What Are Intonations?
It’s the variation of the pitch of the voice when speaking. We use intonation in our life daily. Rasing and lowering our voice wherever our sense deems it necessary. Intonations are often referred to as punctuations of speaking. Just like full stops are important to reading and writing, the tone is important to speak.
The irony is that the everyday thing becomes difficult during a test, meeting, etc. It’s mostly because of nervousness. Another reason may be that many are confused if they should speak in a flat tone/ straight or use intonations. The answer is using the correct intonation which is true for PTE Academic Speaking.
Why The Art Of Intonations Matters?
They can change the meaning of the whole sentence! Pearson clearly mentions that your speaking should be clear and comprehensible. Apart from pronunciation and formation of the sentence, intonations play a great role in deciding what you want to say.
Let’s take a simple word to understand this. ‘Relax’, how did you read it? People say it in loud tone when they are passive-aggressively asking someone to calm down.
Another way people use to is when meditating, ‘Now Relax and Close Your Eyes’. Here it is used in a calm or low tone.
Now you understand how your intonations can change the meaning? Intonations should naturally come to you, just don’t be afraid to use it during the test.
Pause Or A Gap
Intonations aren’t just about low or high voice. You shouldn’t be abruptly ending a sentence. Nor you should read it everything in a single breath. It’s the perfect balance that will make you find your way to high scores. Brief pause after a full stop is necessary. When it’s a comma, colons etc the pause should be even shorter but enough to make it clear that there was a comma.
When you are reading a passage out loud you are not just reading the words. You are reading the whole paragraph which contains sentences and punctuations.
Practice: Say ‘Before I left home, I checked to make sure the locks were secured.’ Out loud.
Stress can be considered as a highlight of words in speaking. Rise your tone to stress on a word. You may want to stress on the keywords or the main idea that you want to emphasize on. This is why it’s a good idea to note down keywords before the microphone turns on.
Practice: ‘Finally, the Country of La La Land has a fair King in Sir James’ Pick a word you want to emphasize on like’La La Land’ or ‘Sir James’ and try if you can do justice to it.
You will realize that your speaking automatically changes when you ask a question. There is an unspoke question mark when you end the statement. If the paragraph has a question in it then you must remember to speak like it. Your question shouldn’t sound like a statement.
Practice: Say ‘How Can I Improve My English?‘ out loud.
Clauses are connected by conjunction words like ‘and’ ‘or’ ‘when’ etc. You need to show it in your speech that two clauses are being connected. You may do this by raising the tone for the conjunction itself or one word from each clause.
Practice: ‘I like chocolates but I am diabetic’.
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