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Intonation patterns

With intonation we mean the course of pitch obtained during speech. It is a melody that belongs to an entire sentence.
Intonation is crucial for communication. With intonation, the meaning of a sentence can be emphasized or clarified. Also, a second message is given. Intonation patterns are normally used unconsciously in our communication.

We distinguish three intonation patterns. The arrows below show how the tone of the voice is used in a sentence.


By linking a syntax to a different intonation pattern through a question, statement or command, you create new possibilities in our language. The most powerful sentence structure in our language is a question of syntax pronounced with the command intonation pattern.

 Notice the difference:

“Will you sit up straight and listen to me?" (Let your voice go up at the end of this sentence)

"Will you sit up straight and listen to me?" (Let your voice go down at the end of this sentence)

Do you notice the difference?

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