American English Intonation Patterns

The Importance of Intonation Patterns in American English

american english intonation

Intonation matters!

Many American English pronunciation courses teach you how to articulate the individual vowel & consonant sounds.

Learning to articulate vowel and consonant sounds correctly is very important. Learning to articulate sounds will help you say words more clearly.✔

Intonation Patterns

However, learning to use American English intonation patterns will really help you improve the way you communicate.

Here are a couple of key intonation patterns that you need to learn in order to improve your American English communication style.

1. Rising Intonation

When American English speakers ask questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no” the pitch rises as their voices go up at the end of the question.

For example:

Are you going to schOOL?⤴

Do you like to eat french FRIES?⤴

2. Rising-Falling Intonation

Alternately when American English speakers ask questions beginning with who, where, why, when and how the pitch lowers as their voices rise & fall at the end of the question.

For example:

Where is your HOMEwork? ⤵

When are they coming Over?⤵

Listen Here

As you can hear, using intonation really adds to your communication style!

Make Sure Your Training Includes Lessons on Intonation

Before you sign up for an accent reduction course make sure the course includes lessons on stress and intonation. ♬

Intonation should be a major part of any comprehensive course.  That’s because using intonation will make a huge difference in the way you speak American English.

iPad Users

For some clear lessons on American English intonation, check out my iBook, American Accent Fundamentals.
American Accent Fundamentals - Susan M. Ryan

Available in the iBookstore, my iBook teaches you the fundamentals of American intonation using explanations, exercises and dialogs optimized for your iPad.

Other Programs

I teach you to communicate more naturally using intonation in all of my American Accent Training programs.

Take a look at the possibilities!