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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Falling Intonation - English Pronunciation with JenniferESL

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Most of us probably take at least a couple thousand steps a day.

But all of those steps aren't in one direction or one level, right?

We go up and down stairs, for example,

and we may also go up and down hills.

It's kind of the same thing with our voice when we speak English.

There are ups and downs.

My goal is to help you understand

when and how our voice changes in pitch.

The two most common intonation patterns

are falling and rising intonation.

In this lesson we'll practice falling intonation

in statements and in wh- questions.

[title]

Our voice falls at the end of a sentence

or anytime we wish to express finality and certainty.

I just gave you an example.

We use falling intonation for statements.

I enjoy music. I can read musical notes.

The different between those two sentences

is that with "music" I have two syllables to work with.

MU - sic

I'm going up in pitch on "MU"

and then down in pitch on "sic."

In other words, I'm going up on a stressed syllable

and then I used the following unstressed syllable to step down.

MU - sic

I have to up a little first because if I want to come down,

how can I jump down or step down

if I'm already standing on the floor?

So I have to go up a little in order to come down.

I enjoy music.

I'm making this key change in pitch on the word "music"

because that's my focus word - the word that receives the most stress.

The word "enjoy" is a content word. It's stressed.

But I can't stress "enjoy" and "music" equally

It wouldn't sound natural. Let me try...

Sounds unnatural.

I have to give stress to one of my content words.

That's my focus word, and usually it's the final content word in a sentence.

I enjoy music.

When we have two or more syllables to work with, as in "music,"

Our voice can step down.

It's a bit easier to change our pitch.

But with a word like "notes" there's only one syllable.

So we can't step down.

Our voice has to glide or slide downward.

The syllable is long enough for us to change that pitch.

But again we have to go up a little first

in order to slide or glide down.

Notes.

I can read musical notes.

Notes.

Go up a little and glide down.

I can read musical notes.

My pitch changes on the word "notes."

That's the final content word, which makes it the focus word of the sentence.

I can read musical notes.

Does every sentence have only one focus word?

Well, if you've watched my Oral Reading Fluency series,

you know about thought groups.

Longer sentences break into thought groups.

Each thought group has its own focus words.

So we say each thought group with one intonation pattern.

We're starting with shorter sentences so you can master one intonation pattern at a time.

Later we'll work with longer sentences.

We also use falling intonation in wh- questions.

Those are questions for information, and they begin with words like When? Why? How?

Listen.

When is the performance?

Who sang that song?

Again, you hear me either stepping down or gliding down in pitch.

Try repeating sentences after me.

First, we'll step down from a stressed syllable.

I'll say each sentence a few times before asking you to try.

Now we'll glide down on a single stressed syllable.

Remember to review on your own.

Compare your speech to mine, so record if possible.

Here are the ten sentences again.

I'll say each one only once this time.

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

The Description of Falling Intonation - English Pronunciation with JenniferESL