Posts Tagged ‘exclamatory sentence’

Exclamatory sentences: verb patterns

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)