Unit 44. Wasn't It Terrible? Are You Crazy?
|Questions are ofen used to make a comment or exclamation rather than
to find out or check information. An answer is not necessarily expected.
Negative yes-no questions are commonly used to show surprise, pleasure, etc., particularly when we encourage others to agree with us. These usually have a falling tone:
WASn't it TERrible ↓? DIDn't she sound riDICulous ↓?
HAVen't I been STUpid ↓? AREN'T they BEAUtiful ↓?
In informal English we can also use positive yes-no questions, particularly to express criticism. These often have a rising tone:
Are you CRAzy ↑? Have you gone MAD ↑?
Wh- questions are also used to make a comment, particularly ones with modal verbs. These usually have a falling tone:
HOW was I supposed to know ↓? WHAT'S it to do with YOU ↓?
|Sometimes we ask a question and suggest a possible answer ourselves
before the hearer replies. As the purpose of these possible answers is
to make sure that what we think we know is correct, they usually have a
fall-rising tone (see Unit 43):
Where are you off to? The SUpermarket ↓↑?
How are you getting there? with NICola ↓↑?
What are you going to wear? NOT that old JUMper again↓↑?
|We can use questions to give instructions or make suggestions. These
usually have a falling tone, and often (but not always) include modal
will you PLEASE leave it aLONE ↓? COULD we have the BILL, please ↓?
WOULD you turn the LIGHT off ↓? COULDn't you just reFUSE ↓?
WHY don't you go by TRAIN ↓? HOW about putting it over THERE ↓?
|Do you think the questions in B's responses are more likely to have a rising tone (put ↑, in the box) or a falling tone (↓)?
Key.(Speaker A = Australia)
Example: A: I thought Madrid played brilliantly. B: Weren't they amazing? ↓
1 A: I've just got a job in Alaska. B: Are you serious? ___
2 A: I don't think any of these jackets will fit. B: How about this one? ___
3 A: You didn't tell your parents what you're going to do, did you? B: Certainly not. Do you think I'm stupid? ___
4 A: Great weather we're having. B: Isn't it fantastic? ___
5 A: So did you lend Barry your motorbike? B: Barry! Are you out of your mind? ___
6 A: Where do you want me to go? B: Can you stand over there? ___
7 A: What do you think of my new skirt? B: You can't go out dressed like that. Have you no shame? ___
8 A: Roz's exam results were good, weren't they? B: Didn't she do well? ___
9 A: The match is on TV tonight. B: Who cares? ___
10 A: David looks awful. B: Do you mind? ___ That's my brother you're talking about.
Now listen and check your answers. Then listen again. Press 'pause' before each B part and read it aloud. Then press 'play' again and compare your pronunciation with what follows.
|Choose an answer from the box to complete each conversation.
Key.(Speaker В = Spain)
The last prominent syllable in each part, where the falling or fall-rising tone starts on the recording, is given in capital letters.
1 when are they supposed to be BACK ↓? This EVEning ↓↑?
2 where's she LIVing now ↓? with her PArents ↓↑?
3 How many of your cousins have you inVIted ↓? ALL of them ↓↑?
4 Why did you do such a silly THING ↓? Because your friends TOLD you to ↓↑?
5 How much of the assignment have you written so FAR ↓? ANy of it ↓↑?
6 what's wrong with your MOTHer ↓? Nothing SErious ↓↑?
7 which doctor did you want to SEE ↓? Dr IREland ↓↑?
B: Yes, it's for Linda's birthday.
1 A: When are they supposed to be back? _________________?
B: I think so.
2 A: Where's she living now? _________________?
B: Yes, since last month.
3 A: How many of your cousins have you invited? _________________?
B: Just a few.
4 A Why did you do such a silly thing? _________________?
B: I'm really sorry.
5 A: How much of the assignment have you written so far? _________________?
B: A couple of pages.
6 A: What's wrong with your mother? _________________?
B: No, she'll be fine soon.
7 A: Which doctor did you want to see? _________________?
B: Yes, please, if he's free.
Now listen and check your answers. Then listen again. Press 'pause' before each A part and read it aloud. Use a falling tone in the first question and a fall-rising tone in the possible answer. Then press 'play' again and compare your pronunciation with what follows.
Example: What are you making ↓? A cake ↓↑?
||Unit 43 Unit 44 Unit 45||