Hi, I'm Gabby from gonaturalenglish.com
where you can learn to speak English fluently and
This lesson you're going to learn how to speak English
native-like more naturally and how to use intonation to sound more like an
American English speaker, so if you're up for improving your
American English accents then let's go
It's time that we stop thinking of English as just words vocabulary
more than half of our communication in any language is
intonation and that's why this video is so important because
in your traditional English language classroom
You rarely learn about intonation and how important it is in your communication in English
And it's super important to help you sound more native, like because natives know how to use intonation
Naturally, it's not something that we're really taught in school
But we learn it as we grow up speaking the language
So I'm going to share three points with you three things that you may not be doing today
That are keeping you from sounding like a native English speaker
So let's begin we have to understand that English is more than grammar rules and more than just words
If it was just words and grammar, that would be way easier. But English is
Like music English has a Mel it has rhythm
it has stress and we're going to talk about all three of these and how you can use them to sound more like an
American English speaker, so first of all, let's think about
Melody when I ask you a question, like what are you doing?
Do you hear a little bit of music?
Let me just say these words
With the melody actually, no words
No, no, no
Did it a data? What are you doing da dadada?
So there's a little bit of a melody. I'm not saying these words with the same
Melody the same note. I don't say duh duh, duh, duh
Duh, if I did I would sound like a robot and I'm not a robot. I swear
And you're not a robot either, right?
So we don't want to say what are you doing here? We want to say, what are you doing?
What are you doing?
so use melody when you ask a question in WH questions, our intonation goes
Down, but before it goes down. It actually goes up
What are you doing? What are you doing? So actually there's a rule here any
WH question WH questions being any question that begins with what who where when or why
Going down at the end. So what are you doing?
Why are you doing that?
How are you doing that?
When are you doing that?
With whom are you doing that?
So all of these WH questions go up then then down if you're asking a question, that's a yes/no question
It's a little different. Do you like ice cream?
The yes/no questions and on a higher note. It's like music but
Before we go up we go down
Do you like ice cream?
Do you like ice cream?
Well, yes, I do. Thank you for asking
Listen to the intonation. It's very important and there are rules so it's not just totally random
I know English seems really crazy. It seems totally random, but it's not so these are
important rules to know and to use
Melody is really important when you're asking questions
But it's also really important when you're just making statements like when I say, but first coffee
but first coffee
Can you hear how the note goes down the pitch in my voice goes down but first?
but first coffee
It's very important always first coffee then study English
But seriously when you're ending a sentence your pitch goes down your voice goes down
But before it goes down, it goes up a little bit, but first coffee
intonation is super important for
expressing your true
sentiments your true feelings
Some phrases don't automatically get a pitch. I gave you some rules to follow now like
Statements go down
wh-questions go up
Yes/no questions go down, but people express themselves
in other ways besides those three forms, so take a word like
Interesting if I just say it like that
You can take it at face value. It's interesting
If I add some pitch to it
I can completely change the feeling of the word. For example, let's make my pitch go up
Well, I am surprised and amazed. Let's make my pitch go down
Interesting. I'm more serious
Let's make my pitch flat now. No, melody no pitch
Interesting. Do you really think that I think
Something is interesting when I have no expressive pitch
No, that's the problem when you don't use pitch you may be
Expressing yourself or other people may think that you are expressing yourself in a negative
way if I simply say
That may sound sarcastic to other people if you have no pitch if you have no
Upward pitch of your voice or downward pitch either way and you sound robotic
people may think that you are actually not interested and you actually do not think that thing is
Interesting, so it's important to add feeling to your voice with pitch
Rhythm is not just a dancer
rhythm is not just music rhythm is
English and rhythm is a result of the message that you are expressing
rhythm is the message that you are expressing and it's
Important to use it as a powerful tool to express yourself
Rhythm comes from stress and we're going to talk about stress as well. But let's look at an example
You going to do?
What are you going to do?
What are you going to do?
I'm marking the rhythm no matter how slowly or quickly I speak. It is the same
What are you going to do? What are you going to do? What are you going to do? What are you gonna do?
What are you gonna do? Are you gonna do? What are you gonna do now? You heard me use contractions I use linking and
gonna do it's completely different in terms of
Completely and on stating the words
Then what are you going to do?
But what's super interesting about English? Is that the rhythm stays the same? What are you going to do?
What are you gonna do?
Completely different but yet the same same same but difference so rhythm is an
important way to express yourself
Because rhythm is a marker of stress. Let's look at another example. I
Speak English. I do speak English. I do not speak English. I do not speak English
You may notice that I added words with every sentence. I do speak English
The first sentence I'm stressing the subject. I
Speak English the second sentence
I'm stressing the fact that I do speak English and because that stressed word do is there then I actually am
NOT stressing the subject anymore
It would be quite rare not impossible. But quite rare to stress every single word in a sentence. For example, I
This sounds quite overly dramatic and unnatural but it would be natural to say I do
Speak English. Do you really speak English? Yes, I do speak English
I can even add another word
I do not speak English and the rhythms the same. I do not speak English
I do not speak English
Why is this this is because within?
Every sentence every phrase. We have a rhythm that is based on the words that are stressed
So let's talk about stress
First of all, we have word level stress. This means that within
Every word in English that has more than one syllable. We have a stressed syllable
Computer we have three syllables computer and the stressed syllable is the second syllable
Booter okay. How about
Laptop because it's a laptop computer. How many syllables two lap top? Which is the stress syllable the first one
laptop, so each word in English has a stressed syllable and an
Unstressed syllable if we have more than two syllables. We have a stressed syllable and multiple unstressed syllables
The stressed syllable is so strong
It's like a bully that makes the other syllables feel weak. And so they actually
Change their sounds so they become weak schwa sounds as schwa sound is like ah
so I say
other words like one men
Here's actually a tip a lot of English learners. Say whoa, man
Because you're trying to stress both syllables, but that doesn't happen with native English speakers
We stress one syllable, so it becomes one
Men, so not woof man, but were men
so we have the schwa the
Sound now the schwa doesn't always appear in every single word like it doesn't show up in
So the schwa even shows up in words like computer I don't say comme
puter I say
So we have that
In the first syllable because the second syllable is so stressed and lap top is not
Laptop its laptop. Oh we have that
Sound so every single word
Almost every single word
I'm sure there's some exceptions has a stressed syllable that is really pronounced clearly
quite strongly a bit higher pitch a bit louder and
Usually longer than all of their syllables. It's so powerful. You really want to stress it to sound more natural and more
American when you speak English and then you have to remember that the other syllables are going to be weaker
All right, so that is a word level stress. We also have phrase level stress
This is super important and has a lot to do with rhythm which we were just talking about right? I
speak English like those examples phrase level stress we
Stress certain words in a sentence the whole word is more stressed in
Certain words in a sentence and in other words in a sentence we don't have as much stress
What words do we stress we stress?
Content words and we do not stress function words. These are
General rules there are exceptions. Like if I really wanted to stress for example, if you asked me cabbie, um,
do I need to say the pen I would say yes, you should say the
Pen because we're talking about a specific pen in that case
I just stressed the word the a lot because it's an important word that I want to
express to you, so
Normally not stressing the word the we would
Not need to stress it in a regular sentence if I'm not explaining about the word buh
Or if I don't want to stress the words up. So for example
The pen is on the table. Oh my gosh. What a great example, right. Have you ever heard that one before?
The pen is on the table. You barely hear the word the the pen is on the table
It almost sounds like I'm just saying pen is on the table, but I'm not I'm saying no pen is on the table
The pen is on the table. So pen is a Content worry. It's our subject pen is on the table
Table is also an important word. So it's stressed. The pen is on the table
So usually we stress a verb and is is a quite short verb
but we hear it a bit more than other words like the or on this is also why prepositions are so hard because they're not
Stressed their function words, so we do not usually hear them and therefore it's harder to grasp them
We have phrase levels stress and that is super important to stress
The important key words content words are like key words
What words do you really need to know?
Like the subject and the verb so who is doing what those are the most important things and you want to say them?
Stressed stressed again is louder longer higher the pen is on the table
Okay, the bed is on the table. So we say them a little bit longer louder and higher perfect
So if you keep these three points in mind melody rhythm and stress you are going to sound much more
Native-like much more natural less like a robot and more like an American English
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