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Unit 59. It's Fun, Isn't It?

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Agreeing and Disagreeing Tones

Unit 59; Part A

 
idea.jpgImportant for listening!
When we agree with the other person, our voice often goes down at the end. We tell the other person our opinion, confident they will not be upset.
Listen to this conversation. Notice that the voices go down at the end of each line.


           A:    Football's so boring, isn't it?
           B:    Yeah, I know. I hate it.
           A:    I mean, it's just 22 people running after a ball.
           B:    Yeah, how can that be interesting?
           A:    No, golf's much more fun, isn't it?
 

 
note.jpgNote: The expression isn't it? is called a question tag. When we use question tags to tell someone our opinion, the voice goes down at the end. 

Unit 59; Part B

 
idea.jpgImportant for listening!
But when we disagree, our voice often goes up at the end, so our opinion sounds unfinished and less strong, because we do not want to upset the other person.
Listen to the rest of the conversation from A. Notice how the voices go up at the end of each line.

             B:    Well ...            
             A:    You like golf, don't you?            
             B:    It's alright I suppose ...            
             A:    You don't sound very sure.            
             B:    Well, I guess I'm not really sporting person, you know.     
 
    
 

note.jpgNote: The expression don't you? is a question tag. When we use question tags to check information, the voice goes up at the end.

Unit 59; Part C

 
idea.jpgImportant for listening!
We can say the same sentence, but change the meaning by changing how we say it. Listen to these two examples. The speaker in 1 is telling his opinion clearly. The speaker in 2 is leaving something unsaid. You feel he is going to continue with but..

              1    I think they're good.   (That is my opinion.)
              2    I think they're good... (They're not too bad, but there's a reason why I don't like them.)
 
 

Unit 59; Part D

 
idea.jpgImportant for listening!
We can also change the meaning of a question tag by changing how we say it Listen to these inversations.
A:  It's too hot, isn't it? (opinion)
B:  Yeah, let's open the window!
A:  We sometimes have snow in Morocco.
B:  But it's too hot, isn't it?
(check question)
A:  No, not in the mountains.

 

 



Exercises

flag.jpgListen. Are these the speakers' real opinions, or can you 'hear' a but? Write a (.) or (, but...) after each line.
Key.1 It's nice.   
2    We're quite good.   
3    Yes, it is, but...   
4    I don't know.  
5    Yes.
6    He does, but...
7    She likes you.
8    They're friendly, but...
9    Not bad.

Example:     I like tennis  , but...  
1    It's nice    
2    We're quite good           
3    Yes, it is    
4    I don't know    
5    Yes      
6    He does
7    She likes you 
8    They're friendly
9    Not bad

Follow up: Record yourself saying these sentences. Use your recording to do this exercise again in about two weeks.


flag.jpgListen to the four short conversations about the things in the pictures. Are the speakers agreeing or disagreeing? Write agreeing or disagreeing under each picture.
Key.1 disagreeing   
2 disagreeing   
3 agreeing
  
59.2.jpg
flag.jpgComplete each sentence with an ending from the box. Then decide if they are opinions or check questions and draw lines in the boxes. Then listen and check.
Key.1 is it? ↑
2 aren't they? ↓
3 have you? ↑
4 isn't he? ↓
5 wasn't he? ↑
6 don't you? ↑
7 isn't it? ↓
8 is she? ↓
9 doesn't it? ↑
10 was it? ↓

 
is it?     isn't it?     is she?     isn't he?     are you?     aren't they?     was it?      wasn't he?     don't you?     doesn't it?     have you?
 

Example:
   You aren't hungry,  are you?  
1    How's your headache? It isn't getting worse, ______________ __
2    Those flowers are lovely, ______________ __
3    You haven't seen my glasses anywhere, ______________ __
4    Torsen's a great player, ______________ __
5    I'm not sure. He was from Brazil, ______________ __
6    I can't quite remember. You need 40 points to win, ______________ __
7    Tennis is so boring, ______________ __
8    She isn't a very good swimmer, ______________ __
9    I'm not sure. It starts at nine, ______________ __
10  It wasn't a very interesting game, ______________ __
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