Russian Language Grammar

    Classification of Interjections

Russian interjections are divided into the following groups:

1. Primary

2. Secondary

3. Idiomatic

5. Imitative

6. Foreign-borrowed

 

1. Primary

Primary interjections usually consist of one syllable, sometimes of one letter. Examples:   a – ah, oh; ой – oh.

2. Secondary

Secondary interjections are derived from meaningful words – but are only remotely connected with them as far as meaning. Examples:

Батюшки!

– Dear me! (lit. Father! Daddy!)

О Боже! Боже мой!

- Oh dear! Oh my god!

Помилуйте!

– Oh, no! How can you! (lit. Have mercy!)

Брось (бросьте)!

– Stop, quit, come off it! (lit. throw)

Полно

– Enough, stop (lit. full)

Здравствуйте

– Good morning, good day, hello (lit. be well, be healthy)

Спасибо

– Thank you (originally:   God save you.)

Ей-богу!

- By God, indeed

3. Idiomatic

Another group is composed of idiomatic, or set, expressions which function as interjections. For example:

Вот оно что!

So that's what it is!

Вот так-так!

That's something! What do you know!

Вот те (тебе) paз!

Well, I never! Well, I'm sure?

Была – не была.

Come what may.

Вот это да!

That's something like! Wow!

The borderline between these interjections and other parts of speech is not always clear.

4. Foreign-borrowed

To another group of interjections belong words borrowed from foreign languages.   For example:

Алло.

Hallo (answering a telephone, only).

Стоп.

Stop (with traffic).

Браво.

Bravo!

Бис!

Encore (at a theater)!

Ура!

Hurrah!

Ба!

Well!? (expresses surprise, amazement)

5. Imitative

Some words which imitate actions (such us laughing, whistling) or sounds made by animals or objects are classified as interjections:

Xa-xa-xa

Ha-ha-ha (laughter)

Мяу-мяу

Meow-meow (meowing)

Гав-гав 

Bow-wow

Кря-кря

Quack-quack

Ку-ка-ре-ку!

Cock-a-doodle-doo!

Ку-ку!

Cuckoo! (Also: Peek-a-boo!)

Хрю-хрю

Oink-oink

Кар-кар

Croak

Чик-чирик

Tweet-tweet

Бум! Бух!

Boom!

Бах!

Bang!

Бац!

Zap!

Хлоп!

Whack!

Динь-дон!

Ding-dong!