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Unit 46. Although I was Tired, I couldn't Get to Sleep

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Comparisons and Contrasts

Unit 46; Part A

When we are contrasting two words or phrases, we emphasise the parts that we want to contrast by making them prominent:
           A: You looked exhausted last night.
           B: Yes, but even though I was TIRED
                I couldn't get to SLEEP .
- ''not being able to get to sleep' is contrasted with 'being tired'

           A: Can I have some of this cake now?
           B: The pudding's for toMORrow , not for toDAY
.
- 'today' is contrasted with 'tomorrow'
46.1.jpg
Typically, the word or phrase that is 'news' - that is, information that the hearer is not expected to know - has a falling tone (e.g. that I couldn't get to sleep; that the cake is for tomorrow). This contrasts with information that the hearer and speaker already share, which has a rising or fall-rising tone (e.g. that I was tired; that A thinks the cake is for today). (See also Unit 39.)
 
note.jpgNote: The contrasting phrase sometimes comes first and sometimes second.  

Unit 46; Part B

Here are some common patterns of comparison and contrast -
  • using a comparative form of an adjective:
    I think it's more important to have COMfortable clothes than STYlish ones .

    Notice that starting the falling or (fall-)rising tone on different words can affect meaning:

    Watching FOOTball is much better than watching CRICKet .
    WATCHing football is much better than PLAYing football .
  • using either ... or:
    You can either catch the EARlier train or the LATer one .
    B. I've either left my wallet at HOME
    or I've LOST it .
  • using ..., not ... or ... not ..., ... :
    He's got bronCHItis , not just a COUGH .
    I'm not really ANgry with him
    , just a bit anNOYED .
  • using other contrasting phrases (e.g. catch the bus versus walk home; reducing the cost of public transport versus increasing it):
    Rather than catch the BUS , maybe we could WALK home .
    We should be reDUcing the cost of public transport
    instead of inCREASing it .

 



Exercises

flag.jpgIn B's responses one part is said with a falling tone and the other with a fall-rising tone. Write in the space for a falling tone or , for a fall-rising tone where you think these tones are likely.
Key.(speaker A = Japan)
1 I PHONED him ↓↑, but there was no ANswer ↓.
2 I didn't get to SPEAK to him ↓, though everyone ELSE seemed to ↓↑.
3 My DAD was asleep ↓↑, but my Mum was waiting UP for me ↓.
4 I used to live on EXmoor ↓, not DARTmoor ↓↑.
5 Although he's over WEIGHT ↓↑, he's actually quite FIT ↓.
6 you'd be better off travelling on saturday MORning ↓, rather than Friday NIGHT ↓↑.

Example: A: How on earth do you sit down in those jeans?
                B: They're really quite comfortable , even though they're tight .
1    A: You spoke to Bryan, didn't you?
      B: I phoned him ___, but there was no answer ___.
2    A: It was interesting meeting the Education Minister yesterday, wasn't it?
      B: I didn't get to speak to him ___, though everyone else seemed to ___.
3    A: I suppose your parents were in bed when you got home.
      B: My Dad was asleep ___, but my Mum was waiting up for me ___.
4    A: Of course, you know Dartmoor well, don't you?
      B: I used to live on Exmoor ___, not Dartmoor ___.
5    A: Ray's put on a lot of weight, hasn't he?
      B: Although he's overweight ___, he's actually quite fit ___.
6    A: We're going late on Friday.
      B: You'd be better off travelling on Saturday morning ___, rather than Friday night ___.

Now listen and check your answers. Then listen again. Press 'pause' before each B part and read it aloud. Make sure you start the falling or fall-rising tone in the right place. Then press 'play' again and compare your pronunciation with what follows

flag.jpgChoose a pair of phrases from the box to complete each conversation. (Notice that you may need to change the order.) The tone (falling or rising) is given for each of the two parts of the sentence.
Key.(Speaker A = Norther   Ireland)
The syllable where the falling or rising tone starts is given in capital letters.
1 But it's easier to talk face-to-FACE ↓ than on the PHONE ↑.
2 You either need smaller FINgers ↑ or new GLASses ↓.
3 Much as we'd LIKE to go ↑, we can't afORD it ↓.
4 she's going to perth in SCOTland ↓, not perth in AusTRAlia ↑.
5 It's not a NOVel exactly ↑, more a short STOry ↓.
6 Instead of going by BOAT ↑, we went by HELicopter ↓.

 
short story - novel    on the phone - face-to-face    we can't afford it - we'd like to go     first one—second    new glasses - smaller fingers    Australia - Scotland      boat - helicopter
 
Example: A: I really enjoyed her second film.
                B: I actually liked her   first one   more than her  second .
1    A: We need to discuss this more. I'll give you a call.
      B: But it's easier to talk ___________ than ___________ .
2    A: I'll never be able to sew this. I need smaller fingers.
      B: You either need  ___________ or ___________ .
3    A: Are you going to Malaysia again this holiday?
      B: Much as  ___________ ,  ___________ .
4    A: I hope Carla has a great time in Australia.
      B: She's going to Perth in ___________ , not Perth in  ___________ .
5    A: How are you getting on with your novel?
      B: It's not a  ___________ exactly, more a ___________ .
6    A: How was the boat journey to Capri?
      B: Instead of going by ___________ , we went by ___________ .

Now listen and check your answers. Then listen again. Press 'pause' before each B part and read it aloud. Make sure you use falling and rising tones as indicated. Then press 'play' again and compare your pronunciation with what follows
.

Follow up: In some of B's replies in exercises 1 and 2 you could reverse the order of information, perhaps with some rewording of the sentence. Say the replies in this way, making sure that you keep the same tone on each piece of information.

 
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