In Science By Victoria

Intonation in English

Whatever the level of English you do not, you most likely there were times when you are in a conversation with a native speaker partially or fully understand what is at stake. But you did not understand only one reason: you could not hear what he says. The problem of the perception of the English speech is not new, it gives us a lot of inconvenience. Large vocabulary and even grammar does not work 100%, if you will not be able to recognize speech familiar to you the words and designs. What becomes an obstacle? Firstly, the pronunciation of sounds and words, respectively, because to learn to speak like a native speaker if you can, it’s incredibly difficult. Secondly, intonation in English. After all its constituent elements are distorted (we think) the English language beyond recognition (on our part).

What is the tone of the English language?

Intonation in English language — a set of specific characteristics of the proposals, which are mandatory feature of speech. In the letter, the intonation is displayed using punctuation. It draws all the tone that we are talking about. With it, we can not only talk, but also to ask questions, to ask for something, anything to be surprised. It is because of the intonation in the English language, we can make our speech emotionally rich — express surprise, frustration, resentment, anger, admiration, and much more.

The main components of intonation in the English language — is the tone (melody voice), rhythm, tempo, tone of voice, phrase, and logical stress. All our speech consists of alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables. We can talk, raising or lowering the voice, thereby pronouncing narrative or interrogative sentences. We are able to speak quickly or stay in certain places. We are able to change the sound design of our speech, passing the necessary emotions. A highlight certain words in a sentence, we can indicate that we mean in this case. Try saying the offer and in turn highlight the different words. For example:

We saw our friend five years ago. — We have seen our friend five years ago.

Putting the emphasis on the first word, you emphasize that it is we, not they had seen each other. Select the second word you want to say what he saw, and did not speak with him. By placing emphasis on the number of years you specify that saw him just five, not ten years ago. And so on. Such training can be carried out on each semantic part of speech (but not official).

All offers are divided into intonation group (syntagma). This so-called segments, which are completed within the meaning of (sometimes it can be a whole sentence). Each has its own syntagmas intonation in the English language, which shows whether it is complete or not the idea. Each intonation group finishes a decrease or an increase in the tone of the last (only) the stressed syllable. Downlink and uplink tones of voice are the two melodies, which, together with phrasal stress, are the main characteristics of the syntagma.

Lowering the tone usually expresses a complete thought, approval or categorical judgments. For example:

It is easy. — It’s easy.

I study French. — I’m studying French.

Low tone say: declarative sentences, devoid of emotional processing; exclamatory and imperative offer, special issues, as well as the second part of multiple-choice questions.

Increased tone, generally characterizes some parts of the proposal, in the sense of unfinished; requests, general questions, the first part of the multiple-choice questions. For example:

Is it ten? — It is ten?

If you are interested intonation in the English language as a particular area of expertise, to be researched (and teach and train it should be), you can read the books by Barbara Bradford «Intonation in Context». In them you will find not only theoretical information about the intonation in the English language, but also a variety of exercises for her workout (mostly, it is situational English dialogue). Or watch a video tutorial dedicated to the training of English intonation, hosted at

Having studied the intonation in the English language, you will not only be able to speak in English at a decent level, but will be much easier to perceive foreign speech at the hearing and, therefore, will be to understand and easier!



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