lion will eat you!
Stop is not an interjection. It is a verb because it shows action.
Although the sentence as a whole does convey a sense of urgency (Who wants to get eaten by a lion?), the word stop is not showing emotion.