Exclamatory sentences are the ones that express sudden or strong emotions and feelings, but I saw some sentences expressing feelings without exclamation marks. Why is that? For example:

"Oh, is that place dark?"

"Oh, no"

Shouldn't we add an exclamation mark after "Oh" instead of a comma? If it is mandatory not to add "!" after "Oh', what about the second example? It is clearly filled with emotion! GOSH! I am so confused :(

1 Answer 1


While "Oh" can be an exclamation, that's only one subcategory of interjection.

The word can be used as other types of interjection that convey different emotions, including ones not associated with excitement at all.

Request for confirmation or more information, expression of doubt: "Oh?"

Acknowledgement that a piece of information is new: "Your food is ready. -- Oh."

Expression of disappointment: "Oh."

The choice of punctuation will generally be a stylistic one for most of The word's range.

  • "Oh" often indicates rather mild disappointment; if you're really upset you'll say something more forceful and probably more obscene. Absolutely agree that exclamation mark use is a matter of style, although English language learners perhaps get told "rules" which are greatly simplified, compared both to slang/colloquial language and to literary use.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Dec 15, 2022 at 12:02

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