The specificity of interjections in the English language

Volume 3, Number 2, 2018, P. 27–32


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The article talks about the importance of studying the specificity of interjections in modern English. The correct interpretation of interjections plays an important role in the process of learning English and is an indicator of a high level of knowledge of a foreign language. The interjection is a special part of speech that has neither morphological nor syntactical signs. This layer of vocabulary is used to express different emotional states and reactions, without naming them. The article highlights the often used emotive, imperative and cognitive interjections and their functions in speech situations. Emotive interjections express feelings and emotions: admiration (wow), surprise (oh), unexpected joy (ooh), disgust (ugh), etc. Imperative interjections explicit requirements, orders and desires: the expression of will (hey), request (hush). Cognitive interjections are interjections that are related to mental activity, such as awareness of a situation (oops). The context of the speech situation plays a key role in the use of a particular interjection. Many interjections are polysemantic, so one and the same interjection can convey both positive and negative meanings. For example, the interjection “ooh” can express both unexpected joy and awareness of an awkward situation. In the process of learning English, it is important to take into account the fact that no dictionary will provide an accurate translation of any interjection. This article describes the ways how to determine the meaning of polysemantic interjections: pay attention to the intonation; consider the speech situation; determine the function of an interjection. This study once again confirms that the knowledge of interjections is very important in the process of learning English. At the end of the article, English language learners are offered the tips on mastering this interesting layer of vocabulary: working with an English-English dictionary; reading English literature in original; watching movies in English; communicating with native speakers.


interjection, English learner, emotions, feelings, equivalent, language personality, context


Anna B. Dzyuba, a Senior Lecturer of Foreign Languages Department No 1 for Engineering Fields of Study, Irkutsk National Research Technical University, Irkutsk, Russia

For citation:

Dzyuba A.B. The specificity of interjections in the English language. Social Competence. 2018, vol. 3, no 2, pp. 27–32. (In Russian).


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