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Thread: intonation

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    #1

    intonation

    "Is that right?"

    when using a rising intonation , what it mean?
    how about falling intonation?

    from a learner

  1. nyota's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: intonation

    ***I'm not a teacher***

    I'd say that with a rising intonation you're actually asking for clarification/answer/confirmation. Falling intonation makes it sound more sarcastic, like you were saying "Oh reeaally?" (proper spelling: Oh, really?).

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    #3

    Re: intonation

    *Not a teacher

    Rising intonation

    Your son is doing drugs.
    (getting angry) Is that right, Ben?


    Falling intonation

    Your husband is cheating on you.
    (bursting into tears) Is that right, my love?

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    #4

    Re: intonation

    ***I'm not a teacher***

    Quote Originally Posted by SirGod View Post
    Falling intonation
    Your husband is cheating on you.
    (bursting into tears) Is that right, my love?

    If I was actually asking my husband if he was cheating on me (to me my love somehow points to that) I would use a rising intonation.

    If somebody told me that my husband was cheating on me, and it came as no surprise to me, I might say Is that right with a falling intonation.

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    #5

    Re: intonation

    thanks for the answer

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    #6

    Re: intonation

    NONTeacher

    Rising could imply desperation. They are coming to repossess the car, Gladys." "Is that right, Ben?"
    Falling, perhaps depression. "They said your dog was run over by a steamroller." "Is that right, Ben?"
    It probably depends on the question preceding it, to some degree.

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    #7

    Re: intonation

    Oh OK, I see now how a falling intonation could work with being depressed.

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    #8

    Re: intonation

    I have found a Youtube video on intonation in English. I haven't listened to this one, because my speakers won't work, but I have seen other videos posted by that lady and they were pretty good.

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    #9

    Re: intonation

    No link displayed birdeen! Try again. :)

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    #10

    Re: intonation

    To me, "Is that right" with a falling intonation is always or almost always ironic.

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