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BBC你问我答 Intonation 语调

更新时间:2011/8/18 15:55:14 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

This week's question comes from Ricky in Xi'an who wants to know more about intonation in English.

As he points out, intonation is different from pronunciation, and is an important part of learning to speak like a native speaker. But it's also quite difficult to learn.

So here are some tips to helps you.

1) Syllable stress

Every word in English has a natural stress which falls on one of its syllables. For example, the word 'intonation' has four: in-ton-a-tion.

The stress falls on the third syllable in this word: in-ton-A-tion.

It's a good idea to look up a dictionary to find out where the stress falls whenever you learn a new word.

2) Words of degree

In a sentence, words which indicate degree, like 'extremely', 'absolutely' and 'especially', are often stressed in a sentence, for example:

Intonation is extremely important when communicating in English.

3) Emotion

One other time words are stressed is for emotional effect, for example the word 'tired' would often be stressed in the following sentence, because it is the word which lets us know how the speaker is feeling:

I'm tired of talking English, can we speak Chinese please?

4) Asking questions

When asking questions, we often use a rising or falling intonation at the end of the sentence. Listen to the programme to find out when we use which.

5) Emphasis

Sometimes we want to emphasise one piece of information in a sentence. For instance compare the following two sentences and work out what is being emphasised:

I want to eat chocolate cake every day.
I want to eat chocolate cake every day.

In the first sentence, what's being emphasised is that the person wants to eat chocolate cake evey day, not another kind of cake.

In the second sentence, the speaker wants to emphasise that they want to eat chocolate cake evey day, not every week or month.

6) Record and listen to yourself

This is a good way to find out how you actually sound when you speak English, and can help you identify areas where you need to improve your pronunciation and intonation.

7) Listen to native speakers as much as possible

Listen and imitate! It's the best way to learn the rhythms of English.

And those are our seven tips for today. Good luck with improving your English intonation!

Glossary 词汇

Intonation 语调

Pronunciation 发音

Native speaker 英文为母语的人

Stress 强调,重音

Syllable 音节

Degree 程度

Rising intonation 升调

Falling intonation 降调

Emphasise 强调

Identify 找出

Imitate 模仿

Rhythm 节奏

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