You have probably found that you have a fairly limited repertoire of interjections you can use when you are speaking English. Many students use “Oh my God!” for almost everything from showing surprise, interest or even fear of seeing the results of their final exams. It may be the most flexible interjection in the English language, but it’s not the only one.
In this article, we will help you expand your vocabulary and learn other useful interjections for different situations. If you use them properly, others will know that you have risen one step higher in your knowledge of the English language.
Getting the Attention of Others
What do you do if you need to talk to someone, but you don’t know their name? What if you know the person, but they are looking the other way? The following interjections are exactly what you’ll need to get someone’s attention.
This interjection serves to get the attention of someone who has not seen you.
Hey, Audrey! I thought you weren’t coming to the party!
If you want to get someone’s attention silently, you can use a psst!
Psst, Jane! Go hide behind that desk before the teacher comes!
To Express Disbelief or Doubt
Sometimes someone may tell us something that we find difficult to believe. If you want to express any doubt that the conversation may have generated without being too blunt, here are two useful interjections.
One of the best ways to express disbelief is with a little sarcasm.
Yeah… you had dinner with George Clooney last night.
Say no more. With this interjection, it will be more than evident that you do not believe what they have told you.
That Really Hurts!
We all have dropped a heavy object on our foot or surely something else has happened to us that did not leave us very happy. You will definitely see the difference between these interjections after reading the examples.
This is what you yell when you run into something or hurt yourself.
Ouch! Sharon hit me with the ball!
This is used more when we want to express disappointment, but it can also be used if we’ve pricked our finger with a needle.
Ow! My coffee is too hot.
Are You in Trouble?
If you are wrong or if you are in a situation where you know you can’t do much to prevent a problem, you definitely need an alarm signal.
If you’ve made a mistake, you can use this interjection to show that you have realized what you have done.
Oops! We shipped the box to the wrong address.
When you know that something bad is going to happen, you can alert others with this practical interjection.
Uh-oh… someone let the dogs out.
Did Something Surprise You?
It is most appropriate to use “Oh my God!” in situations where you are surprised. But we want to widen your repertoire. Here are two more interjections you can use to show surprise.
This is the simplest of all. There is no way you can wrong with this one.
Wow! Timmy scored a goal!
If you feel really touched by something that has just happened, you can use this interjection to show it.
Are you giving me a free t-shirt? Sweet!
Now you have a good repertoire of interjections to help you communicate naturally. One of the secrets to improving your level of English is to try to integrate what you are learning into your conversations little by little. English is a varied language and if you are interested in sounding more natural, choose a course that includes grammar as well as a strong communicative component. ABA English offers you a course with 144 free video classes and the same number of short films that will help you learn English in a practical and effective way. Why not try it?