Word Smart: Improve your Fluency with Intonation II

Learnex, English Forever ¡Aprende Inglés para Siempre!

Learn why we use rising intonation in American English and practice with examples. We use rising tone at the end of yes/no questions and when asking a statement as a question to check and confirm our understanding of what we mean by rising intonation, what the rising tone signals to native English speakers, and practice the rising intonation pattern with examples.

Rising intonation signals curiosity or uncertainty and interest in hearing the answer. We also use rising tone with tag questions when we’re looking for a yes/no response. In addition, rising intonation communicates other meanings in American culture and you’ll hear native English speaker use it in different ways.

Falling intonation is the most common intonation pattern in American English. We use falling intonation in normal, neutral statements and information questions. Here we will practice the falling intonation pattern with examples to understand what we mean by falling intonation, and what the rise-fall tone signals to native English speakers.

We use falling intonation on the stressed syllable of the last content word in a statement. Your pitch will rise to this stressed syllable and then fall. This steep drop down to the end signals that you’re done speaking and the other person can respond.

Falling intonation is most common in factual statements, when you’re giving information, making observations, giving commands, instructions, or orders. This fall in pitch sounds authoritative. We also use falling tone when asking information questions or making observations with tag questions.



  • Signal: To make a movement, sound, flash, etc. that gives information or tells people what to do.
  • Mean: To express or represent something such as an idea, thought, or fact.
  • Content: The articles or parts contained in a magazine or book, with the number of the page they begin on.
  • Factual: Using or consisting of facts.


  • How do you practice intonation? 

Welcome to this activity created by Junior Advisor Mr. Cesar Medina Solano from Polanco Branch. Take note of all the pink words, read the text, watch the video and answer the question in the comment section below.

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