2. Rising Intonation
a. yes/no questions
3. Non-final Intonation
a. Unfinished Thoughts
b. Introductory Words
c. Series of Words
d. Expressing Choices
e. Expressing Choices
4. Wavering Intonation
“Intonation” is the melody of language and is made up of pitches that rise and fall. This
rising and falling melody is used to communicate our intentions and our emotions.
Lower your voice at the end of the sentence to produce a “falling intonation.” This intonation
is used for a variety of reasons:
Falling intonation is used in simple sentences that are not questions. For example:
1. My name is John.
Falling intonation is also used when asking questions if they contain interrogative words such
as where, what, why, when, how, and who. For example:
1. What’s his name?
Raise the pitch of your voice at the end of a sentence to create “rising intonation.”
Rising intonation is used in yes/no questions.
With “non-final intonation,” the pitch rises and falls within the sentence or word.
Non-final intonation is often used to indicate that you have not ended a thought. To
indicate that you have something more to say, raise your pitch at the end of the phrase.
For example, “When I saw him...” or “If I study hard...”
Non-final intonation is also used with introductory words, such as actually or by the way.
Since these types of words indicate that a thought is not finished, the non-final intonation
Series of Words
Non-final intonation is used in words and phrases that are listed in a series. The voice rises
at the end of each item, but falls with the final item.
Finally, non-final intonation is used when giving a choice between two or more things.
1. Do you want to eat in or eat out?
“Wavering intonation” is used for expressing specific emotions or attitudes. With this type
of intonation, the pitch changes within words.
Some of the emotions you can express with your intonation include anger, surprise,
sarcasm, hesitation, uncertainty, disgust, fear, amazement, and pity.