“I got the concert tickets!”
"Ugh! Why are you yelling at me?"
Have you ever had a text conversation go something like this? Your friend is trying to convey her excitement and emotion and instead of throwing in some emojis, she used exclamation points. No big deal, just, why was she yelling?
An exclamatory sentence makes a statement that conveys strong emotion or excitement. Placing that tiny stripe above a period can really rock the boat! In truth, exclamation points are like sugar. Sometimes they can be too much.
So, be careful if you mean to say, "I need some coffee," rather than "I need some coffee!" the next time you're contemplating this magical bean. Your tone, the emphasis you place on certain words, and your inflection can all change the meaning — and possibly the urgency — of your sentence.
Let's take a look at some exclamatory sentence examples. We've broken them up into their most common categories.
Note: Exclamatory sentences are so powerful they can stand alone. For example:
In these instances, you don't have to divide the sentiment into two separate sentences. Instead, insert a comma where the speaker would naturally pause and then finish off with that indicator of excitement, the exclamation point.
He's such a kind soul!
That's such a gorgeous ring!
Your puppy is such a cutie!
You’re such a liar!
Exclamatory sentences don't really have a place in academic writing or reports. Short of quoting someone else, they're to be avoided. Academic papers are going to be filled with declarative sentences, which make a statement, or interrogative sentences, which pose a question.
Declarative sentences relay information, plain and simple. They're always punctuated by a period. Interrogative sentences ask questions and they're punctuated by a question mark.
An imperative sentence is also not used much in academic writing, but if you see it in other writing it may be confused with an exclamatory sentence as it can also end with an exclamation point. The difference to remember is that an exclamatory sentence will always express heightened emotion.
In the end, it's best to leave exclamatory sentences for the lighter side of life. It's okay to create a casual blog post with an exclamatory sentence or two. Also, the script for an episode of Friends will be full of exclamatory sentences — and that's why we loved it so much. However, a paper focusing on the benefits of herbal medicine should be far less driven by the exclamation point. Let your writing speak for itself. Speak in clear, concise tones and avoid the urge to place that stripe above your periods(!)