American English Intonation Patterns

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. ↝
Using the correct intonation is critical if you want to perfect your English communication skills.
I show you how
I teach you the basics of American English intonation in my iBook, American Accent Fundamentals.


This interactive iBook is available in the iBookstore. It’s an excellent guide to learning the rules of intonation in American English so take a look and start learning now!

Understanding how to use intonation will help you communicate with fluency & confidence.