• ‘exclamatives’ are used to make exclamations.  They often end with !
  • Exclamative sentences start with either of these two intensifiers: ‘What‘ or ‘How‘ and are ‘fronted’ without inversion.
  • ‘What’ is used before a noun phrase.
  • exclamatives can be abbreviated.

Compare a usual statement:  “You are so clever.” with “How clever you are!” or “How clever!


interjections & other sentence words

The text discusses the use of interjections in language, which are words that express sudden feelings and emotions such as pleasure, anger, disappointment, shock, surprise, and excitement. These words often come with punctuation marks and are usually inserted between sentences.

The text also presents a search result from the NOW corpus for the frequency of interjections. The most frequent interjections are ‘YES’ and ‘NO’, which are sometimes classified as interjections but do not always express emotion or act as calls for attention. They are sometimes classified as a part of speech in their own right: sentence words or word sentences.

The text provides examples of how ‘YES’, ‘NO’, and other interjections like ‘OH’, ‘YEAH’, ‘HEY’, etc., are used to express various emotions. It also notes that there is no entry in the English Profile or Collins dictionary for ‘yes’ used to express emotion, suggesting this is not an A1 cando. However, ‘Yeah’ is listed at A2 as an exclamation, and ‘No’ as an exclamation is listed in the Collins dictionary at A2.

The text concludes with a list of the top 100 most common interjections according to the NOW corpus, with ‘YES’, ‘NO’, and ‘OH’ being the top three.

interjections & other sentence words Read More »


Here are examples of exclamatory sentences starting with “What”. They express strong emotions or feelings.
“What” is a predeterminer that precedes the indefinite article “a”.
The phrases following “What a” are noun phrases, often modified by adjectives for emphasis (e.g., “great”, “wonderful”).
Many sentences are followed by adverbial phrases (e.g., “to save time”, “to be alive”) that provide more information about the noun.
These sentences are common in spoken English to convey strong feelings. They’re less common in formal written English but might appear in dialogue or informal writing.
In the English Grammar Profile, such usage of ‘What’ falls under A2 level for expressing strong opinions.
The most common collocates in corpora are words like “great”, “waste”, “idea”, etc., often followed by infinitive phrases or prepositional phrases acting as adverbs.
This structure allows for a wide range of expressions, from surprise (“What a surprise!”) to disappointment (“What a waste of money!”) to admiration (“What a great idea for a party!”). It’s a versatile and expressive part of English grammar.

What a + NOUN PHRASE Read More »

How + clause (exclamation)

An exclamative sentence can start with the intensifier ‘How‘ which is ‘fronted’ without inversion.  For example: How I wish I could do that. Listen C2 point 128 CLAUSES phrases/exclamations is defined as: HOW + CLAUSE *Note, How + cleft clause is also C2.   This is another hard to research structure in iWeb because of the variable length of clauses. 1 .

How + clause (exclamation) Read More »