American English Intonation Patterns
Perhaps you’ve heard people say that intonation is the melody or the music ♬ of spoken American English.
Spoken English sounds melodic because English speakers use different types of intonation or pitch patterns when saying phrases and sentences.
Intonation conveys meaning
These intonation patterns are extremely important to use because they convey meaning. ✔
If you are not aware of how Americans use these pitch or intonation patterns you could risk confusing or even offending your listeners.☹
Intonation pattern examples
Here are some examples of how American listeners interpret pitch patterns:
- If your pitch is very high it indicates that you are surprised. ⤴
- If your pitch is very low it could indicate that you feel angry or impatient ⤵
- If your pitch is too neutral it could indicate that you are bored or uninterested in the conversation. ↝
Understanding how to use intonation will help you communicate with fluency & confidence.