What a great student you are! How wonderful! In this video, I will teach you about “how” and “what” exclamations such as “How exciting!” “What a cute couple!” Exclamations are very important in conversational English, and will help you to sound more natural in your English. Watch this video to find out more. What a great idea!
Exclamations in English!!! video
Hello. My name is Emma, and in today’s lesson, we will be talking about exclamations: How exciting! So what is an “exclamation”? Well, “How exciting!” is an example of an exclamation. So an “exclamation” is, pretty much, something you say — so this is used in conversation English, not written — when you want to show you are surprised about something, okay? “Whoa! What a big car!”, for example. You can also use it when you want to emphasize something — when you want to show you really mean something. So for example, yesterday, my grandmother gave me this beautiful ring. So what did I say when I got the ring? I said, “What a beautiful ring, Nanny!” I call my grandma “Nanny”. I also said, “How beautiful!” These are examples of exclamations. So we use them a lot in conversation.
So let’s look at how you make an exclamation. Okay, so first, we will look at “how”. We make a “how” exclamation by taking “How + an adjective!” If you remember, an “adjective” is something that describes a noun. Example: exciting, interesting, big, small, medium, beautiful, pretty, cool. These are all adjectives. So for example, “How exciting!” — this is an exclamation. And do you notice what is at the end of this sentence? That’s right. An exclamation mark. So maybe you’re talking to your friend; they’re telling you about their job; what’s their job? Maybe they’re an astronaut. They go to space. What would you say to them? You’d say, “How exciting!” Meaning you’re very excited for them. “How strange!” So again, “How + adj.!” There is no verb. And we have, again, our exclamation mark. “How strange!” Maybe you would say this if you saw a haunted house or a weird man or you saw someone doing something very strange. You would say, “How strange!” Another example: Maybe you see a baby. Your friend just had a baby. You’re looking at it. It has these nice, big eyes. What do you say? “How cute!” I always say this when I see puppies and kittens. “How cute!” Okay, so again, no verb, and if you write it, it has an exclamation mark. Okay. So these are our “how” exclamations.
Let’s look at our “what” exclamations. It’s on this side. It’s the same idea. We use this when we’re showing surprise, or we really want to show we mean something. So the formula — it’s like math: We take “What + a + adj. +noun!” So let’s isolate this. “What + a + adjective + noun + !” So what are some examples of this? If I saw a movie — I really liked this movie. Maybe it’s an action movie. At the end, I might say, “Wow! What an exciting movie!” Okay? “Exciting” is your adjective; “movie” is your noun. In this case, there is no verb, but you have to be careful. You must remember “a” or “an”. Okay? So it’s either “what a”, “what an”. Let’s look at another example: “What a strange man.” Okay, so again, maybe you see a man doing something very strange or you meet someone; you think they’re very strange. “Oh, what a strange man!” Again: “What + a + adjective is ‘strange’ + noun is ‘man'”. Okay? Another example: “Oh, what a cute baby!” “What a cute baby!” And again, what is your adjective? Cute. What is the noun? Baby. Is there a verb? No. Is there an exclamation mark? Yes. That’s the exclamation mark. Okay.
So these are some examples of exclamations, but there’s another way to do this. So we have with “how”. Maybe you have a sentence: “She is pretty.” “Oh, she’s very pretty.” “She is pretty.” You can say this a different way. Especially in conversation. You can say, “How pretty she is.” So it’s just like what we did up here, but we are adding the subject and the verb. And notice the order: “How pretty she — so subject first — is — verb last.” Okay? “How exciting the movie was!” “How strange the man is!” “How cute the babies are!” Here are some more examples of this.
Now, we can do something similar with “what” exclamations. This sentence: “You have big eyes.” There’s a very famous story called “The Three Little Pigs” — or no. Not “Three Little Pigs”, “Little Red Riding Hood”. And there’s a very famous line in that story — it’s a kids’ story — where the wolf is dressed in Grandmother’s clothes, and Red Riding Hood says to the wolf: “Grandma, what big eyes do you have!” Oh, actually, “What big eyes you have!” There’s no “do”! “What big eyes you have!” “What big lips you have!” “What big teeth you have!” Okay? So that’s from a very famous story. So it’s just like what we did up here. You have “What” — you don’t have “a”, but “What + adjective + noun + subject + verb”. We could say also, “What an exciting movie this is!” “What a strange man he is!”
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