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Thread: wh-questions.

  1. #1
    kalli is offline Newbie
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    Default wh-questions.

    Hello fellow members!
    Here is an issue to think about and maybe a native teacher of English could clarify.
    Does the intonation and stress in interrogative sentences vary?
    We use rising tone in questions like, "Is this your book?","Are the children talking too much?" but do we really use any rising tone in wh- questions?
    I strongly believe that we don't.In questions like "who's this?" or "what are you doing?" it sounds as if we put a fullstop rather than a question mark.
    Would I be correct if I said that in wh-questions we ask without asking?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    matilda Guest

    Talking Re: wh-questions.

    sometimes, when you ask a question as a rhetorical question, you don't have to follow the stress and intonation you are supposed to.
    you have to follow a certain rule when your question really means a question, and you are waiting for a reply.

    but sometimes, you dont need the answer, and that's why you change the intonation and stress.

    and s.th else.
    it has a close relation with your accent.
    in my country, when we want to talk in english, we have to use all intonations and stresses correctly.

    hope that helps, and i was correct

    Matilda

  3. #3
    kalli is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: wh-questions.

    Thanks for your contribution,dear Matilda.I need to have rules,though.Does the intonation of wh-questions differ to the one related to Yes/No questions?and how?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: wh-questions.

    I am not an expert at all or anything, but I am English and people do raise their pitch at the end of Wh- questions as well as just leaving the sentence as though it ended with a full stop. I think both are correct.

    I do not think that there is exactly a rule that says when you raise your pitch. I think it varies from person to person, and people don't notice it anyway.

  5. #5
    matilda Guest

    Talking Re: wh-questions.

    for wh questions, you 'll rise your intonation, even if you don't want to. you do it involuntarily, like WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

    for sentences and Questions with do, does, am,is and are, you fall your voice.
    I'm a student.
    do you like English?

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: wh-questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by kalli
    Would I be correct if I said that in wh-questions we ask without asking?
    I think you would be overstating the case. There might not automatically be a rise, but it's often there, even if not particularly marked.

  7. #7
    kalli is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: wh-questions.

    I,really, do appreciate your contributions. .It seems we agree,dear tdol,that wh-questions are questions.they need answers;but the listener conceives this through the wh-word and not through the high rise.
    I'm afraid,I won't agree with you ,Matilda,since in my opinion the exact opposite is the case.
    thanks!

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: wh-questions.

    There's no need to go crazy over the high rise because the wh- makes it clear. We also use rise for special meanings, especially when we elongate the word- 'Who's thaaaat?' to show extra curiosity, etc.

  9. #9
    kalli is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: wh-questions.

    hello!computer problem kept me away .thanks for the wh- questions clarifications

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