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Unit 54. Look Who's Talking!

Introducing Tones

Unit 54; Part A

Some idiomatic expressions have a fixed melody, or tone, in English. For example, in Look, who's talking, the voice goes down at the end. The syllable talk - is higher than the syllable -ing. In You'll be lucky, the voice goes up at the end. The syllable luck - is lower than the syllable -y. Listen. 

Unit 54; Part B

But normally we can choose to make our voice go up or down at the end. For example, in tne conversation below, Sid says 'bear' with his voice going down. Joe repeats the word with his voice going up. Listen and notice the way their voices go up or down at the end.

Listen again and say Joe's lines.

note.jpgNote: The choice of tone (voice going up or down) has meaning. We will look at the meaning in Units 55 to 60. 



flag.jpgThe responses to the pairs of sentences a and b below are the same, but the speaker uses a different tone. For example, in the response to Example a, the voice goes down, but in the response to Example b, the voice goes up. Listen and draw a line in the box to show if the voice goes up or down.
Key.1. a↓; b ↑
2. a ↓; b ↑
3. a ↑; b ↓
4. a ↓; b ↑

      a Let's go away for the weekend.                     - Where? 
      b Let's go to Llantisiliogogogoch.                     - Where? 
1    a I know who stole your glasses.                      - Who?
      b It was Mickey Mumpkin.                               - Who?
2    a I've got some bad news for you.                     - What?
      b I'm afraid your house has burnt down.             - What!
3    a Excuse me, can you help us?                        - Yes?
      b Can you take a photo of us with this camera? - Yes.
4    a We're going for a picnic if you want to come.   - When?
      b At midnight tonight.                                      - When?
flag.jpgYou will hear just the responses from 2. Listen and decide if it is the response to a or b.
Key.1. a;    2. b;     3. a;    4. b
Example:    b  
1.   __
2.   __
3.   __
4.   __
Unit 53      Unit 54     Unit 55 forward.jpg