English is a stress-timed language. Sentence stress patterns are completely flexible, that is, the number and position of stressed words is not fixed and can depend on the speaker’s attitude, i.e. if they are angry, excited or being sarcastic.
Other typical cases of this are when emphasising, expressing surprise or irony, or asking a question.
Intonation patterns[edit | edit source]
Rising intonation[edit | edit source]
We often use rising intonation in polar questions: Do you like tea?
Falling intonation[edit | edit source]
- We often use falling intonation in answers to polar questions: No, there isn’t.
- We use falling intonation in negative statements: I don't like milk.
- We often use falling intonation in questions using question words: Where’s my book?