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Conjunction vs. Interjection: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on January 21, 2024
A conjunction is a word used to connect clauses or sentences, while an interjection is a word or phrase that expresses sudden emotion or sentiment.

Key Differences

Conjunctions are used to link words, phrases, or clauses in a sentence, providing coherence. Interjections, on the other hand, are exclamatory words or phrases expressing emotion or reaction and are often standalone.
Common conjunctions include 'and', 'but', 'or', while interjections include 'wow', 'ouch', 'hey'. Conjunctions integrate smoothly into sentence structure, whereas interjections can interrupt or stand apart from the main sentence.
Conjunctions are integral to sentence construction and grammar, affecting the relationship between sentence parts. Interjections do not directly affect the grammatical structure of a sentence but add emotional or expressive flavor.
There are coordinating, subordinating, and correlative conjunctions, each serving different linking functions. Interjections can be sounds, words, or short phrases and vary widely based on the emotion or response they convey.
Conjunctions usually do not require special punctuation, but interjections are often followed by an exclamation point or comma, highlighting their expressive nature.

Comparison Chart

Primary Function

Connects clauses or sentences
Expresses emotion or sentiment

Example Words

'and', 'but', 'or', 'because', 'while'
'wow', 'ouch', 'alas', 'hurray', 'oh'

Grammatical Role

Integral to sentence structure
Standalone, not integral to structure


Generally not punctuated
Often followed by exclamation point or comma


Coordinating, subordinating, correlative
Varies based on expressed emotion or response

Conjunction and Interjection Definitions


A word used to connect clauses or sentences.
She plays the piano and sings.


A word for sudden reaction.
Yikes! That was close.


A linking word in a sentence.
I want to go, but I am busy.


An exclamatory word or phrase.
Hey! Look over here!


Balances or contrasts sentence elements.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be.


An abrupt remark, expressing emotion.
Wow! That's amazing!


Joins words, phrases, or clauses.
He is either coming or staying.


A word expressing sudden feeling.
Ouch! That hurt!


A word that shows relationship between phrases.
She'll succeed because she works hard.


An emotional response or exclamation.
Oh no! I forgot the keys.


The act of joining.


A sudden, short utterance; an ejaculation.


The state of being joined.


The part of speech that usually expresses emotion and is capable of standing alone.


Any of the words belonging to this part of speech, such as Ugh! or Wow!


(grammar) An exclamation or filled pause; a word or phrase with no particular grammatical relation to a sentence, often an expression of emotion.


An interruption; something interjected


The act of interjecting or throwing between; also, that which is interjected.
The interjection of laughing.


A word or form of speech thrown in to express emotion or feeling, as O! Alas! Ha ha! Begone! etc. Compare Exclamation.
An interjection implies a meaning which it would require a whole grammatical sentence to expound, and it may be regarded as the rudiment of such a sentence. But it is a confusion of thought to rank it among the parts of speech.
How now! interjections? Why, then, some be of laughing, as, ah, ha, he!


An abrupt emphatic exclamation expressing emotion


The action of interjecting or interposing an action or remark that interrupts


What is a conjunction?

A word that connects clauses or sentences.

Can a sentence start with a conjunction?

Yes, though traditionally it's avoided in formal writing.

What are examples of coordinating conjunctions?

'And', 'but', 'or', 'nor', 'for', 'yet', 'so'.

What is an interjection?

A word or phrase expressing sudden emotion.

Are interjections part of sentence grammar?

No, they stand apart from the grammatical structure.

Are there different types of conjunctions?

Yes, including coordinating, subordinating, and correlative.

Are interjections important in spoken language?

Yes, they convey emotion and reaction in speech.

Do interjections always express positive emotions?

No, they can express a range of emotions, including surprise, pain, or joy.

What's an example of a subordinating conjunction?

Words like 'because', 'although', 'since'.

Can interjections be used in formal writing?

Sparingly, as they are more common in casual or expressive language.

Do interjections need to be followed by specific punctuation?

Often by an exclamation point or comma for emphasis.

Can a sentence have multiple conjunctions?

Yes, but they should be used to maintain clarity.

How do conjunctions enhance writing?

They provide coherence and connection between ideas.

Are interjections always loud or emphatic?

Not necessarily; they can be subtle depending on context.

Do interjections have a grammatical function?

No, they are mainly for expressive purposes.

How do conjunctions affect sentence meaning?

They can change the relationship and meaning between different parts of a sentence.

Can interjections be more than one word?

Yes, phrases like 'oh no' or 'good grief' are interjections.

Can conjunctions link independent clauses?

Yes, particularly coordinating conjunctions.

Is 'because' a conjunction?

Yes, it's a subordinating conjunction.

Can interjections be nonverbal?

In spoken language, nonverbal sounds can act as interjections.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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