Intonation with “Yes” and “No”

Intonation with yes and no

Intonation has two basic types of function in English. It notices the listeners to know whether or not a sentence has been finished. It conveys the purpose of making statement or asking a question.

It can also serve to convey information about your attitude. Are you friendly, or helpful, or are you being cold and hostile?

Fall with “Yes” and “No”

If some one is asked a question an reply : yes , no . It will be understood that the question is now answered and that there is nothing more to be said

Rise with “Yes” and “No” 

This tone ( tune ) conveys an impression that something more is followed . Examples:
A: (wishing to attract B`s attention) excuse me?
B: Yes ( yes is equivalent to “what do you want”)

Example 2:
We can see similar “invitation to continue” in someone’s response to a series of instructions of directions:
A : You start off on the ring road ….
B: Yes
A: Turn left at the first round about ….
B: Yes
A: and ours is the third house on the left
The reply of B would be most likely to be “yes” again since A has clearly finished her instructions and it would be pointless to prompt her continue with “No” a similar function can be seen:
A: Have you seen Anna? if B replies “No” he implies quite clearly that he has no interest in continue with that topics of conversation. But reply of “No” would be an invitation to A to explain why she is looking for Anna or why she does not know where she is. 
A: Do you know what the longest river is?
B: No, (he invite A to tell him ) and if he say “No” he does not know and is not expecting to be told

Fall – rise with “Yes” and “No”

A: I have heard that it’s a good school
B: yes (it means that he would not completely agree with what A said and A would expect B to go on to explain why he was reluctant to agree )
Other examples:
A: it is not really an expensive book is it ?
B: No, (he would not completely agree with A)

Rise-fall with “Yes” and “No”

This tune is used to convey rather strong feelings of approval, disapproval or surprise) this tone is not considered to be important tone for foreigners to acquire. Examples:
A: you wouldn’t do awful thing like that, would you?
B: no
A: isn’t the view lovely?
B: yes (surprised)
A: I think you said it was the best sofa
B: yes

Level “Yes” and “No” (conveys feelings of saying something routine, uninteresting, or boring)

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