Exclamatory Sentence Examples – Definition & Usage

Language, both written and spoken, is a method of human communication that gives us the ability to express our emotions. However, even if it serves such noble purpose, it cannot be denied that language can get complex especially when we put into writing the emotions that are more effective when expressed through speaking.

When we try to express any form of strong emotion in written form, we cannot just write a sentence and it with a period or a question mark because it does not express our intended emotions. But no matter how complex it might be, written language has a way of expressing strong emotions and that is through the use of exclamatory sentences.

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Defining Exclamatory Sentences

An exclamatory sentence, sometimes called an exclamation sentence, is a statement that is used to write and express strong emotions.

One way to identify an exclamatory sentence is to spot for the exclamation point (!) since exclamatory sentences could never be as such without these punctuation marks.

Exclamatory sentences are typically used in advertisements, like those in printed materials, radio, television and even in social media sites, in order to attract and gain attention from its target audience.

It is not usually found in any business documents, business letters, press releases, and any kind of formal writing since those kinds of documents have to be written in a more formal tone.

Exclamatory sentences can also be defined based through its form and function.

Definition According to Form

Defining exclamatory sentences according to form is the way words are arranged within an exclamatory sentence. Exclamatory sentences must begin with words “what” and “how”. Even if those two words are used in writing interrogative sentences, there’s a way that it can be used for exclamatory sentences.

Here some sentence examples:

  • What sorcery!
  • What a horrible day!
  • How clever of your student!
  • What graceful ballerinas these girls are!
  • How beautiful her voice sounded!
  • What a nice dress you are wearing today!
  • What fools!
  • How interesting the story line of the book is!
  • How well she paints!
  • How warm the weather is!

Also, take note of the following rules:

  • Use what a or what an when using a singular noun
  • Use what before a plural noun or an abstract noun.

The words so and such can also be used in exclamatory sentences.

Here are some examples:

  • The view was so breathtaking!
  • Your make-up is so beautiful!
  • Her sense of fashion is so elegant!
  • They are such mean and insensitive friends!
  • She is such a well-mannered person!

Definition According to Function

Exclamatory sentences according to function is the common way of writing an exclamatory sentence. The function, or the purpose, of an exclamatory sentence is to express a strong emotion.

Other strong emotions include anger, frustration, happiness, elation, sorrow, pain, surprise, fear, worry, and a lot more.

There are also instances when the word who can be used in an exclamatory sentence since its function is to express a strong emotion. Often times, it sounds like a question is being asked, but in actuality it does not. Rather, it expresses a strong emotion and the person stating the sentence does not expect an answer.

Take this exclamatory sentence for example:

  • Who do you think you are!

It is difficult to express emotions through written form if exclamatory sentences are not utilized. The sentence would sound not convey strong emotion it initially plans to intend if only a period or question mark is used.

Exclamatory Words

Aside from an exclamation mark (!), interjections or exclamatory words are also used to express strong emotions in exclamatory sentences. Some of these exclamatory words can be classified as a stand-alone simple sentence.

Here are some exclamatory words which can be classified as simple sentences:

  • Amazing!
  • Brilliant!
  • Excellent!
  • Fantastic!
  • Good!
  • Hey!
  • Oh!
  • Oh no!
  • Ouch!
  • Wow!

These exclamatory words can also be used to form longer exclamatory sentences.

Here are some examples:

  • Amazing, he got the first prize!
  • Brilliant, you actually understood what I meant!
  • Excellent, you can now proceed to the next round!
  • Fantastic, she won the award!
  • Good, we can go home now!
  • Hey, that thief has stolen your bag!
  • Oh, you saw the culprit!
  • Oh no, she missed the flight!
  • Ouch, the dramatic scene is breaking my heart!
  • Wow, it was a one-of-a-kind joy ride!

Make sure that in adding these exclamatory words, place a comma after the exclamatory word and end the sentence with an exclamation point.

However, there is a common practice of writing exclamatory sentences wherein the exclamatory word, along with the exclamation point (!) is written in the first part of the sentence, and the rest of the sentence ends with a period. This common practice is an incorrect way of writing exclamatory sentences.

Here are some examples of writing exclamatory sentences in an incorrect manner:

  • Amazing! He got the first prize.
  • Brilliant! You actually understood what I meant.
  • Excellent! You can now proceed to the next round.
  • Fantastic! She won the award.
  • Good! We can go home now.
  • Hey! That thief has stolen your bag.
  • Oh! You saw the culprit.
  • Oh no! She missed the flight.
  • Ouch! The dramatic scene is breaking my heart.
  • Wow! It was a one-of-a-kind joy ride.

It is a rule that when we punctuate an exclamatory sentence, the exclamation mark should be placed at the end, and not after the exclamatory word of the sentence.

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Examples of Exclamatory Sentences

Here are examples of exclamatory sentences that convey various emotions:

Anger

  • No, you do not have permission to stay out this late!
  • You were meant to go home before midnight!
  • You are five hours behind on the arranged schedule!
  • You are so wrong about me!
  • How despicable you are!

Frustration

  • I can’t wait for my passport to be released!
  • I can’t figure this out!
  • I can’t see why you love him after all this time!
  • The questions in our mathematics exam are driving me nuts!
  • I could not understand why you are doing this to me!

Happiness/ Elation

  • Today is one of the best days of my life!
  • Our team won the nationwide competition!
  • Oh my goodness, our team brought home the bacon!
  • It’s a baby girl!
  • You are the best person that ever came into my life!

Sorrow/ Pain

  • My life will never be the same without you!
  • I cannot imagine a day without you by my side!
  • I’m really going to miss this place!
  • Please, don’t leave me alone!
  • Stop, I cannot bear the pain anymore!

Surprise/ Fear

  • A ghost appeared and stared directly at me!
  • Jeepers, the ghost scared the life out of me!
  • Happy birthday!
  • Oh, I didn’t hear you come in!
  • Wow, I cannot believe you did this surprise for me!

Worry

  • The number of casualties is increasing!
  • I don’t know what to do if I fail the exam!
  • Oh no, the number of contestants are gradually decreasing!
  • Oh no, I left my purse in the grocery store cart!
  • You look pale and sickly!

Imperative

  • Don’t look at me that way!
  • Shut the door close every time you go out!
  • Look out for the untamed dogs!
  • Do not leave the room!
  • Go away!

Make sure you do not just sprinkle random exclamatory sentences in your written compositions because, as we all know, too much and too little of anything is bad and even unnecessary. Too much use of it might cause your reader to question the sincerity your emotion. Meanwhile, too little usage of exclamatory sentences can also make your intended emotions obscure. Thus, using the right amount and blend of exclamatory sentences will pull your readers into another dimension of your story or composition.

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