Unit 51. How Embarrassing!
|When we want to give our opinion on something that has been said ordone, we can do this with particular emphasis, often to expressenthusiasm, using an adjective. Typically, this has a rise-falling tone:|
A: Dan got the job! B: GREAT ↑↓
A: It's incredible to think that it's over 100 years old. B: AMAzing ↑↓!
A: Sounds really good , doesn't it? B: FanTAStic ↑↓!
However,when adjectives like this have a low falling tone, they can be used ina sarcastic way. A positive word is used, but in fact expresses lack ofenthusiasm, disappointment, or criticism:
A: The fight's been cancelled.
A: The computer's crashed again.
B: WONderful ↓.
We can also use an adjective with a rise-falling tone to express surprise at what has been said:
A: Jack's just bought a new car. It's pink.
B: PINK ↑↓
A: This cheese is frozen.
B: FROzen ↑↓
|Adjectives like this can also be used with a rise-falling tone as part of longer phrases, ofen emphasised with adverbs such as absolutely, completely and totally:|
A: They're stupid to close the school. B: ABsolutely riDICulous ↑↓.
A: Karl's given up his college course. B: He must be comPLEtely MAD ↑↓.
A: Were the instructions any good? B: They were TOtally incompreHENsible ↑↓.
Some are also used in exclamations after how:
HOW emBARrassing ↑↓!
HOW COOL ↑↓! ( = very good; informal)
|Nouns and phrases without adjectives may also be used to expresssurprise, anger, etc., typically with a rise-falling tone. Sometimesthese repeat a part of what was previously said:|
You're JOking ↑↓
A: They've got diamonds in them. B: DIAmonds ↑↓!
|Notice that the word really canhave different meanings, depending on the tone used with it. Forexample, with a rise-falling tone it often expresses surprise, but witha rising tone it often expresses doubt:|
A: It only cot me €10. В: REALly ↑↓! (= I'm surprised)
B: REALly ↑? (= I'm not sure I believe you)
|Listen and decide whether B uses a rise-falling tone or a low falling tone in each response. Underline ↑↓ or ↓. In which responses is B being enthusiastic?|
Key.(Speaker A = Scotland)
2 ↑↓ (enthusiastic)
6 ↑↓ (enthusiastic)
7 ↑↓ (enthusiastic)
Example: A: You had a good time, then. B: Superb! ↑↓ / ↓ enthusiastic
1 A: I can't find the tickets. B: Brilliant! ↑↓ / ↓
2 A: The house had a well in the kitchen. B: Extraordinary! ↑↓ / ↓
3 A: That's the third red bus I've seen today. B: Fascinating! ↑↓ / ↓
4 A: Dan's coming over at six. B: Great! ↑↓ / ↓
5 A: Kate's just phoned to say she'll be late. B: Marvellous! ↑↓ / ↓
6 A: She speaks 14 languages. B: Remarkable! ↑↓ / ↓
7 A: These beetles glow in the dark. B: Interesting! ↑↓ / ↓
Now listen again. Press 'pause' before each B part and read it aloud,using the tone you have underlined. Then press 'play' again and compareyour pronunciation with what follows.
|Choose the most likely adjective from the box to complete each conversation.|
Key.(Speaker A = Japan)
1 A: There's a coffee shop right next door. B: How ______________!
2 A: Were you shocked by the news? B: Totally ______________!
3 A: This heater isn't much good. B: Completely ______________!
4 A: His paintings are weird, aren't they? B: Totally ______________!
5 A: How did you find the heat in Malaysia? B: Completely ______________!
6 A: The view from here is fantastic. B: Absolutely ______________!
Now listen and check your answers. Press 'pause' before each B part andread it aloud. Make sure you use a rise-falling tone on the words youhave written.
|You will hear five statements. After each statement, press 'pause'and say one of the responses in the box. Make sure you use arise-falling tone. When you press 'play' again you will hear thecorrect answer. (Note: Other responses than those on the recording arealso possible.)|
You respond ToMORrow ↑↓!
You will hear ten statements. Respond to each statement using theword 'Really' Express surprise (with a rise-falling tone) or doubt(with a rising tone) as indicated.
Now listen to both the statements and responses on the recording.
| ||Unit 50 Unit 51 Unit 52|| |