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Intonation Patterns

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Mark Anthony Coscos

on 8 July 2014

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Transcript of Intonation Patterns

3. The 2 – 3 – 2 intonation pattern is used in three common situations

The non-final intonation is used in that part of the sentence which precedes the last stressed word. In the non-final intonation, the voice begins on normal (2) then rises to pitch level 3 on the stressed word, and returns to normal level or tune(2).This intonation pattern may be used in the following situations in combination with the rising-falling (2-3-1) or rising (2-3-3) intonation patterns.

In specially stressed function words or content words that precede the last stressed words as in:

Are you ready t o leave?

They should be here on time.

2. The 2-3-3 or Rising Intonation

In the rising intonation, the voice begins on the normal (2) tune and ends on a high (3) tune on the last stressed word of the sentence.


Did you sleep well?
Is he in school?
Are you sure you’ve got enough paper?
Have you been to may places this year?
Can you drive?
The Basic Intonation Patterns
1. The 2-3-1 or Rising – falling Intonation

The rising – falling intonation or 2-3-1 pattern begins on the normal(2) tune and ends by raising the voice to high (3) on the last stressed syllable sentence, then making it fall to low (1).


This first linear presentation is used when the last word in the sentence has 2 or more syllables. This is called SHIFT.


This linear presentation is used for words with one syllable only. It is called GLIDE.

Example: I am your father. - Falling Intonation
Is this yours? - Rising Intonation
Uses of Falling Intonation
1. A statement, a command or request.
ex: Aida is an honest accountant.
Go home after school.

2. A question which cannot be answered by yes or no.
ex: Why do you like mathematics?

3. A tag question expressing certainty.
ex: She is not your sister, is she?
What is your name?
Intonation Patterns
There are four tunes used in speaking. They are (1) low, (2) normal, (3) high, and (4) extra high. The first three are the most commonly used tunes and the intonation patterns of Standard American English are the combination of these three tunes.
Uses of Rising Intonation
1. At the end of a yes / no question.
ex: Is Miss Milan a nurse?
Are you going to the concert?

2. After a phrase within a sentence.
ex: Together with his father, Adrian flew to Cebu.

3. In enumerating persons, places, objects, etc.
ex: My mother bought rice, fish, beef and mangoes.
We went to Hongkong, Taipeh, Singapore and Bangkok.
A. In contrast and comparisons as in:

I'm looking for a shoe brush not a hair brush

Dan runs faster than Francis does.

B. In sentences where two or more thought groups are divided by short pauses as in:

He'd like to get it, but he can't.

If you leave now, we have to go with you.

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