Pronunciation Tips- A Guide to Better Speaking

 

 

 

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Below is a list of the topics that are covered in this site. Just click on the link and go to that page. Each page will have examples of correct pronunciation of the topic chosen. 

 

 

 

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Hotel English

An English language site for students and teachers in the

hotel industry. The site contains lessons plans which cover specific functions that hotel staff are likely to encounter on a daily basis.

 

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Intonation

Information Focus

 

Content words (see section on Rhythm) in spoken sentences are the words that are most important, the words that are stressed. Some sentences may have three, four, five or more content words that are stressed. However, not all the content words have the same stress.

 

There is always one word that has the most stress and emphasis in the sentence. This word is sometimes called the information focus word.

The information focus word will have different pitch (highness or lowness of a sound) and intonation (the rise and fall of pitch when speaking) than the other words in the sentence. English speakers use intonation and pitch to focus the listeners attention on what is important in the message. (Other languages use word order to show this emphasis).

On the information focus word, the intonation will usually rise on that word (or stressed syllable- if more than one syllable) and then go back down. The pitch may also remain up, depending on the sentence type. Short sentences, clauses, and phrases usually only have one information focus word because having more than one is confusing to the listener. The information focus word is usually the last word or near the end of the sentence, but not always.  

Listen to the following sentences and note the rising pitch of the information focus word. The content words are in bold, the information focus word (or stressed syllable) is in italics.

 

  What did you eat?

 

I ate an apple pie.

 

    What's the matter with you?   I'm upset because I just lost my job.
 

  When are you coming over tonight?

 

I'll be there at 7:00.

 

 

  Would you like to go to the movies with me?  

 

 

Sure, when?  

 

 

  Why is the chicken burnt?    

 

Because I had the oven set to high

 

          Other Intonation Pages

                 Page 2     Intonation Patterns

                 Page 3     New information and Special meaning

                 Page 4     Choice and Tag Questions

                 Page 5     Talking to/about people and Lists

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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