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Expressing Moods, Emotions and Attitude

Expressing moods, emotions and attitudes is part of our overall communication, as we've seen in our ABCD model, where A were the concepts, B the type of information we impart, C the mood, emotion or attitude we undertake when imparting that communication and D -  meanings in connected discourse.

Let’s work on item C for a while – the mood and emotion that accompanies our message and ways of expressing our feelings, because I realise that many times learners don’t even want to speak, because they don’t know how to express not only their ideas, but also their related feelings. The English language is not just a means of giving and receiving information - it is communication between people, i.e. it often expresses the emotions and attitudes of the speaker. Moreover, the speaker often uses the language to influence the attitudes and behaviour of the listener.

One way of expressing moods is by using a less significant part of speech – one that everybody knows and it doesn’t cost you any effort in glancing over it again, namely the simple interjection.

These are words whose only function is to express emotion. Common English interjections are:

Oh /oƱ/ = surprise;
Ah /ɒ:/ = satisfaction, recognition, etc.;
Aha /ə’h ɒ:/ = jubilant satisfaction, recognition, etc.;
Wow /waƱ/ = great surprise;
Yipee /’jӀpi:/ = excitement, delight;
Ouch /aƱtʃ/ ; Ow /aƱ/ = pain;
Ugh /ʌh/ = disgust;
Ooh /u:/ = pleasure, pain.

Examples of the above, in sentences:

Oh, what a beautiful present!
Ah, that’s just what I wanted!
Aha, these books are exactly what I was looking for.
Wow, what a fantastic goal!
Yipee, this is fun!
Ouch, my foot!
Ugh, what a mess.
Ooh, this cream cake’s delicious.

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