Exclamations: Common Mistakes

Posted by Manjusha. Filed in English Grammar

Incorrect: What a fun!
Correct: What fun!

Incorrect: What rude man!
Correct: What a rude man!

Incorrect: What surprise!
Correct: What a surprise!

In exclamations we use what a/an before a singular countable noun. Articles are not used before uncountable and plural nouns. Note the word order:

What + a/an + (adjective) + singular countable noun
What + (adjective) + uncountable / plural noun

Incorrect: How it is sweet!
Correct: How sweet it is!

Incorrect: How she sings beautifully!
Correct: How beautifully she sings!

The correct pattern is: how + adjective / adverb + subject + verb

Incorrect: She is such pretty girl!
Correct: She is such a pretty girl!

Incorrect: They are such a kind people!
Correct: They are such kind people!

In exclamations, such a/an is used before singular countable nouns. Articles are not used before uncountable or plural nouns. Note the word order:

Such a/an + (adjective) + singular countable noun
Such + (adjective) + uncountable / plural noun

Incorrect: What a beautiful smile has she!
Correct: What a beautiful smile she has!

Note the word order: what + object + subject + verb

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Sections in this article

Exclamations
Exclamations exercise
Exclamations: common errors
Common mistakes with pronouns - Part 2
Common errors with adjectives - part 1
Common errors with adjectives - part 2