December 9th, 2010 in Improve English
Exclamatory sentences are often constructed with what and how or with so and such. Negative question forms are also used.
Exclamations with what
What a/an + (adjective) + singular countable noun
- What a beautiful girl! (NOT What beautiful girl!)
- What a lovely song!
- What a rude man!
- What a pleasant surprise!
What + a/an + (adjective) + noun + subject + verb
- What a fool you are! (NOT What a fool are you!)
- What a charming girl she is! (NOT What a charming girl is she!)
- What a beautiful smile you have! (NOT What a beautiful smile have you!)
What + adjective + uncountable / plural noun
- What lovely flowers!
- What beautiful weather! (NOT What a beautiful weather!)
Exclamations with how
How + adjective / adverb + subject + verb
- How tall you have grown! (NOT How you have grown tall!)
- How cold it is!
- How clever she is!
- How beautifully she dances!
- How quickly he speaks!
Exclamations with so and such
So + adjective
- You are so sweet!
- She is so tall!
Such a/an + adjective + singular countable noun
- She is such a lovely girl. (NOT She is a such lovely girl!)
Such + adjective + uncountable / plural noun
- They are such kind people! (NOT They are so kind people!)
- They are so kind!. (NOT They are such kind!)
- He talks such rubbish! (NOT He talks such a rubbish!)
Negative question forms
British speakers often use negative question forms in exclamations.
- Hasn’t she grown!
Americans often use non-negative question forms in exclamations.
- Boy, did I make a mistake! (US)
- Boy, didn’t I make a mistake! (GB)