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Read the following conversational situations, use the low fall. Sound unsympathetic.
1. You can take only one of them. – ˎWhich? (I want more, I think you are greedy.)
2. Just call him. – ˎWhen? (He is always away and I don’t have time to wait for him.)
3. Bring everything here! – ˎHow? (I have got only one pair of hands!)
4. I saw your friend with a girl the other day. – ˎWhich ˌgirl? (I hate all his girl friends.)
5. Borrow money then. –ˈWho ˎfrom? (Is there anybody here who’ll give us money?)
6. Give me your book. – ˎWhy? (I need it myself. You should have borrowed the book from the library long ago.)
7. He often misses his classes. – ˈHow ˎoften. (He is awful.)
8. He has stolen the bicycle. – ˎWhose ˌbicycle? (We are going to have some trouble with that person.)
9. Someone will have to do it. – But ˎwho? (Don’t count on me.)
10. You’ll find it in a box. – In ˎwhich ˌbox? (Do you think I’m going to open all of the boxes looking for the wretched thing?)
Descending head + the low fall
In special questions with the pattern “Descending head + law fall” the speaker sounds serious, responsible, intense. Besides the speaker may often suggest irritability or impatience.
a)the speaker sounds serious and responsible, answerable, trustworthy:
Harry:Oh, yes. I’ll soon get the water to boil. ˎAh, │ ˈ where’s the ˎcoal? (Meet the Parkers 27)
ˈWhat would you say are the ˈmost ˎpopular ˌgames in ˌEngland toˌday? (Sports and Games Popular in England)
ˈWhat are the ˎother ˌoutdoor ˌgames? (Sports and Games Popular in England)
ˈWhat about ˎhorse-racing? (Sports and Games Popular in England)
ˈWhat about ˎindoor ˌgames? (Sports and Games Popular in England)
ˈWhat about ˈgoing to the ˎZoo? (Sightseeing)
b)the speaker sounds irritated, impatient:
ˈWhat have you been ˎbusy with ˌall ˌday? ˈWhy ˈisn’t the ˈsupper ˎready?
Read the following conversational situations with special questions, use the low fall. Sound responsible and serious.
1. He’s broken a window. – ˈWhose ˈwindow has he ˈbroken ˎthis time? (Boys do break windows while playing football.)
2. Will you lend me your pen? – ˈWhat do you ˈwant it ˎfor? (Sure, here it is.)
3. Go and see him tomorrow. – ˈWhat ˈplace does he ˈlive ˎin? (All right, I’ll go there.)
4. I’m terribly tired. – ˈWhy ˈdon’t you ˈleave it till toˈmorrow ˎmorning? (Of course you deserve a rest.)
5. Good morning, madam. – ˈWhen does this ˈtrain for ˈMoscow ˎleave? (I’ve been watching the train for twenty minutes. I wonder when it will leave.)
6. I’m afraid I can’t do that. – ˈCan’t ˈdo ˎwhat? (What are you speaking about, dear?)
7. Pass the sugar! – ˈWhy ˈdon’t you ˈsay “ˎplease”? (Darling, you must be polite.)
8. Can she see you tomorrow? – ˈWhat is the ˈmatter with her ˎnow? (Why can’t I see her now?)
9. I’ve missed the last bus. – ˈHow are you ˈgoing to ˈget ˎhome? (It’s a pity. It is getting dark.)
10. I came on Tuesday morning. – At eˈxactly ˈwhat ˎtime? (I want to know everything in detail.)
11. The weather is horrid. – Then ˈwhy ˈcan’t you ˎstay? (I don’t want you to leave.)
Read the following conversational situations with special questions, use the low fall. Sound irritated or impatient.
1. He’s broken a window. – ˈWhose ˈwindow has he ˈbroken ˎthis ˌtime? (Oh good gracious! Again!)
2. Will you lend me your pen? – ˈWhat do you ˈwant it ˎfor? (Why can’t you use your own pen, why are you constantly borrowing things?)
3. Go and see him tomorrow. – ˈWhy should ˎI ˌdo it? (Is there anybody else but me to see that rascal?)
4. Pass the sugar! – ˈWhy ˈdon’t you ˈsay ˎ“please”? (Don’t I keep telling you that you must be polite?)
5. The weather is horrid. – Then ˈwhy ˈcan’t you ˎstay? (Why are you complaining? You can stay at home and that’s all there is to it.)
6. Can she see you tomorrow? – ˈWhat is the ˈmatter with her ˎnow? (I’m sick and tired of her.)
Read the following conversational situations, use the low fall. Show your attitude to the situation by developing it.
1. Will you lend me your car? – Where are you going? (irritated)
2. I’m afraid I can’t do that. – Why can’t you do it? (serious)
3. My goodness! I’ve lost the key. – Whose key have you lost? (irritated)
4. The cat jumped on the table and broke the cup. – Why do you let the cat come into the kitchen? (irritated)
5. Don’t disturb me. I’m having a wash. – Why are you having a wash now? (impatient)
6. You know she goes shopping every Saturday afternoon after classes. – Why doesn’t she do her shopping on Sundays? (irritated)
7. Dad always has a drink on his way home from work on Saturday morning. – When will he be back do you think? (serious)
8. – Nina, could you turn up your room? I’ve been meaning to ask you for days. – Why do you ask me to do it now? (impatient)
9. Let me see, it’s half past eleven now. – Why do you keep looking at the clock? (irritated)
10. Tommy Wood next door was taken ill last night and this morning he had to be taken to hospital. – What’s the trouble? (serious)
11. I’m told one ought to see the British Museum. Do you think I shall have time for that? – It’s much too big to be seen in an hour or so. – What about going to the Zoo then? (serious)
12. I’m having dinner at a Chinese restaurant tonight. – Who are you having dinner with? (serious)
13. By the way, have you heard that young Patrick Ellis has had another accident in his car? – When did it happen? (responsible)
14. Have you heard that Eva Browning is getting married for the third time on September the tenth? – When did she get married for the first time? (irritated)
15. I’m dead beat after the game of squash. – Who did you play with? (serious)
The high fall
Specialquestions with the high fall are very common in conversation. Theysound lively and interested.
E.g. Peter:Mum! Dad! ˈWhere is `everyone? Is the house empty? Hallo! (Meet the Parkers 8)
But sometimes the high fall shows that the speaker is unpleasantly surprised.
E.g.Robert:Peter! ˈWhat are you ˈmaking ˈall that` noise about? (Meet the Parkers 8)
Nora: The “Rovers” Robert? Why, ˈwhere have you `been? (Meet the Parkers 3)
Read the following conversational situations with special questions, use the high fall. Sound lively and interested.
1. – I shall have to give it to him. – `Why?
2. – I’m going to England. – `When?
3. – You’ll never guess who is here. – `Who?
4. – You can win easily. – `How?
5. Peter:Hallo, Robert. ˈWhat are you ˈdoing in the `bathroom?
Robert: I’m having a wash. What do you think?
Peter:ˈWhy are you ˈhaving a ˈwash `now? (“Meet the Parkers”8)
6. – I mustn’t take them. – `Why ˌmustn’t you ˌtake them?
7. – Sorry to be so late. - ˈWhat’s `happened?
8. – Give them one of these books. – `Which one, do you think?
9. – I must go there. – But `when?
10. – I’ll find him. - But `how can you ˌfind him?
11. – I’ve just seen that new musical. – ˈWhat is it `called?
Read the following conversational situations with special questions, use the high fall. You are unpleasantly surprised.
1. Robert: Here, Peter! ˈWhat are you ˈdoing with ˈthat `cake?
Peter: Don’t be silly! You know exactly what I am doing with it. (“Meet the Parkers”8)
2. – I don’t know Peter’s address. – ˈWhy ˈdidn’t you ˈask him about it be`fore?
3. – You can’t go there. – But ˈwhy `not?
4. - I said no such thing. – `What did you ˌsay, then?
5. – Today’s out of the question. – `When can you ˌcome, may I ask?
6. – Mary is waiting for you. – `Why has she ˌcome?
Read the following special questions, use either the low fall or the high fall according to the state of the speaker.
1. Mum! Dad! Where is everyone? Is the house empty? Hallo! (interested)
2. Hallo, Robert. What are you doing in the bathroom? (lively)
3. I’m having a wash. What do you think? (irritated)
4. Here, Peter! What are you doing with that cake? (unpleasantly surprised)
5. Hallo. Who has been playing with my pipes? One of them is missing. (Unpleasantly surprised)
6. Why do you keep looking at the clock? (irritated)
7. Just call him. – When? He is always away and I don’t have time to wait for him (unsympathetic)
8. Can she see you tomorrow? – What is the matter with her now? I’m sick and tired of her.
9. Mary is waiting for you.
– Why has she come? (unpleasantly surprised)
– Why has she come? (irritated)
10. I don’t know Peter’s address.
– Why didn’t you ask him about it before? (unpleasantly surprised)
– Why didn’t you ask him about it before? (flat, reserved)
The low rise
The low rise is used in special questions when the speaker:
(a) expresses a friendly interest;
E.g.ˈWhere is ˏMum? I want to ask her something. (“Meet the Parkers”8)
(b) sounds wondering or mildly puzzled, and wants the speaker to repeat the previously made statement calling for information already given;
E.g.ˈHow ˏold are you? (= I wonder what your age might be; please, tell it to me.)
(c)implies a mild reproach or sounds soothing;
E.g.ˈWhat have you ˏdone? (implying a mild reproach)
And ˈhow ˈoften do you ˈhear of a ˏcrash? ˈOnce or ˈtwice a ˏyear? (soothing)
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