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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Intonation for Tag Questions & Negative Questions - English Pronunciation with JenniferESL

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Have you ever tried a balance board?

It's a bit tricky at first,

but you can learn to hold the board level

at least for a moment or two.

The fun is actually in the rises and falls.

You have to learn to control them.

It's kind of like intonation.

The greater control you have over your rising and falling intonation,

the more you can do with your communication in English.

Let's talk more about rising and falling intonation.

We'll focus on tag questions and negative questions.


Tag questions are added on to the end of a statement.

They're tagged on.

They make use of a helping verb and a subject pronoun.

You remember, don't you?

Tag questions follow a pattern.

Some of you didn't see my grammar lesson on this topic, did you?

To review tag questions, check out my English grammar playlist.

It's important to use the correct intonation with tag questions.

Rising intonation makes it a real question.

We expect the listener to agree (or confirm).

Because we have a verb and a pronoun, we have more than one syllable to work with.

So when we rise on a tag question, we step up in pitch.

Listen again.

Didn't you?

And I stress my helping verb: DIDN'T you?

There's a slight pause after the statement and before the tag question.


I stress the helping verb: CAN'T you?

And there's a pause before I say the tag question.

Falling intonation makes a tag question a comment.

We're pretty certain about our conclusion, so we use falling intonation to express our certainty.

Try saying a dialog with me.

It will go like this.

Now I'll be person A and you'll be person B. Okay?

You have good coordination, don't you?

I got a balance board. Maybe you want to try it out.

Exactly. Are you up for it?

Let's try switching.

I'll play role B, and you take role A.

Here we go.

Why do you ask?

That's a board on top of a roller, isn't it?

Let me try.

Look! I'm pretty good at this, aren't I?

Now let's talk about negative questions.

They can serve the same purpose as tag questions.

But they look a little different.

Didn't you see my grammar lesson on this?

If not, check it out.

With negative questions, we go down in pitch to comment.

We go up in pitch when we're really asking for confirmation.

See if you can tell the difference.

Am I using rising or falling intonation?

You can use those same negative questions for practice.

Listen and repeat.

Here they are again.

That's all for now. Thanks for watching and happy studies!

The Description of Intonation for Tag Questions & Negative Questions - English Pronunciation with JenniferESL