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Unit 53. On top of that... Anyway...

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Adding Information and Changing Topic

Unit 53; Part A

A number 53.1.jpgof words and phrases are used to introduce a piece of information that is related to what has just been said. Many of these are typically said in their own speech unit with a rising or fall-rising tone:
          A: You can get a €100 fne for dropping litter in the city centre.
          B: // on TOP of THAT //, the police can make you spend a whole day picking up rubbish.

          A: I'll give you a ring later.
          B: // BETter STILL , why don't I come over and see you?
         
          A: We haven't got any coffee left.
          B: // in THAT case //, I'll just have water, thanks.

          A: There's no point in keeping this jacket, it's full of holes.
          B: // ALso //, the zip's broken.


Other words and phrases like this include: at the same 'time, in the same 'way, 'similarly, by the same 'token, even 'better, worse 'still, 'otherwise, in other 'words (or in 'other words). (Note that the main stressed syllable is marked with '.)

Unit 53; Part B

When we want to change the topic in a conversation or to start talking about a different aspect of the same topic, we often begin with a word or phrase with a falling tone in its own speech unit:
         A: So where did you say they lived?
         B: Cornwall.
         A: Great, it's really nice there.
         B: Yeah. // ANyway //, I must dash. See you later.
         A: I really like the town square.
         B: Lovely, isn't it? // RIGHT //, so what would you like to see next?


Other words and phrases like this include: 'anyhow, by the 'way, inci'dentally (this suggests that what is going to be said is less important than what has come before), 'now (then), o'kay, well.

Some people use look to introduce an aspect of the same topic that they particularly want the hearer(s) to pay attention to:

         A: There's a meeting this Friday afternoon.
         B: // LOOK //, I won't be able to get there, so can you tell me what happens?


However, other people only use it in this way to show that they are annoyed:

         A: I don't want to go to the dentist.
         B: // LOOK //, don't be so childish!


We can use besides to give another reason or argument for something:

         A: Maybe we could look around the castle?
         B: It's really expensive to get in. // BeSIDES//, it's only open in the moring.

 



Exercises

flag.jpgListen and write what you hear in the space. Does this word or phrase have a falling tone (puts in the box), rising tone (), or fall-rising tone ()?
Key.(Speaker A = Jamaica)
1 Otherwise ↑    
2 Worse still ↑    
3 Well ↓
4 Besides ↓
5 In that case ↓↑

Example: A: The new radio's very easy to carry around.
                B:   Even better  , it's got a built-in alarm clock.
1    A: Perhaps we could meet and have lunch?
      B: ______________ ____, we could just have a coffee.
2    A: Did your dad see you in the pub?
      B: ______________ ____, he caught me smoking.
3    A: When I gave them cabbage for dinner, they wouldn't eat it.
      B: ______________ ____, young children often don't like green vegetables.
4    A: I'll probably drive over early in the morning when it's cooler.
      B: ______________ ____, the roads won't be as busy then.
5    A: Mr Jenkins should be back in a few minutes.
      B: ______________ ____, I'll wait for him.
flag.jpgUnderline the word or phrase in bold that is more natural in these conversations. Then underline the tone that is more likely with the word or phrase you have chosen.
Key.(Speaker A = China)
1 By the way ↑   
2 Better still ↓↑   
3 Well ↓   
4 Anyway ↓   
5 by the same token ↓↑

Example: A: I'm sure I put your camera somewhere safe.
                B: In other words / Incidentally, you've lost it, haven't you? /
1    A: So eventually, the holiday turned out really well.
      B: Sounds great. In the same way / By the way, how's your mother feeling now? /
2    A: We could go to Paris by train rather than taking the car.
      B: Better still / Similarly, we could travel frst class. /
3    A: I wouldn't mind something to eat.
      B: Also / Well, there's some left over chicken in the fridge. /
4    A: It would be good to get together soon.
      B: Yes, we really should. Anyway / On top of that, thanks for ringing. /
5    A: The factory needs improved safety conditions for its workers.
      B: And anyhow / by the same token, workers need to follow safety guidelines. /

Now listen and check your answers. Press 'pause' before each B part and read it aloud. Then press 'play' again and compare your answer and intonation with what follows.
 
flag.jpgThink of a suitable way to complete each B part and write it in the space. Then say the B part aloud, using an appropriate tone on the phrase in bold. (If you can, find a partner to take the A part.)
Key.(Speaker A = Spain)
Example answers
1 In that case ↓↑, I'll take a couple of days off work.
2 Incidentally ↓, have you seen Mona recently?
3 Besides ↓, I don't really enjoy jazz.
4 Look ↓, I keep telling you it's not for sale.

Example: A: I think it's really good that they're going to use the old town hall as a library.
               B: But at the same time    they've got to preserve the character of the place.       
1    A: Bridget and Steve are coming next week.
      B: In that case ___, _______________________________________________.
2    A: I've got an assignment to do by Monday.
      B: I won't see you over the weekend, then. Incidentally ___, _______________________________________________.
3    A: Will you be coming to watch the concert?
      B: No, it's too expensive. Besides ___, _______________________________________________.
4    A: Have you thought any more about my offer to buy your car?
      B: Look ___, _______________________________________________.

Now listen to some example answers.

Follow up: The phrase 'then again' usually has a rising or fall-rising tone. Check its meaning in a dictionary, and then write a short A / B conversation, like the ones above, which uses it.


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