Intonation / Parts of Speech


Intonation is the rising and falling of the pitch of the voice.

Falling Intonation

When we make a statement, our voice drops at the end of the sentence.


My name is Bob.


I’m going out for dinner tonight.


We love to travel.

We also use falling intonation when asking a question that cannot be answered with yes/no (the “w” questions). Those are the questions that ask; who, what, where, why, when or how. Notice that these words cannot be answered with a simple yes or no answer.


Who is that woman standing next to your wife?


What are you doing this afternoon?


Where are you going on your holidays?

Rising Intonation

We use rising intonation when asking questions that can be answered by yes or no.


Are you happy today?


Are you going to the movies this weekend?


Is your father feeling better now?

Rising and Falling Intonation

We use rising intonation when describing a list of things, but the final item in the list receives falling intonation.

                                           ↗                 ↗                             ↘

My favourite foods are hot dogs, hamburgers, and French fries.

                            ↗                            ↗                            ↗                            ↗                            ↘

This morning I woke up, took a shower, brushed my teeth, got dressed, then went to work.


Learn Word Classes, often referred to as “Parts of Speech”, it will help you in the future.

Parts of Speech