Unit 57. We Expected Profits to Drop, but They Rose.
Step-ups - Contrasts and New Topics
Unit 57; Part A
We can use a step-up (see Unit 47) toa relatively high pitch to show that information contrasts withprevious information or what was expected. The step-up is in the firstprominent word of a speech unit (see Unit 32) which includes the contrasting information. In these examples step-ups are marked with ⇑:
We expected profits to drop this quarter,
//but they ⇑ ROSE by a THIRD//. - a contrast between an expected drop and an actual rise
Patients are now encouraged// to ⇑ EXercise//
instead of rest after their operations. - a contrast between the past encouragement to rest and the new practice of encouraging exercise
Although many people think of ants as a nuisance,
they play// a ⇑ VItal ROLE// in many ecosystems.- a contrast between the common belief that they are a nuisance and their actual vital role
We know that vegetarians have low rates of heart disease,//
but we ⇑ DON'T fully understand WHY//. - a contrast between what we know to be the case and our lack of understanding
Rather than wait for the authorities to solve the problem,// we should ⇑ ACT NOW//. - a contrast between waiting and acting now
Unit 57; Part B
Step-ups are also used, particularly in prepared speech, to showthat we are starting a new topic. Here is the beginning of a speechmade by a senior manager from the car company Rovoda to a conference ofscientists discussing environmental problems. Notice how step-ups areused at the beginning of new topics:
|Put a ⇑ before the word in each sentence you think is most likely to have a step-up signalling a contrast.|
Example: We didn't think the bid would be successful, but it's been ⇑ accepted.
1 She always said it was her best film, although the critics hated it.
2 Rather than a military solution, we should be looking for a political one.
3 Some plastics are easy to produce, but difficult to dispose of.
4 Instead of a quick resolution to the war, their tactics prolonged it.
5 Most people think he's French, but in fact he's from Canada.
6 The model weighs only four kilos, whereas the full-scale version will weigh four thousand.
7 Despite the President's personal popularity, his party lost the election.
8 The novel was all his own work - or he claimed it was.
9 The area is a popular tourist attraction, and yet completely unspoilt.
10 Unlike most of our competitors, we've actually made a profit this year.
Now listen and check your predictions. (Also see the notes in the Key.)Then read the sentences aloud, putting a step-up in the same word as onthe recording.
|A history teacher is telling his students about Napoleon Bonaparte. Here is part of his lesson. Listen and put a ⇑ before the word where he uses a step-up to introduce a new topic.|
Now check your answers in the Key. Then read the text aloud, putting a step-up in the same places as on the recording.
Follow up:Prepare notes for a short talk on a historical subject that you arefamiliar with. Think about the places where you want to mark a newtopic. Give your talk, using step-ups to mark new topics. If possible,record it and listen.
| ||Unit 56 Unit 57 Unit 58|| |
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