What is an exclamation sentence?
What are exclamation sentences or exclamations?
An exclamation is forceful statement which expresses high levels of emotion or excitement.
For the purposes of the primary curriculum, exclamations always begin with ‘what’ or ‘how’ and are usually punctuated by an exclamation mark ( ! ).
An easy way to think of exclamation sentences is to think of fairy tales. For example, Little Red Riding Hood might speak in exclamations like these:
Examples of exclamation sentences are:
Download Fantastic FREE Grammar Resources!
- Perfect Punctuation Workbook
- Grammar Games Pack
- PLUS 100s of other grammar resources
What is the difference between an exclamation and an exclamation mark?
Using an exclamation mark for punctuation doesn't change every sentence into an exclamation.
An exclamation mark is a punctuation mark that can end statements and commands as well as exclamations. Exclamation marks can also be placed after a phrase or single word (an interjection like Hey!). Exclamation marks are used to show that the writer wants to communicate strong emotion.
When are exclamations taught?
- A statement ends in a full stop
- A question ends in a question mark
- An exclamation ends in an exclamation mark
- A command ends in a full stop or an exclamation mark.
In Year 2, the year in which children sit their KS1 SATs, the correct use of exclamations and exclamation marks is reinforced. An example of the type of question about exclamations children might be asked during Year 2 SATs is:
In later year groups, children will learn to use exclamation sentences in their writing.
In Year 3, they might practise writing exclamations as part of direct speech (this is a progression from simply using full stops within speech).
By the end of KS2, children in Year 6 might be tested on exclamations during their Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation paper in SATs. For example:
How are exclamations taught?
In Year 2 there will be more time spent focusing on identifying what type of punctuation a sentence requires to show that it has ended, with some children attempting to show that a character is ‘yelling’ or showing emotion by using an exclamation mark. Speech marks wouldn’t be required at this point as the use of speech marks is a Year 3 grammar objective.
The definition of an “exclamation sentence” as a sentence which must start with either “how” or “what” and include a verb is very specific to the primary-school grammar curriculum.