Intonation Pattern XIV



Stress-and-tone mark in the text: Rise-Fall: [-].

In syllables pronounced with the Rise-Fall the voice first rises from a fairly low to a high pitch, and then quickly falls to a very low pitch. The Rise and Fall can be pronounced within one syllable or spread over two or more syllables. This intonation pattern is used:

1. In statements, impressed, self-satisfied, challenging, censorious, disclaiming responsibility, e. g.:

It's rather difficult, isn't it? - ˆTerribly difficult.

Are you sure? - ˆCertainly.

Jane was terribly upset. - You can hardly ˆblame her.

2. In questiоns:

a) in special questions, challenging, antagonistic, disclaiming responsibility, e. g.:

You could surely find the money somewhere.- (But) ˆwhere?

I can't understand her.- Who ˆcan?

b) in general questions, impressed, challenging, antagonistic, e. g.:

He shot an elephant.-ˆDid he?

It's a faster car.- But is it any ˆsafer?

3. In imperatives, disclaiming responsibility, hostile, e. g.: I hate it but what can I do? - ˆTell them you ˆhate it.

4. In exclamations, impressed, e. g.:

He's due home tomorrow.- How ˆmarvellous! Magˆnificent.



1.** Listen carefully to the following conversational situations. Concentrate your attention on the intonation of the replies.

Verbal Context Drill
  (impressed, self-satisfied, challenging, censorious, disclaiming responsibility)
Have you heard about Pat? Yes. (Isn't it scandalous!)
Did you see any lions? Lots.
Who painted this? Me. (Aren't I clever!)
Who was top of the class? Jane. Don. Hugh. Keith.
It's good, isn't it? Marvellous.
Can you see? Perfectly.
Wasn't it a good lecture? Very good.
Have you ever been to York? Many times.
It was better the second time, wasn't it? Much better.
I was very cross with him. Naturally. Anyone would be.
Shall we be in time? We'll be ahead of time.
It was rather odd, wasn't it? It was incredible.
Can I have a word with you? By all means.
Did you like it? I simply hated it.
Are you fond of him? I just can't tell you how much he means to me.
What was the party like? First rate. I don't know when I've enjoyed myself so much.
Did you save time? I was able to do it in half the time.
Which one shall I choose? It's up to you. You must make up your own mind.
  Special questions
  (challenging, antagonistic, disclaiming- responsibility)
You could surely find the money somewhere. Where?
You'll have to accept. Why?
You pay for. it. How?
Well, borrow a ruler. Whose?
I can't see you to-day. When, then?
I've left my hat behind. Where, pray?
Would you mind passing the book? What book?
I'll make it soon, I promise. Yes, but how soon?
Don't forget to bring your camera. Which one?


Would Max have a game? Why not ask him?
I've had this pain for days. Why don't you do something about it?
  General questions
  (impressed, challenging, antagonistic)
You can't go in there. Can't I? (We'll see about that.)
I'll punch your head. Will you? (And who'll help you?)
They've now here to live. Haven't they?
I wouldn't put up with it. Wouldn't you?
You ought to apologize. Oh, ought I, indeed?
You don't know what you're talking about. Oh, don't I?
It was a shame he had to give'up. Yes, wasn't it?
Larry will be terrible as Hamlet. Can you imagine him?
  (disclaiming responsibility, hostile)
May I take this newspaper? Do. Please.
How do you advise me to get there? Fly.
Who are the flowers from? Guess.
I hate it, but what can I do? Tell them you hate it.
I don't really want to go. Refuse, then.
Don't talk with your mouth full. Don't you do it, then.
It's not much of a cut. Then don't make so much fuss about it.
So far I haven't had time. Start now, then.
Thank you very much. Don't mention it.
May I borrow this book for a while? Keep it as long as you like.
I'm going to risk it, in spite of what you say. Don't say I didn't warn you, then.
I'm most terribly sorry. Don't give it another thought.
John's got it now. Oh! (That's different.)
You can have it back on Sunday. Fine! (That's plenty soon enough.)
I've finished that. Good! (You were quicker than I expected.)
I'll introduce you to him. Thanks!
Did you finish that job? Heavens, yes! Ages ago!
Did you pass your exam? Of course!


I'm so sorry I was rude. I should think so, indeed.
I'm awfully sorry. No doubt! (But it's too late for apologies.)
John may treat us. Not him! (He's far too mean.)
I've missed my turn. Serves you right! (You should pay more attention.)
May I come too? The more the merrier.
Thank you so much. Not at all! Thank you!

2. Listen to the replies and repeat them in the intervals. When pronouncing the Rise-Fall make your voice rise from a fairly low to a high pitch and then fall quickly to a very low note. Do not forget to blend the words together.

3. Listen to the verbal context and reply in the intervals.

4. In order to fix Intonation Pattern XIV in your mind, ear and speech habits repeat all the replies yourself until they sound perfectly natural to you. See that your Russian pronunciation habits do not interfere.

5. Listen to a fellow-student reading the replies. Tell him what his errors in intonation are.

6. Listen to your teacher reading' the verbal context below. Reply by using one of the drill sentences. Pronounce it with Intonation Pattern XIV. Say what attitude you mean to render.

Verbal Context Drill
Her parents will never approve of her taste. Surely, not.
Will they touch upon all the questions in the article? Precisely.
You have very little experience in teaching English. Probably. (But I'm going to gain some.)
Has he made any effort to fix the tent? Certainly. But it's not so easy.
He is going on a hiking tour. I thought you knew about it.
She arouses everybody's admiration. We are not surprised. She is so beautiful and clever.
Spare her nerves. I don't think you quite understand what she's done.
How long will it take you? A month or two, at any rate.
How did he accept it? He was full of indignation, I think.
They are going to make some inquiries about the affair. When?
They can't spare you any time now. But why didn't they tell us before?
Make a note of her telephone number now. Why didn't you do it in time?
Frankly speaking I am quite well aware of it. What difference does it make, may I ask?
She displays no enthusiasm about the work. Whoever would if the work isn't interesting?


She refuses every present of his. What's the use of doing that?
Eight o'clock won't suit her either. What time is suitable for her then?
I can't admit she is wrong. Who can?
Her name is on the list. Why not, I wonder?
Has he proposed to her? Why should you worry about it?
He promised to do every thing in time. Did he do it, in fact?
We are far from indifferent to what you're doing. Are you really?
You shouldn't have touched upon such things in public. Shouldn't I?
Everybody without exception is ready to do it. Yes, I know, but can you?
She dreams of having this book. Buy it for her, then.
The ten o'clock train won't suit us. Go by the six o'clock one.
How can I make inquiries about the train's departure? Phone them.
Will you enter her name in the list? With pleasure!
I reminded him of his promise. Good of you!
Will they accept my apology? Why, naturally!
Will you make an effort to do it again? No doubt!
May I help myself? Yes, do.
Don't treat me like a baby. Be sensible, then.
I ought to invite her. Well, then invite her.
That's a silly plan. You suggest a better one.
Will you lend a hand, Tom? With pleasure! Why, certainly!
I got really cross with them. Good for you! Well done!
Nikki's not coming. So much the better!
The petrol tank was empty. No wonder the car wouldn't start!

7. Pronounce the drill sentences with Low Fall. Observe the difference in attitude.

8. Your teacher will suggest a verbal context. You in turn respond to it by using Intonation Pattern XIV. The drill will continue until every student has participated. Keep the exercise moving rapidly.

Reference material for the teacher:

  • Why didn't you take advantage of an opportunity to tell them the truth?
  • Isn't it a decent film?
  • What are you going to do to clear everything up?
  • Who told you the time doesn't suit us?
  • Why didn't he try to propose to her?
  • Jane is on the list of students going to London.
  • What inspired the poet to write the verses?
  • She couldn't accept his gifts.
  • His action aroused everybody's indignation.


  • Their unexpected coming was a surprise to us.
  • Why were you not frank with him?
  • Can you spare me a few minutes?
  • Why don't you do anything to gain more experience in writing essays?
  • We can't approve of he being idle al the time.
  • Is he dreaming of a good collection of stamps?
  • He made no effort to make everybody sure lie was right.
  • Couldn't you let me know about it before?
  • My shoes are too tight.
  • He was cross because you beat him.
  • What weather we're having!
  • Don't treat me like a baby.
  • You seem very happy about your success.
  • Can we afford to buy it?
  • We ought to stay in to-night.

9. Your teacher will suggest a verbal context. You in turn respond to it by using:

  • a) statements, sounding self-satisfied, challenging,. censorious, disclaiming responsibility;
  • b) special questions, sounding challenging, antagonistic disclaiming responsibility;
  • c) general questions, sounding impressed, challenging, antagonistic;
  • d) imperatives-disclaiming responsibility;
  • e) exclamations-impressed.

10. This exercise is meant to develop your ability to hear and reproduce Intonation in proper speech situations. Listen to the extract from "The Importance of Being Earnest" (see p. 51). Find sentences with Intonation Pattern XIV. Use them in conversational situations. Say what attitudes are rendered by them.

11. Make up a conversation between two hikers using phrases with Intonation Pattern XIV.

12. This exercise is meant to develop your ability to hear and reproduce intonation. Listen to the extract from "Three Men in a Boat" by Jerome K. Jerome carefully "sentence by sentence (see pp. 27-29). Mark the stresses and tunes. Practise reading the text according to the Model you have listened to.

13. This exercise is meant to develop your ability to read and narrate a text with proper intonation.

a) Listen to the text. Write it down. Mark the stresses and tunes. Practise reading the text.

b) Listen carefully to the narration of the story. Observe the peculiarities in Intonation-group division, pitch, stress and tempo. Note the use of temporizers. Retell the story according to the model you have listened to.

14. Read and retell any extract from "Three Men in a Boat" by Jerome K. Jerome.


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