The meaning of these two interjections is "oh!" right?


まあ expresses the speaker's surprise. "Oh!", "My!", "Wow!", etc.

あら is used in several situations:

  • Used when the speaker just noticed something unexpected is happening. "Hmm?", "Oh?", "What?", etc.
  • Used when the speaker realized the situation is undesirable. "Uh-oh", "Oh...", "Oops", "That's bad", etc. In this situation we also say あらら, あらあら, ありゃりゃ, etc.
  • Used in the same way as まあ. "Oh!", "Wow!", etc.
  • How about おい and こら?
    – Louis
    Nov 12 '20 at 0:51
  • @Louis They are very different... おい is "Hey!", "Wait!", "Come on!", "Stop it!", etc. こら is used to scold someone.
    – naruto
    Nov 12 '20 at 3:16
  • are these two words also used differently or we can replace あら with まあ? like this sentence "あら (まあ)、かっこよく決めているわね".
    – Louis
    Nov 12 '20 at 7:56
  • @Louis Didn't I explain the difference between あら and まあ? They play different roles and it may or may not be interchangeable depending on the context. But in this case (かっこよく決めているわね), the difference is small and it's interchangeable.
    – naruto
    Nov 14 '20 at 2:56
  • Umm ok, I got it. Thanks a lot.
    – Louis
    Nov 23 '20 at 3:39

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