Unit 49. On the Whole, It Went Very Well.
Attitude Words and Phrases (1)
|A number of words and phrases are commonly used to indicate our
attitude to what we are going to say, what we have just said, or what
another speaker said. Words and phrases like this are often in a
separate speech unit (see Unit 32), either at the beginning or at the end of a sentence, and when this happens many are typically said with a particular tone. For example:
A: Isn't there a bank anywhere in town?
B: There isn't, // CUriously ↑//. - 'curiously' at the end usually has a rising tone
A: How did the exam go?
B: // on the WHOLE ↓↑// it went very well. - 'on the whole' at the beginning usually has a fall'rising tone
Our maths teacher's not the happiest of people
// to say the LEAST ↓//.- 'to say the least' at the end usually has a falling tone
Units 49 and 50 look at intonation in these attitude words and phrases.
Note: Attitude words and phrases may be part of a longer speech unit and then intonation is less predictable. For example:
// PEOple on the whole were very KIND ↓//
|Some attitude words and phrases are used to emphasise that what
we are saying is true, and these typically have a falling tone both at
the beginning and end of a sentence. Words and phrases like this
include: believe 'me, 'surely, to put it 'mildly and to say the 'least (note that the main stressed syllable is marked with '):
BeLIEVE ME ↓, it's freezing out there.
She wasn't too pleased with me, to put it MILDly ↓.
The phrase mind you is used at the beginning of a sentence, typically with a falling tone, to emphasise an added piece of information:
My granddad is always at the doctor's. MIND YOU ↓, he smokes a huge amount.
|The phrase The (only) thing is ...
is used at the beginning of a sentence, typically with a rising or
fall-rising tone to highlight a problem connected to what has just been
You know you lent me that money? Well, the THING IS ↑, I need some more.
The phrases The fact/point is ... indicate that what we are going to say is important, and The question/problem is ... label what we are going to say as an important question or problem. These phrases also typically have a rising or fall-rising tone:
It might be a good car, but the FACT IS ↓↑, it's too expensive.
I know you've applied for the job. The QUEStion IS ↑, do you really want it?
|Some words are used to show what viewpoint we are speaking from;
that is, identifing what features of something we are talking about.
Typically, these phrases have either a rising or fall-rising tone:
PHYSically ↓↑, he's in quite good shape.
I mean, LOGically ↑, her answer was quite right.
Other examples are economically, outwardly, politically, statistically, superfcially, technically.
|Listen to these conversations. Do the attitude words and phrases in bold have a falling tone (put ↓ in the box), rising tone (↑) or fall-rising tone (↓↑)?
Key.These are the most likely tones for these attitude words and phrases in these positions, and are the ones given on the recording. However, others are possible.
1 presumably ↑; in fact ↓
2 naturally ↓; of course ↓
3 Apparently ↓↑; as it happens ↑
4 On reflection ↓↑; in fairness ↑; so to speak ↓
Example: A: In my opinion ↓↑, the government was wrong to go to war. What do you think?
B: I disagree, actually ↑.
1 A: These are new, presumably ___.
B: I've had them a while. A few weeks, in fact ___.
2 A: There was a terrible mess in the kitchen when I got home. Jack was to blame, naturally ___.
B: And of course ___ he said it wasn't his fault.
A: That's right.
3 A: Apparently ___, Mike's getting married again.
B: I already knew, as it happens ___.
4 A: On reflection ___,I think Julia's right. The company needs to invest in people more.
B: She's got a point, in fairness ___. But she's also got to be ready to put her money where her mouth is, so to speak ___.
|Match A's questions and statements with B's responses to make five conversations.
Now listen and check your answers. Press 'pause' before each B part and read it aloud. (Make sure you use a falling tone on the words and phrases in bold.) Then press 'play' again and compare your pronunciation with what follows.
|Repeat the words in the box after the recording. Use a fall-rising tone in each case.
Key.1 outwardly ↓↑
2 technically ↓↑
3 politically ↓↑
4 superficially ↓↑
Now use the same words to complete the sentences, and then say the sentences aloud using a fall-rising tone on the words you have written.
Example: Average temperatures have risen a little over the last hundred years,
although statistically ↓↑ the increase is insignificant.
1 He was quite hurt by her comments, although ______________ he showed no sign of being upset.
2 She plays the violin with a lot of feeling, although ______________ she's not that good.
3 The country is rebuilding afer the war, but ______________ it's still unstable.
4 The job is quite interesting, although ______________ it looks repetitive.
Now listen and check your answers.
||Unit 48 Unit 49 Unit 50||