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Unit 22. Well, YOU do It Then!

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Prominent Function Words


 

Unit 22; Part A

The function words listed in Unit 21A are not usually prominent. However, there are a number of exceptions.

Function words are usually made prominent when a contrast is expressed or implied:
A: I'll leave it on the table, shall I?
B: No, put it UNder the table.

A: That looks pretty easy.
B: Well, YOU do it then! (because I can't)

Unit 22; Part B

It is rarely prominent except at the end of a number of fixed phrases with this and that:
          You know I was buying a new car? Well, THIS is IT. ( = this is the one)
          A: People are only interested in money these days. B: THIS is IT.
( = I agree)
          THIS is IT, then.
( = it's time to do something I don't want to - leave, part, etc.)
          I just signed my name, and THAT was IT.
( = nothing more had to be done)
          A: Here's your pocket money. B: Is THAT IT?
( = is that all there is?)
          A: Just swim across. B: THAT'S just IT.
( = that's the problem) I can't swim.)

Unit 22; Part C

Some is often prominent (and pronounced /sΛm/) when -
  • it means 'some people'
      SOME consider him to be the best golfer in the world.
  • it means a large number or amount
       I didn't see her again for SOME YEARS.
  • it means a particular person or thing, without saying exactly which
       There must be SOME time we're all free for a meeting.

Any is often prominent (and pronounced /'eni/) when -
  • it means 'it's not important which'
      ANY of the camera shops in town will sell them.
  • it is used for emphasis after a negative verb
      Haven't you done ANY of your homework yet?

Somebody, anybody
, etc. are often prominent when they are the subject of a sentence:
       A: Apparently, there were no witnesses. B: But SOMEbody must have seen it.

Unit 22; Part D

The is prominent (and pronounced /ði:/) when we say that something is the best, most important, etc. of its kind:
            You should go to the Maldives. It's THE place to see coral.

Unit 22; Part E

The auxiliary verbs be, have and do and the modal verbs are often prominent -
  • in negative forms    I CAN'T wait.
  • for special emphasis    I SHOULD have left earlier.
  • in contradictions    A: You HAVEn't ironed your shirt. B: I HAVE ironed it.
  • in time contrasts    It WAS in the cupboard, but it ISn't there now.

Do, did and does are ofen made prominent for emphasis with the present and past simple:

       I DO like this cheese.    We DID warn you.

Unit 22; Part F


In a piece of new information or a question made up only of function words, the last function word is ofen made prominent:
      There was nothing I could DO.
      A: I've just finished a really good book. B: what was it aBOUT?

 



Exercises

flag.jpgThink about the words in bold in these dialogues and underline them if they are likely to be prominent. Then listen and check your answers.
Key.A: Do you know of any good restaurants in Brockhurst?
B: Well, I haven't been for some years, but there used to be some very good ones. The Oyster was the place to eat seafood.
A: Mmm. I do like seafood.
B: But I'm sure any of the restaurants there will be good.
A: Try turning the tap off.
B: I have tried turning it, but it's stuck.
A: Did you ask anyone for help?
B: No. Look, why don't you try?
A: Okay. Hmmm. There must be some way of doing it.
B: I did tell you it was stuck.
A: There. It just needed some strength! Anyone could have done it.


1    A: Do you know of any good restaurants in Brockhurst?
      B: Well, I haven't been for some years, but there used to be some very good ones.
          The Oyster was the place to eat seafood.
      A: Mmm. I do like seafood.
22.1.jpg      B: But I'm sure any of the restaurants there will be good.
 
2    A: Try turning the tap off.
      B: I have tried turning it, but it's stuck.
      A: Did you ask anyone for help?
      B: No. Look, why don't you try?
      A: Okay. Hmmm. There must be some way of doing it.
      B: I did tell you it was stuck.
      A: There. It just needed some strength! Anyone could have done it.
 
Now listen again. Press 'pause' before each В part and read it aloud. Then press 'play' again and compare your pronunciation with what follows. Then do the same for the A parts.


flag.jpgPlay the recording. Press 'pause' before each В part and read it aloud. Then press 'play' again and compare your pronunciation with what follows. Did you put prominence in the same places?
Key.(Speaker A = Jamaica)
Prominent words are in capitals.
1 is THAT IT?   2 OH, IS it?
3 YES, THIS is IT.    4 YES, THAT'S IT.
5 THAT'S it.    6 THIS is IT, then.
7 WHAT IS it?   8 I CAN'T. THAT'S just IT.

1    A: There you are. All fnished. B: Is that it?
2    A: You can't sit there, it's Kate's place. B: Oh, is it?
3    A: Are we there yet? B: Yes, this is it.
4    A: Have you fnished? B: Yes, that's it.
5    A: Which coat is yours? B: That's it.
6    A: Your train's arriving. B: This is it, then.
7    A: Do you like my painting? B: What is it?
8    A: Come on, get up now. B: I can't. That's just it.
flag.jpgYou will hear seven sentences. After each sentence, press 'pause' and say one of the responses in the box. (Make sure you make the last word prominent.) When you press 'play' again you will hear the correct answer.
Key.1 A: I couldn't understand a word he said. B: WHERE was he FROM?
2 A: Can I book a table for tonight, please? B: HOW many is it FOR?
3 A: While I was out, someone left these flowers outside my house. B: WHO could it have BEEN?
4 A: That woman you were talking to seemed nice. B: Yes, but I don't know WHO she WAS.
5 A: Couldn't you have helped him at all? B: There was nothing we could have DONE.
6 A: You just sit and relax. B: But isn't there anything I can DO?
 
               Who could it have been?   
               Where was he from?
               There was nothing we could have done.        
               I wish I had.
               How many is it for?   
               But isn't there anything I can do?
               Yes, but I don't know who she was.
 
Example: You hear   I thought you were going to sell your old car.
               You say   I wish I HAD.

Follow up: Try to use the phrase THIS is IT' (= I agree) in the next conversation you have in English. Make sure you pronounce it correctly.


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