Thursday, 12 November 2009


Last class we were talking about the important of the intonation.
We already know that intonation can change the meaning of the sentences that we say according to the words that we stress at the moment of speaking we can notice this principally in questions:
Consider the difference between:

* You're coming. (Statement)
* You're coming? (Question)

And the normal intonation for questions in English is:
* Final rising stress for a Yes/No question
o Are you coming today?
* Final falling stress for a Wh-question
o When are you coming? Where are you going?

Another example where we can see this fact is when we are chatting, how many times we get confused because we cannot notice the intonation.
Knowing when and where to stress the words you use is very important for understanding for example is that of stress in two word expressions.

According to the expression the place of the stress changes. In an ordinary expression the two words are used to describe something like a "white HOUSE" (meaning a house that is painted white, and not blue or gray). In this case the most important note is the noun because we are talking about a house that happens to be white or "the WHITE house" where president live. In this case, the emphasis is on the adjective because we are more interested in stressing that it is the house that is known because it is white.
You can do some exercise just click on the followings links:


  1. Thanks for your clear explanation on the rising and falling intonation in questions, p!Nki. For those of you who want more practice, the last link has some exercises on this.

    I also love the exercise. Very over-dramatic, but some great examples of the link between intonation and mood.

  2. P.S. p!Nki, can you please tell me who you when we have class!