Definition and Examples
Exclamatory Sentences are the sentences those express a strong emotion, which could be anger, joy, sorrow, excitement, surprise etc. The emotional zeal in the sentences is represented by the exclamation mark (!); without it, any exclamatory sentence is only a Declarative Sentence. To represent a greater degree of emotion, exclamatory sentences may be terminated with more than one exclamation mark.
Do you remember texting your friend- “My father allowed me to go on picnic!” By putting an exclamation mark at the end of your statement you conveyed your level of excitement (happiness) to your friend. Now, what if you had texted- “My father allowed me to go on picnic”, to your friend.
Does it sounds similar to the previous sentence, or does it lack something? The latter sentence is just a Declarative Statement simply delivering a message, without any excitement or emotion; while the former reflects that the sender is happy and excited.
When conversing vocally, your tone decides whether the sentence is exclamatory or not. If you walked into a restaurant and said -“I need hot coffee!” said in a higher tone or raised voice it indicates your urgency; otherwise, you could have just stated “I need hot coffee” and waited for it to be delivered to you.
We will go through few exclamatory sentences below, also identifying the emotions they represent-
- What have you done! (Anger)
- Hurrah! The trophy is ours!! (Joy)
- I lost my purse! (Sorrow)
- I like ice creams! (Excitement)
- Wonderful house you have got! (Excitement)
- What a beautiful day!! (Excitement)
- What is this!! (Surprise)
- This is the last time I am warning you! (Anger)
- We are going for a movie tonight! (Excitement/Joy)
- Wish he had been with us!! (Sorrow)
- What a beautiful house! (Excitement)
- Ronny, we are selected for the tournament! (Excitement/Happiness)
Further we will go through the rules of forming and identifying Exclamatory Sentences and identifying the emotions they represent.
There are certain rules to be followed while forming or even identifying exclamatory sentences. Below we will go through the rules of Exclamatory Sentences-
Rule 1 – An Exclamatory Sentence Never Delivers a Command
Do keep in mind that exclamatory sentences cannot give command; as only imperative sentences give command. Therefore sentences like-
- Get off my way! (Command)
- Watch out your steps! (Instruction)
- Do the work I gave you! (Instruction)
are not Exclamatory Sentences, even though they seem to deliver emotions of anger and frustration.
Rule 2 – An Exclamatory Sentence always has a subject
Given to the situation an Exclamatory Sentence always has a subject and a predicate.
Go through the following statement-
- What a beautiful day!
- Hurray, we won the match!
- I love you!
- There is a snake in the backyard!
- I saw my favorite movie!
- Oh No! He is not coming to the party!
All of the above sentences are exclamatory and have clear subjects.
Some sentences at first sight do look like exclamatory sentences but they are not.
Go through the below sentences-
- Happy Birthday!
- Merry Christmas!
The above sentences are not exclamatory, but imperative; it is making a wish and the subject (you) is not mentioned. Therefore, special care must be taken before deciding on whether the sentence is Exclamatory or not.
Rule 3 – Don’t over-use the Exclamatory Sentences
While it is ok to use more than one exclamation mark to express a strong emotion but the overuse of exclamation marks should be avoided in case of grouped statements.
For Example, go through the statement below-
- I was late! I hurried up! I reached on time!
The above set of sentences seems a little inappropriate as the exclamation mark after every sentence makes the speaker looks like less serious. The most appropriate version of the above sentences should be-
- I was late. I hurried up. I reached on time!
Therefore, while dealing with a set of statements, we must avoid the over formation of Exclamatory Sentences.
Exclamatory Sentences Beginning with Interrogative Clause (What/How)
It must be kept in mind that even though if the exclamatory sentence begins with What/How, it is not a question and is always terminated with an Exclamation (!).
Kindly go through the below examples-
- What a beautiful day!
- What a precise plan!
- What a gentle man he is!
- What a lovely flower!
- What a cute baby!
- How beautiful it is!
- How fast it went!
- How slow the ship sailed!
- How easy it was!
- How interesting the match was!
Practice forming more Exclamatory Sentences beginning with interrogative clauses- Why/How.
Exclamatory Sentences with So/Such
‘So’ is an adverb and ‘Such’ is a determiner; also, in exclamatory sentences ‘so’ is paired with an adjective and ‘such’ is paired with a noun.
Go through the examples given below-
- He is so cute!
- The man was so huge!
- It was so big!
- I was so late!
- It had been so tiring!
- He is such a gentleman!
- He was such a jerk!
- It was such a beautiful day!
- She is such a spoiler!
Use of Interjections in Exclamatory Sentences (Wow! /Alas! /Hurray! /Wow!/Ouch!)
The Exclamatory Sentences may begin with interjections- Alas! (Sorrow), Hurray! (Joy), Wow! (Surprise), Ouch! (Pain) etc, to provide more strength to the emotion, though, the interjection must also be terminated with an Exclamation (!).
Go through the below examples-
- Alas! I forgot the keys! (Sorrow)
- Hurray! We won the match! (Joy)
- Wow! He presented me a watch! (Surprise)
- Ouch! This chair hurts! (Pain)
- Wow! What a beautiful tree! (Surprise)
Direct – Indirect Exclamatory Sentences
Converting Direct Exclamatory Sentences into Indirect Exclamatory Sentences
We will begin with converting a direct Exclamatory Sentence into an Indirect Exclamatory Sentence; and, further analyze the changes we made to define the set of rules for the conversion.
Let us begin with below give Direct Exclamatory Sentence-
- She said, “We are going to the party!”
Now try converting the above sentence into an Indirect Sentence; try to form a sentence without comma (,) and an Exclamation (!). The best possible representation is the sentence given below-
- She exclaimed that they were going to the party.
Note the changes that have been made-
1) Reporting verb ‘Said’ is replaced with ‘Exclaimed’.
2) Conjunction word ‘That’ is used.
3) Change the tense of the exclamatory verb to past tense i.e. ‘are’ changes to ‘were’.
4) Remove the commas (,), quotation marks (“ “) and exclamation marks (!).
We will further go through some more direct exclamatory sentences and their indirect forms given below-
Direct: She said,” What a wonderful surprise!”
Indirect: She exclaimed excitedly that the surprise was wonderful.
Direct: He said in the stadium,” Hurray! We won the match!”
Indirect: He exclaimed joyfully in stadium that they had won the match.
Direct: She said,” What! I don’t believe it!
Indirect: She exclaimed surprisingly that she didn’t believe it.
Direct: They said,” How Did it happen!”
Indirect: They exclaimed surprisingly that how did it happened.
Direct: The spectators said,” What a great movie!”
Indirect: The spectators applauded the movie by saying that it was great.
Direct: She said,” What! He is not coming.”
Indirect: She exclaimed with surprise that he is not coming.
Exclamatory Sentences to Assertive Sentences
An Assertive Sentence is a declarative sentence with a subject and a predicate. Therefore, while converting from Exclamatory to Assertive Sentences, the subject and the verbs remains the same with few changes as mentioned below-
1) Interrogative Clauses How/What are replaced by Very/Great.
Go through the following examples-
Exclamatory: How beautiful the flower is!
Assertive: The flower is very beautiful.
In the above transformation we note that the subject (flower) remains the same as well as the adjective (beautiful); but ‘how’ is replaced by ‘very’.
Now, go through a sentences beginning with What-
Exclamatory: What a king he is!
Assertive: He is a great king.
2) The interjections are replaced by – “It is a matter of + emotions that they represent”
While converting from Exclamatory to Assertive Sentences, the interjections are replaced by the sentence- “It is a matter of + emotion that the interjection represents”; as given below-
Alas! – “It is a matter of sorrow”
Hurray! – “It is a matter of joy”
Bravo! – “It is a matter of joy”
Please go through the examples given below-
Exclamatory: Hurray! We won the match!
Assertive: It is a matter of joy that we won the match.
Exclamatory: Bravo! He is up again!
Assertive: It is a matter of joy that he is up again!
Despite the above stated rules, the punch line to change any given exclamatory sentence into an assertive sentence is that you just have to use your basic grammatical knowledge of forming a sentence.
True/False Exercises with Answers
Determine whether the following rules about the exclamatory sentences are true or false. Also cross check your answers with those provided at the end of the exercise-
1) An exclamatory sentence always ends with an exclamation (!).
2) An exclamatory sentence may give command sometimes.
3) Use of more than one exclamation mark is prohibited.
4) “Happy Birthday” is the shortest exclamatory sentence.
5) “Get off my way!” is an exclamatory sentence representing anger.
6) In a group of statements; the more the exclamations the better.
7) We should avoid the over use of exclamation (!) in a group of sentences.
8) Exclamatory sentences don’t begin with an interrogative clause.
9) Exclamatory sentences may use interjections to amplify emotions.
10) “Exclaimed” is used while converting a direct exclamatory sentence into an indirect one.
Answer- 1) True, 2) False, 3) False, 4) False – It is Imperative, 5) False, 6) False, 7) True, 8) False, 9) True, 10) True
Direct–Indirect Exclamatory Sentences Transformation Exercises/Worksheet/Activities with Answers:
Convert the given Direct Exclamatory Sentences into Indirect Exclamatory Sentences; also, verify your answer with those provided at the end of the exercise-
1) He said,” Bravo! Ronny is getting through!”
2) She said,” Hurray! We are going for the movie!”
3) They said,” Bravo! A wonderful performance!”
4) He said in the hotel,” Wow! They are offering my favorite complementary dish!
5) Ronny said,” Alas! I lost my purse!”
6) He said,” Nonsense! I didn’t believe that”.
7) He said, “Oh! It was you!”
8) She said, “Sorry! I didn’t intend to hurt you.”
9) He said, “Alas! I lost my watch.”
10) Ronny said,” Oh! The school is open!”
11) The officer said to the thief,” Pooh! You are caught again.”
12) He said,” Good Lord! The boy is saved again.”
13) She said,” Ouch! This seat hurts.”
14) The Principal said to Ronny,” Pooh! You have failed again!”
15) The man said to the officer,” What a gentleman you are!”
16) He said,” Oh! What a pleasant sunrise.”
17) She said in the bus,” Hurray! The school declared holiday.”
18) Ronny said,” Ha! I am going to party!”
19) She said,” Hurrah! I am selected in the dance.”
20) He said,” Ah! What a beautiful car it is.”
1) He applauded that Ronny was getting through. Or, He applauded Ronny for getting through.
2) She exclaimed joyfully that they were going for the movie. Or, She exclaimed with joy that they were going for the movie.
3) They applauded the performance as wonderful.
4) He exclaimed excitedly in the hotel that he was being offered his favorite complementary dish.
5) Ronny exclaimed with sorrow that he had lost his purse.
6) He exclaimed with contempt that he didn’t believed it.
7) He exclaimed with surprise that it was me.
8) She exclaimed regretfully that she didn’t intend to hurt me.
9) He exclaimed with sorrow that he had lost his watch.
10) Ronny exclaimed surprisingly that the school was open.
11) The officer exclaimed with contempt that the thief was caught again.
12) He exclaimed with surprise that the boy was saved again.
13) She exclaimed with pain that the seat was hurting.
14) The principal exclaimed with disgust that Ronny had failed again.
15) The man exclaimed with appreciation that the officer was a gentleman.
16) He exclaimed with surprise that the sunrise was pleasant.
17) She exclaimed with joy in the bus that the school had declared a holiday.
18) Ronny exclaimed joyfully that he was going to the party.
19) She exclaimed joyfully that she was selected in the dance.
20) He exclaimed with surprise that the car was beautiful.
Exclamatory to Assertive Sentences Exercise with Answers
Convert the given Exclamatory Sentences into Assertive Sentences and also verify your progress with the answers provided at the end of the exercise.
1) Well done Captain!
2) Oh! It was him.
3) How big the building is!
4) What a car it is!
5) Alas! I lost my best watch.
6) Oh! He won again.
7) Pooh! He lost his watch again!
8) What an entertaining movie!
9) What a beautiful sunset!
10) Bravo! We won the match again.
11) What! He came back.
12) Well done! You scored well!
13) What a strange fellow!
14) How secretly he walks into the class!
15) How well she talks!
16) How well he dances!
17) What a beautiful house they have!
18) What a great leader he was!
19) Sorry! I hurt your feelings.
20) What a delicious cake!
1) The captain did well.
2) It is a matter of surprise that it was him.
3) The building is very big.
4) It is a great car.
5) It is a matter of sorrow that I lost my best watch.
6) It is a matter of surprise that he won again.
7) It is a matter of contempt that he again lost his watch.
8) The movie is very entertaining.
9) The sunset is very beautiful.
10) It is a matter of joy that we won the match again.
11) It is a matter of surprise that he came back.
12) It is a matter of applause that you scored well.
13) The fellow is very strange.
14) He walks very secretly into the class.
15) She talks very well.
16) He dances very well.
17) They have a very beautiful house/Their house is very beautiful.
18) He was a great leader.
19) It is a matter or regret that I hurt your feelings.
20) The cake is very delicious.