Subordinating conjunctions serve to join a subordinate clause
to the principal clause.
e.g. Whenthe play was over he asked her ifshe would let him see
He felt marvellously happy as thougheverything he did were
The two girls were silent tillhe left the room.
He winked at me as he passed.
The old man said to the boy: "Ifyou don't likeme you may
go home wheneveryou choose."
Subordinating conjunctions may occasionally introduce a word
or a phrase within a simple sentence.
e.g. When a child,he often had to run errands for his elders.
His father was sharp with his children, while at home.
He promised to sell the car if necessary.
There was a dry, pungent smell in the air, as though of dry
vegetation, crisped by the sun.
He looked happy though somewhat tired.
Note. It should be pointed out that a number of conjunctions (a) have hom-
onyms among prepositions (b) and adverbs (c).
e.g. a) He had not heard himself called that name since his mother died.
b) Everything has gone wrong since that night.
c) He had his last meal in the restaurant car and hasn't had anything to eat since.
a) He found himself in his mother's arms before he saw her.
b) I talked to him beforethe conference.
c) I've never seen him so angry before.
a) They spoke little untilthey reached the less busy road.
b) He stayed up untildawn, reading and writing.
a) After he had taken all the things out, she started the car.
b) Afterlunch they all went to their rooms.
§ 1. Interjections are words expressing emotions, such as sur-
prise, anger, pleasure, regret, indignation, encouragement, tri-
umph, etc. They are used as exclamations.
§ 2. Some interjections are special words which are not associ-
ated with any other parts of speech, e.g. oh , ah , eh ,
aha , alas , fie , humph , hum ,
phew , pshaw , pooh , tush , bravo , hurrah , etc.
Some of these interjections serve to express quite definite feel-
ings. Thus alas is a cry of sorrow or anxiety; bravo is a cry of ap-
proval, meaning 'well done, excellent'; hurrah is a cry of express-
ing joy, welcome; fie, pooh and pshaw express contempt; aha
Other interjections, according to the tone of the voice, may
express emotions of different character, e.g. ah may show sorrow,
surprise, pity, pleasure, etc.; oh is an exclamation of surprise,
fear, pain, etc.; phew may express relief, astonishment or con-
tempt; eh — surprise or doubt; tush — contempt or impatience;
humph — doubt, disbelief or dissatisfaction.
§ 3. There are a number of words which belong to different
other parts of speech but which are also used as interjections, e.g.
bother, come; damn; hear, hear; now; there, there; well; why, etc.
We even find phrases used as interjections, e.g. dear me; dear,
dear; goodness gracious; confound it; hang it; for shame; well, I
Some of them, like interjections proper, serve to express quite
definite feelings. For example, bother; oh, bother are exclamations
of impatience; goodness gracious, goodness me are exclamations of
surprise; damn, damn it all, damn you, confound you and hang it
are used to express anger, annoyance; for shame serves as a re-
proof for not being ashamed of one's actions, behaviour; well, I
never expresses surprise and indignation at the same time; hear,
hear is used as a form of cheering, usually to express approval,
but it may also be used ironically; there, there is used to soothe a
person (e.g. There, there, you haven't really hurt yourself}.
Other interjections of this kind may express quite different
feelings, according to the tone of the voice or the context.
Thus dear, dear or dear me or oh, dear express sorrow, im-
patience or wonder; why may be an expression of surprise or pro-
test, as in: Why, it's quite easy!
Come or come, come indicate either encouragement or blame,
as in: Come, cornel Don't be so foolish! or Come, comel You don't
expect me to believe it\
Now and now, now can in different cases serve a different pur-
pose: Now listen to met means I beg you to listen to me; Oh, come
now! expresses surprise, reproof, disbelief. Now, now or now then
are meant as a friendly protest or warning.
Well, depending on the sentence in which it is used, may ex-
press a variety of emotions. In Well, who would have thought it? it serves as an expression of surprise. In Well, here we are at last!
it expresses relief. Well serves to express expectation in Well
then?, Well, what about it?;resignation in Well, it can't be
helped, concession in Well, it may be true, etc.
Note. Imitation sounds such as mew, cock-a-doodle-doo, bang and the like can-
not be treated as interjections since they do not serve to express any feeling.
§ 4. Interjections are independent elements which do not per-
form any of the syntactic functions in the sentence. They are usu-
ally sentence-words themselves and may be used parenthetically.
e.g. "Oh," he exclaimed, unable to suppress his emotion.
"H'm," said Mr Fox thoughtfully.
The great poet said: "The tragedy of our age is that aesthetic
values do not keep pace with social — and, alas,technical —
"Did you notice the stink in the hall?" "Well,not particu-
"Phew!Three times I was nearly sick."
"Marian is going to see her old nurse, Nannie Robeson, in the
afternoon." "ConfoundNannie Robeson! Marian's always
Oh, pooh,look at these stockings!
Now, Marilyn, you don't know what you are doing.
Well...let's walk up there then.
You're about to make a confession to me. Well,don't do it. I
don't want to hear.
Some interjections may be connected with a word in the sen-
tence by means of a preposition.
e.g. Hurrah forJojo and Ed!
Alas forpoor Tommy!
Note. Interjections should be distinguished from such one-word sentences as
Helpl Silencel Nonsense] The latter are notional words, not mere exclamations ex-
NOTES ON THE SYNTACTIC STRUCTURE
OF THE SENTENCE