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exclamatory rule / !

(28 Posts)
onedayatatime73 Sun 24-Apr-16 11:01:38

Can someone (mrsz?) please help as I am trying to help 7yr dd with her homework and i am confused with the new rule.

So the first bit I think I get which is that an exclamatory SENTENCE has to start with what or how, and contain a verb.

But then I am confused - does a command have a an ! Eg is it
Sit down and shut up!
Sit down and shut up.
But it is called a command and not an exclamatory sentence because it doesn't have a how/what. Is that right?

And can you still use an ! After a single word eg
And again that is a command?

Then she has to identify what sort of sentence lots of examples are
Are they
Exclamatory sentences.

On of the examples is
"Oh no"
Am I right in presuming this is a statement as it's not a command, and can't be an exclamatory sentence as doesn't have what/ how?

Sorry. Finding this so confusing.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 24-Apr-16 11:11:10

Yes. In terms of sentence types, there are 4 - statement, question, command, exclamatory.

The exclamatory sentence does begin with what or how, has a verb and is punctuated with an exclamation mark.

As a punctuation mark, the exclamation mark can be used in other ways too. So, "Stop!" or 'Sit down and shut up!" could also have an exclamation mark.

"Oh no!" wouldn't be a sentence at all. It doesn't have a verb. All sentences must have a subject and a verb.

Feenie Sun 24-Apr-16 11:15:07

The homework is confusing! 'Oh no!' is an exclamatory phrase (no verb).

A command can have an exclamation mark or a full stop, and begins with a verb.

You can use an exclamation mark where you like, but an exclamation sentence has to follow the rules you quote - starts with What/How, includes a verb.

EElisavetaOfBelsornia Sun 24-Apr-16 11:16:48

Can anyone give an example of the what or how exclamatory sentences?

Feenie Sun 24-Apr-16 11:21:00

What great big eyes you have, Grandma!

I suspect that will be done death by Y2 classes from now on.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 24-Apr-16 11:21:22

"What big ears you have, Grandma!"

"What a great time we had!"

"How exciting it is!"

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 24-Apr-16 11:22:30

It's impossible to use it in any other context than Little Red Riding Hood without sounding like you're trying to write in the style of Enid Blyton.

Feenie Sun 24-Apr-16 11:23:48


How excited I felt!
What a sunny day it was!

If they sound artificial for a six year old to use in their writing, that's because they are, and ruin the flow of a class full of perfectly good recounts.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 24-Apr-16 11:24:15

Or possibly Elinor Brent-Dyer. grin

I would have though she might have used some.

Feenie Sun 24-Apr-16 11:25:27


mrz Sun 24-Apr-16 11:44:26

Stop! and Oh no! are interjections (which 6 year olds understand and use naturally but aren't expected to know) hmm

Exclamatory sentences work well in fairy stories What lovely glass slippers!
What an enormous beanstalk! How kind you are! How beautiful you look!
but not so naturally in other types of writing.

Feenie Sun 24-Apr-16 11:52:29

Those first two fairy story ones aren't sentences, mrz, sorry! smile

mrz Sun 24-Apr-16 12:24:25

True! blush

Paperm0ver Sun 24-Apr-16 13:12:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Feenie Sun 24-Apr-16 13:24:21

I attended a moderation meeting last week and had to explain it to a group of Y2 teachers - including a head.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 24-Apr-16 15:36:51

It's totally ridiculous.

Mrz's mistake shows how easy it is to get wrong even if you do know it.

I'm not sure this is a piece of grammar anyone needs to know, let alone a 6 year old.

3 sentence types and the use of the exclamation mark seems like a good balance.

mrz Sun 24-Apr-16 16:51:10

What lovely glass slippers you have! Is an exclamatory sentence What lovely glass slippers! (No verb so not a sentence)
What an enormous beanstalk has grown! Is What an enormous beanstalk isn't

Sorry! (Interjection) 🤔

And it's a very long time since I was six!

EElisavetaOfBelsornia Sun 24-Apr-16 17:06:50

What difficult homework! How unnecessary for a 7 year old to understand!

Feenie Sun 24-Apr-16 17:09:48

Yet it's part of the Y2 curriculum and they have to demonstrate their use to be at age related expectations. At, mind, not at greater depth or anything.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 24-Apr-16 17:20:00

Just out of curiosity, is everyone else thinking of exclamations beginning with 'what' or 'how' and then trying to add a verb to the end?

It really isn't a very natural sentence structure in modern English and I'm struggling to think of any writing using a more formal tone where an exclamatory sentence might be appropriate.

mrz Sun 24-Apr-16 17:22:37

In formal writing exclamation marks should be avoided.

OurBlanche Sun 24-Apr-16 17:25:31

How right you are!

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 24-Apr-16 17:25:34


OurBlanche Sun 24-Apr-16 17:25:38


AcrossthePond55 Sun 24-Apr-16 17:25:51

Completely OT, but now I've got this as an ear worm

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