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An exclamation is any word or phrase that expresses a strong emotion or feeling. The meaning behind the exclamation may be positive or negative, but either way it’s usually
- Spoken suddenly and loudly
- Written with an exclamation point (un point d’exclamation)
In addition to being an interrogative adjective, quel (and its agreeable feminine/plural forms) is an exclamative adjective, used to emphasize a noun.
|Quelle catastrophe !||What a catastrophe!|
|Quels bons enfants !||What good children!|
|Quel courage tu as eu !||What courage you had!|
An exclamative adverb is a word or phrase that expresses a strong feeling about the clause it precedes.
|Combien il a grandi !||He’s grown so much!|
|Comme tu es belle !||You’re so beautiful!|
|Qu’ils sont gentils !||They are so kind!|
The exclamative conjunctions mais and que reinforce a response (yes/no), phrase, or statement.
|Mais c’est bizarre !||That’s so crazy!|
|Que non !||Absolutely not!|
The imperative is the verb mood used for telling people what to do.
|Fais tes devoirs !||Do your homework!|
Note that not all uses of the imperative are necessarily exclamations – sometimes the imperative just makes a request or recommendation. See the lesson for details.
Since there’s no imperative for the third person, que + subjunctive is used for indirect commands and wishes.
|Qu’elle arrive saine et sauve !||May she arrive safe and sound!|
|Qu’ils se taisent !||I wish they’d shut up!|
Pretty much any word or phrase can be used as an exclamation if spoken emphatically or written with an exclamation point.
|C’est pas vrai !||No way!|
|Quoi ! Je ne te crois pas !||What! I don’t believe you!|
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