Intonation / Stress

Intonation and stress are important aspects of spoken language that help convey meaning, emphasis, and emotion. Let’s explore each of them in more detail:

1. Intonation:

Intonation refers to the rise and fall of pitch in speech. It plays a crucial role in expressing the attitudes, emotions, and intentions of the speaker. Different intonation patterns can change the meaning of a sentence or indicate a question, statement, command, or sarcasm.

For example:
– Rising intonation at the end of a sentence typically indicates a question: “Are you going to the party?”
– Falling intonation at the end of a sentence usually signifies a statement: “I went to the store.”
– Intonation can also be used to express surprise, excitement, anger, or other emotions: “Wow, that’s amazing!” or “I can’t believe you did that!”

2. Stress:

Stress refers to the emphasis placed on certain syllables or words within a sentence. Stressed syllables are typically pronounced with greater force, pitch, or duration compared to unstressed syllables. Stress patterns help listeners identify important information, understand sentence structure, and differentiate between words that may have the same spelling but different meanings (homographs).

For example:
– In the word “record” (noun), the stress is on the first syllable: “RE-cord” (a physical object for playing music).
– In the word “record” (verb), the stress is on the second syllable: “re-CORD” (to make a note or document something).

Stress also plays a role in sentence-level stress, where certain words or phrases receive more prominence than others to convey meaning or highlight information. Sentence stress can vary based on the speaker’s intention, the context, or the structure of the sentence.

Understanding and correctly using intonation and stress can greatly enhance communication and help convey meaning more effectively in spoken language.

Intonation is another feature of speech that affect the understanding of a message. It is the rise and fall of the voice in speech (or the variation in pitch). Intonation explains the attitude or mood of the speaker to his audience. Whichever mode the speaker is when speaking, intonation changes the level of pitch (how high or low the voice is) which makes speech interesting.

  1. Making a statement giving Command
  2. Close the door at once! (↘)
  3. Get out here (↘)
  4. Don’t touch the broom! (↘)


Making Statements

  1. Deborah is a beautiful girl (↘)
  2. The student is working hard (↘)
  3. The people at the meeting stole the car (↘)

Asking Questions

  1. Why did you come here? (↘)
  2. Whose book is this? (↘)
  3. How did you get there? (↘)
  4. What is your name? (↘)
  5. Who is your mother? (↘)
  6. Is this your book? (↗)


Using statement, command, and question pattern to write five sentences that show a fallen tune.

See also






Author: Mr. Kingsley

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