Unit 36. She's Got an Essay to Write.
Non-prominence on final 'empty' content words
|Some words at the end of a speech unit are non-prominent (see Unit 33) because they are 'empty' - that is, they don't carry new information.
Some words are empty because they refer to something or someone that has already been mentioned:
Gail talked to me about Oscar as if I knew him well, although I've never MET her brother.
('her brother' = Oscar)
He's always asking my advice on what flowers to plant, even though I don't know anything aBOUT gardening.
('gardening' = what flowers to plant)
or because they mean the same as something said before or implied in the previous context:
A: There's a meeting tonight at Carl's.
B: Hadn't I already TOLD you about that? ('that' refers to the meeting)
I thought Hiroshi lived in the north of Tokyo, but in fact he lives on the OTHer side of the city.
('the north of Tokyo' implies 'one [the north] side of the city')
A: Can you translate this for me?
B: But you KNOW I don't speak French. (asking for a translation implies that the speaker thinks I speak French)
|Some idiomatic phrases typically have 'empty' words at the end:
I found out that I didn't have to make a speech at the meeting after all. It was a REAL WEIGHT off my shoulders.
(= I was pleased that I was no longer responsible)
It was with her fourth novel that she really MADE a NAME for herself.
(= became famous)
A: How did you find out I was leaving?
B: Let's just say a LITTLE BIRD told me.
( = I'm not going to tell you who told me)
Being a builder is a hard job, even at the BEST of times.
(= even in the best conditions)
|Listen and underline the one prominent word in each of the speech units.
Key.Prominent words are underlined and the prominent syllables in these words are in capital letters.
1 // But you KNOW, can't drive//
2 // I'm not INterested in cricket//
3 // But you haven't even apPLIED for the job yet//
4 // there were HUNdreds of people waiting//
Example: He kept telling me to be careful with the bones// as if I'd never eaten fish before//.
1 A: Can you give me a lift?
B: // But you know I can't drive//.
2 A: Do you think England will beat Australia?
B: No idea.// I'm not interested in cricket//.
3 A: If I get the position I'm going to buy a new car.
B: // But you haven't even applied for the job yet//.
4 I could only see the end of the queue, but in fact // there were hundreds of people waiting//.
Now say the speech units aloud. Make sure you make only the underlined word prominent and link words within the speech units smoothly together without pauses.
|Complete the sentences using words and phrases from the box.
Key.The most likely answers are given.
1 to drink
2 went off
4 in my soup
5 from there
6 she's holding
7 from now
9 you're reading
10 in here
to drink from now from there going place rang she's holding in here in my soup you're reading went of
Example: I was just going to bed when the doorbell rang .
1 We didn't have any water __________.
2 Last night my car alarm __________.
3 How's your work __________?
4 Waiter! There's a fly. __________.
5 Get to the bus station and our house is a couple of minutes walk __________.
6 I wonder what's in that box __________.
7 The bridge should be finished a year __________.
8 Let's have the meeting at my __________.
9 What's that book __________?
10 What's the smell __________?
Now listen and check your answers. Then say the sentences aloud, making sure you make the underlined words prominent and the words you have written non-prominent. (Note: there will be other prominent words in the sentences, too.)
|Match A's statements and questions with B's responses to make short conversations.
Now listen and check your answers. Then listen again and underline the last prominent word in the B parts. Finally, say the B parts aloud, making sure that all the words after the underlined word are non-prominent.
||Unit 35 Unit 36 Unit 37||
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